Quotes from the local papers

About choosing to practice tomorrow instead of participating in UH’s graduation ceremony, Tyson Kafentzis said:
“It doesn’t seem too appealing to me, standing in whatever they wear. I’d rather be at practice. I’ll be out there with the boys. I’ll forgo it; most definitely.” (HA)

About how former UH RB Michael Brewster also chose not to walk in his graduation, Tyson said:
“That was pretty cool. He said he was glad he did that instead of going to graduation.” (HA)

HA Note: “Associate head coach Rich Miano implored Kafentzis to participate in the ceremony. Miano and Mark Kafentzis, Tyson’s father, were UH teammates. Miano has served as Tyson’s godfather.”

About how he he’s known Tyson all of his life, Rich Miano said:
“When he was young, I carried him to the top of a mountain. It was like the Lion King.” (HA)

Miano added:
“I accidentally dropped him.” (HA)

About why he wants their senior to walk in the graduation ceremony, Miano said:
“The two most important things at the University of Hawai’i are the Senior Walk and walking at graduation. I suggest to all of the players that they do that. It’s like your wife is going to have a baby and you have a game. Football’s important. That’s our livelihood. But nothing’s more important than the birth of your child. Nothing is more important than graduating and remembering that moment, that picture of you getting your diploma from president David McClain. Nothing can replace that. But then again, I dropped him when he was young. He’s making a bad decision.” (HA)

About going against Miano’s advice and practicing instead, Tyson said:
“It’s a piece of paper, man. I’ll have them mail it to me.” (HA)

HA Note: “Instead, Kafentzis is looking forward to a more important ceremony. Kafentzis and Brea Bechtel will be married Jan. 3 in Washington state. Teammates Jake Ingram, Josh Rice, Dane Porlas, Dan Johnson and Guyton Galdeira will spend time at the Kafentzis’ cabin in Naches, Wash.”

About how his teammates will respond to being in Naches in the winter, Tyson said:
“They’re going to trip out. The snow will be taller than Jake.” (HA)

Asked what is more important, his wedding or graduation, Tyson said:
“It’s definitely my wedding. My fiancee is the one. Obviously, you can do a lot of things with or without a degree. But a good woman by your side will take you a long way.” (HA)

About how he and Bechtel were raised in the same Washington town, Tyson said:
“But I didn’t even know her growing up. I knew of her. The church I go to, she’s the preacher’s daughter. I only saw her from a distance. She’s an angel.” (HA)

About how he returned to Washington to train after his freshman season at UH and saw Bechtel at her job at a fitness club, Tyson said:
“I said, ‘Hey, what are you doing tonight?’ It’s pretty basic. But as they say, the rest is history.” (HA)

About how he proposed to Bechtel (who is also graduating from UH tomorrow) on her birthday last year, getting a waiter to slip the diamond engagement ring into Bechtel’s champagne glass, Tyson said:
“She was drinking it, and she didn’t even know. It was hilarious. Everyone was looking at her. She had no idea. She finished her champagne, and (the ring) slid down and hit her mouth. She was completely surprised.” (HA)

About how they moed into the Moana Surfrider Hotel yesterday, David Veikune said:
“It’s nicer than the dorms.” (HA)

Veikune said that the dorm rooms were like:
“a little prison cell.” (HA)

About how they get a lot of rest during Hawaii Bowl week, Dan Kelly said:
“The best sleep we get is in the hotel. Those beds are amazing. They’re super comfortable.” (HA)

About how it is more fun to be in the Hawaii Bowl than the Sugar Bowl, Tyson (who is in his 3rd Hawaii Bowl and also went to the Sugar Bowl) said:
“I love the Hawai’i Bowl. I think you get better gifts. You stay in a better hotel. Obviously, the food is better. And we get to play Notre Dame.” (HA)

About how they get to see more during Hawaii Bowl week, Sol said:
“In New Orleans, a lot of the events were about eating. We didn’t see the city, the sights, and stuff.” (HA)

About how the NCAA allows their wives to be part of their bowl party and they receive per diem and stay in the hotel, Desmond Thomas said:
“It’ll be good to have our families with us. We’re going to enjoy the experience. We know it’s a business trip. When it’s time to have fun, we’ll have fun. When it’s time to be serious, we’ll be serious.” (HA)

About the changes in his life during his Warrior career, Keala Watson (who got married in college and will become a father and graduate in the spring) said:
“A lot has happened in my life that last couple years.” (HSB)

Praising Keala, DL coach Dave Aranda said:
“I think he’s one of our strongest leaders. He’s not a very expressive person, but when he does speak up everyone listens to him. … He’s got a good understanding of what the situation is, he’s very mature and sees those things very clearly. Keala gets it.” (HSB)

About where he grew up, Keala said:
“Our house was way up in the mountains, far away from everybody else. We could always just go make our own trails in the forest, see a lot of animals and plants. It was pretty fascinating.” (HSB)

About being the first member of his family to graduate from college, Keala said:
“I feel like I’m not the only one graduating. I feel that everybody in my family is graduating.” (HSB)

Thankful for his football career, Keala said as he pointed to the walkway leading to the entrance to the practice field:
“Every time I walk out here I do a prayer right there on that cement slab before I touch the grass. I’m thankful that I’m here and have an opportunity to play the game I love to play and go to school and better myself.” (HSB)

About his rare condition that is similar to hemophilia, Keala said:
“They told me I couldn’t play football and I didn’t even know if I could finish up school because I didn’t know if I’d lose my scholarship.” (HSB)

About how Keala worked hard during his senior season, his younger brother Keahi Watson said:
“You can see he goes that much harder knowing that ‘that’s the last time I’m going to play Boise, the last time I’m going to play Idaho.’ He really puts himself on the line and goes super hard.” (HSB)

About following in his brother’s footsteps, Keahi (a sophomore transfer from Saint Francis University) said:
“It was one of my dreams to play with my brother. I’m two years younger than him, so when he was playing varsity (at Nanakuli) I just started JV. He was such a great influence. … He’s been in good academic standing since he’s been here, he trains really hard and he’s just a really good example.” (HSB)

About how he looked up to the older Warriors, Keala said:
“I’ve seen a lot of good guys come through the program and get their degrees. That’s something I always wanted. Now that it’s my turn I just want to finish it out and show everybody else it’s possible to go to school, play football and get your degree.” (HSB)

About his degree in environmental studies, Keala said:
“Growing up I’ve always been in the outdoors, just loving the natural beauty we have. I just wanted to do my part to save Hawaii’s natural beauty.” (HSB)

About how his family has been big fans of Notre Dame, Aaron Bain said:
“One of my uncles graduated from Notre Dame. He’s probably going to come to the game with a Hawaii shirt and a Notre Dame hat.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Bain said his family regularly followed Notre Dame football, which rubbed off on him when he was a youngster. But his allegiance shifted to Hawaii as he grew, and he walked on with the Warriors after graduating from Saint Louis. Bain said many of those relatives, some of whom are flying in from the neighbor islands, will be in the Aloha Stadium stands when he closes out his college career against the Irish.”

Happy to be able to play against Notre Dame, Bain said:
“I never imagined us playing Notre Dame.” (HSB)

About facing Notre Dame in their bowl game, Bain said:
“This is going to mean a lot, not only to me, but to all the seniors and the rest of the team because it’s going to put a stamp on what they’ve got next year.” (HSB)

About how his brother Jonathan was a redshirt freshman WR with Fresno State when they played in the 1993 Aloha Bowl, Jake Santos said:
“He loved it. We watched it on TV and my parents are going to be able to do the same thing (on Christmas Eve).” (HSB)

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