Archive for April 12th, 2009

Reports from UH’s Practice/Scrimmage/Autograph session on Maui

April 12, 2009

KGMB = KGMB (channel 9)
MN = Maui News

Happy to get to watch the Warriors in person, Baldwin OL Shay Singleton said:
“I’m a huge fan, I watch like every game but this is the first time I watch them play live, in person.” (KGMB)

Impressed with the turnout on Maui, Shane Austin said:
“I was actually impressed. It felt like a game there was a lot of people out here, love the support.” (KGMB)

About the support they had from the fans all day, Rocky Savaiigaea said:
“When we came off the plane there were like all the events and stuff going on. It was a cool to see all the fans out that early, before we even got out here there was already a line and stuff.” (KGMB)

About how he knew that UH would have a great crowd in Maui, Jayson Rego (from Wailuku, Maui) said:
“I know they wanted to play for a while so I’m glad to be back, happy that the team came down. Being someone from Maui what kind of following for Warrior football do they have on this island? It’s really big, it’s just like Oahu.” (KGMB)

”I knew there was going to be a lot of people coming out, because on Maui there is a big fan base. It made me feel like I was small again, hearing everybody cheer. So, it was great.” (MN)

About how going to Maui will help them recruit players from Maui, Mac said:
“This is going to help us recruiting wise. We lost a player here on Maui that went to a Pac-10 school and we want to keep all the good Hawaii players at home.” (KGMB)

Praising Mac, Baldwin OL Josh Tatofi said:
“He came by and said what’s up, he likes to show the aloha spirit. I went to one of his UH camps, he’s a real welcoming guy, and he showed a lot of love to everybody.” (KGMB)

KGMB Note: “So just how rare is it for the Warriors to be suited up on Maui? The only other trip as a team at War Memorial Stadium was the 2001 season opener, a win against Montana.”

About how he marked the day of the scrimmage on his calendar a month in advance, Hawaii Swim Club coach Reid Yamamoto said:
”I think it’s really great that the UH football team is in town. I’m a huge football fan. I was excited for this day for the past month. I’m alumni, ’91. I think that makes it that much more special to me to come out here. Before I moved to Maui, as a kid I’d go to games with my dad, so it means a lot to me to be able to come out here and kind of keep things the same.” (MN)

About how he hoped to learn things from the scrimmage that he can use for Baldwin’s offense, Baldwin High School assistant football coach Rick Young said:
”We might change up our offense this year (at Baldwin) so I’m here to get the experience and see what they run, because we run a spread offense just like UH. Just to take notes, talk to them a bit, maybe improve the program a bit.” (MN)

MN Note: “Baldwin senior Mana Rosa, last season’s Maui Interscholastic League defensive player of the year, as well as the Bears’ Micah Kahoohanohano and Kamehameha Maui teammates Matthew Kahoohanohano and Chase Bell were in attendance as well.”

About attending the scrimmage, Mana Rosa (who was recruited by UH but will play for Oregon State in the fall) said:
”I came to talk to the coaches. They offered me a scholarship so I just wanted to check them out, say hi, while they’re here, even though I’m going to Oregon.” (MN)

About attending the scrimmage with Aulani Kahoohanohano and Aulani’s grandchildren Lilinoe David (4) and Leialii Davis (3) (the grandchildren had UH pompoms and practiced their cheerleading skills), Monay Rodrigues (the children’s auntie) said:
”We just came out to enjoy the scrimmage and have a family fun day. Grandma’s a UH alumni and papa’s a Baldwin football player, graduated in 1960, that’s loyal to Hawaii.” (MN)

About attending the scrimmage with her family, Aulani Kahoohanohano said:
”We came to support the team. ‘What a privilege for us to be here. We love the Warriors.” (MN)

Concerned that he wouldn’t be able to bring his coolers into the stadium, Louis Cambra said:
”You better write that in the paper if they don’t let me. I’ve been a longtime UH fan. We’re here to kill some time, but we’re actually spies. My grandson, (Baldwin graduate) Jojo Dickson, goes to Idaho.” (MN)

Unsure how many autographs he signed at the event, Rayson Rego said:
”Yeah, definitely a personal record for a day. This is the most people who have asked me in a long time. I couldn’t even give you a guess, but it’s a lot.” (MN)

MN Note: “The No. 3 running back on Hawaii’s spring depth chart capped a Rego-centric day with an apparent touchdown on the last of eight drives on a 6-yard run, but it was called back on a holding penalty. On the next play, the 5-foot-9, 215-pound fifth-year senior, a walk-on from Wailuku and Kamehameha Schools Oahu, rumbled through the defense for a 12-yard run to the 2. One more bullish Rego run up the middle put the ball on about the 1-foot line and quarterback Shane Austin then scored on a sneak after a fake handoff to Rego that drew just about every defender his way.”

About having his TD taken away due to the penalty, Rego said:
”That’s football. It goes up, it goes down. There’s ins, there’s outs, that’s just football. The main thing is we got into the end zone.” (MN)

About doing well at RB during the scrimmage, Inoke said:
”It has been definitely different for me, kind of fun, something new, it is something exciting and new. It hasn’t been too bad mentally. Luckily, it all came from quarterback, so I knew basically kind of the idea of what the running backs were supposed to do. So I was just basically just getting into detail more.” (MN)

About how Rego and LWJ have been teaching him the RB position, Inoke said:
”Jayson and Leon have been my mentors. Helping me come along, so it has been good. They have been very helpful, helping me out as far as the position.” (MN)

MN Note: “Hawaii coach Greg McMackin said the day was a success, even with an offense that found the end zone only twice. Four of the eight drives ended on downs — the scrimmage had no kicking. Two ended with interceptions — one that Kenny Estes returned 30 yards from the end zone and another by Spencer Smith.”

Impressed with the effort by their players, Mac said:
”I was really impressed with the effort that was put out. There were plays made on both sides of the ball, there were interceptions, there were touchdowns, our running backs ran real hard. I was happy with the fronts. I think the offensive front has really improved. We were really asking the officials to make sure we weren’t holding. We had too many holding penalties last year. They said our hands were good. We kept out several guys that start for us, but it gave us a good look at the rest of the guys. I’m really impressed with the fans and their attitude and it was a great turnout.” (MN)

Happy that Rego got a chance to carry the ball during the last drive of the scrimmage, Mac said:
”Loved it, loved that last drive, I thought our running backs ran hard. Jayson always runs hard. I liked him last year and he is just a tough, hard-nosed guy and I wouldn’t be afraid to play him any time.” (MN)

MN Note: “The event belonged mostly to the reserves as starting quarterback Greg Alexander, slotback Kealoha Pilares, wide receivers Greg Salas and Malcolm Lane, defensive lineman Rocky Savaiigaea and linebacker Brashton Satele all watched the scrimmage from the sidelines.”

Feeling that the defense had the upper hand during the scrimmage, Rocky Savaiigaea said:
”The defense did great, we had a couple interceptions, we had a lot of sacks going on. Overall, you can just start seeing the defense bonding and kind of just playing off of each other’s energy.” (MN)

MN Note: “Backup quarterback Brent Rausch was 8-for-17 with 77 passing yards and an interception while leading three of the drives. Austin was 8-for-16 for 105 yards, also on three drives. Bryant Moniz was 4-for-9 with an interception and 39 yards, while Steele Jantz was 3-for-5 for 16 yards.”

Hoping the crowd wasn’t too upset that he scored the TD at the end of the scrimmage instead of Rego, Shane Austin said:
”The coaches told me to pull that one, just dive it in there. I’m just trying to do anything to help out the team. I really wanted to score on that drive, but Jayson got us down there. I have to take my hat off to him. I told him, ‘You are getting in the end zone.’ I told the line, ‘Make your move, he is going to plow in there.’ He drove his legs hard. I love to see that.” (MN)

Praising Shane Austin, Rolo said:
“He’s on time, he gets rid of the ball. He was in some good situations, and after they see the tape, they’ll make adjustments.” (HSB)

About how he was on the team (backing up Tim Chang) when UH played Montana at War Memorial Stadium in 2001, plus he played there in the Hula Bowl (he threw 3 TD passes to lead his team to the win and was named MVP), Rolo said:
“I have good memories of this stadium.” (HSB)

About how big it was for him to be part of the Warriors for this scrimmage, Andrew Faaumu (who is from Kihei, Maui) said:
“It was real emotional. I attended the game against Montana and that was a big thing to me. … When Coach announced we were going to Maui there were really no words to express how I felt.” (HSB)

About how things were different for him now at War Memorial Stadium, Faaumu said:
“When I was in high school it was a big locker room. But when I come back now it’s kind of small.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Junior slotback Ryan Henry was among the busiest, catching seven passes for 50 yards. Dustin Blount had four catches for 52 yards, including a 29-yard connection with Shane Austin late in the scrimmage.”

Happy that the Warriors came to Maui, Matt Wong (who lives in Waiehu, Maui but his family flies to Oahu for several games each season) said:
“It was great, with the airline prices and everything, not everybody has the opportunity to go (to games). It looked like a lot of people took advantage of meeting the coaches and players. It was great to see people coming out and support the team.” (HSB)

About the Warrior scrimmage on Maui was important, Jayson Rego (the father of the UH RB) said:
“This is a big thing for Maui, to see these guys.” (HSB)

About how he bowled over safety Rykin Enos near the goal line (Inoke is 190 pounds, Enos is 200 pounds), Inoke laughed and said:
“I’m nothing like Bo Jackson — he was a beast. But I know what play you’re talking about, saw it on ESPN Classic. I’m a classic kind of guy.” (HSB)

About how he loved playing at the stadium that is right next to where he grew up, Inoke said:
“It was amazing, a great feeling. But it’s football, so you compete every day. You compete to prepare yourself for another day.” (HSB)

About how Inoke has been doing well at RB, Ron Lee said:
“He found a home, he really did. He made a few guys miss, he has good vision, which we all knew. And he likes it, he sticks his nose in there blocking. … He’ll be a weapon.” (HSB)

Happy they were able to have their event on Maui, Mac said:
“I think this was a great deal. Jim Donovan came up with the idea and I jumped at it because we play for the state of Hawaii. I think we can do some other things like this. We’re only halfway through spring and to get this many people to a scrimmage in my mind is outstanding.” (HSB)

Happy with their play during the scrimmage, Mac said:
“The tackling, I thought, was very good. There were very few missed tackles. I thought our running backs ran well. I thought Inoke showed that he can play running back. This will be a big-time film we’ll look at and evaluate.” (HSB)

Praising the OL for his big runs, Inoke said:
“I think it didn’t matter who was in the backfield on some of those plays. I think they would have broken it because the line did such a good job. They made me look a lot better than it probably was. It’s just like when you play as little kids. I’ve never actually trained running the ball. I just did what I did as a little kid growing up.” (HSB)

Praising Shane Austin for his 31-yard gain on a shovel pass, Inoke said:
“The linebackers are watching the quarterback, and if he can really sell it like it’s a pass, it opens it up for me. I know Shane had a big role in that, because when I turned there was nobody around, everybody dropped off. Because I played quarterback I had a lot of appreciation for that.” (HSB)

About how the crowd added something to their scrimmage, Austin said:
“With the crowd and everything, it almost felt like a little game there. It definitely brings out the adrenaline. I was comfortable. We’ve been working all this spring with the receivers and it came together today. Everybody was having fun.” (HSB)

JD doesn’t rule out a football game on Maui

April 12, 2009

MN = Maui News

MN Note: “The Warriors were on Maui for the seventh of their 15 spring practices, their first Valley Isle appearance since a 30-12 win over Montana on Sept. 8, 2001, in the season opener. Donovan said that Maui will likely host a scrimmage every two or three years.”

Asked if they could have a Warrior game on Maui, JD said:
”I won’t rule it out. I learned a long time ago, never say ‘for sure’ because there is almost always an in-between. You can make things happen if things come together.” (MN)

MN Note: “Donovan was delighted with the turnout of about 3,000 fans on Saturday.”

About having UH Athletics reach out to the neighbor islands, JD said:
”When I got the job, one of the things I said when I was interviewed was that we are the state of Hawaii’s team and there is a need for us to reach out. I was actually talking to (Maui state) Senator Shan Tsutsui. He had said, ‘Gosh, you guys haven’t done anything on Maui since the Montana game.’ So I went to talk to a few teams, I talked to softball and I talked to volleyball to see if there was anything they could do this spring over here. Schedule-wise they couldn’t swing it, but I asked (football) coach (Greg McMackin), ‘Hey, if I can swing some sponsors can you guys do a scrimmage and autograph session?’ He thought it was a great idea, so here we are.” (MN)

MN Note: “UH played Montana after then-coach June Jones was told War Memorial Stadium had 20,000 seats. The actual number of bleacher seats is 15,500, and the official attendance listed in the UH media guide for that game is 12,863. A turnstile count that day was 11,234, and the stadium appeared full.”

About how UH lost money by playing Montana on Maui, JD said:
”I wouldn’t rule out that absolutely we would never have another game here. It is just that economically it really did bottom-line effect us when we did it against Montana. It is something that, as time goes on, maybe we can look at. Maybe getting more temporary seats in here and maybe boosting the actual attendance here at War Memorial. It is possible that we could look at it for another Division I-AA team, but I am not going to promise.” (MN)

MN Note: “Donovan said the UH athletic department is not in position to vacate the payout it can generate from a home game at Aloha Stadium. The school usually plays a seven-game home schedule, but if an eighth game ever popped onto the slate, Maui could be the site.”

About how they get about $500k per game just from season ticket sales, JD said:
”We sell about 27,000 to 28,000 season tickets. And so we give that up for one game when we come over here and that is a big hit, about $500,000 right off the top. We have got to make that up with ticket sales over here and we didn’t against Montana.” (MN)

About how War Memorial Stadium could be expanded, JD said:
”You can legitimately get about 12,000 to 14,000 in here right now. When you get real people in there, I remember people sitting on the steps for the Montana game. There is still a lot of space where we could potentially put more people, so I am just saying, it is not impossible, but it will have to definitely take some massaging before we could pull it off. I would think we would have to get to a realistic total of 20,000 seats in here and maybe some way to overflow it to 22,000 or 23,000 for standing room only. If you can get up to those numbers with, like, a $20 ticket, you can get to the point where you can break even and it won’t cost you money.” (MN)

JD planas to have more UH sporting events on neighbor islands

April 12, 2009

About how the success of their Maui scrimmage will mean that more UH sporting events will be held on neighbor islands, JD said:
“It’s almost a certainty. Like I said when I got hired, this is Hawaii’s team.” (HSB)

About how major improvements (including 6,500 more seats) would have to be made to War Memorial Stadium before UH could hold a regular-season football game on Maui, JD said:
“We’d look at football, but there has to be at least 22,000 seats before it can begin to possibly be economically feasible. It would also have to be a year when we have eight home games.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Men’s and women’s volleyball, softball and baseball are more likely to play regular-season competitions on the neighbor islands. UH has already held golf tournaments on Kauai and the Big Island.”

About how he likes the idea of having Maui host a football game but agrees that renovations are needed to the stadium (which seats 15,500), State senator Shan Tsutsui (Wailuku-Kahului on Maui) said:
“Realistically it’d be a challenge. There would have to be improvements, including the P.A. and the seating. But something like this shows the university they have our support on Maui.” (HSB)

About how their fans on Maui support them via PPV since it is hard for them to get to home games on Oahu, JD said:
“Maui really supports us, especially with pay-per-view, and we wanted to say thank you.” (HSB)