COURTESY OF TRAVIS AGUSTIN
Colby's Travis Agustin, above, made a play for the ball in a game last weekend.
Iolani's Travis Agustin walks away from college football a winner
By Al Chase
TRAVIS Agustin could not have asked for anything more appropriate to conclude his college football career.
"It was a perfect day. The weather was perfect. Our offense was on. Our defense was on. It was everything I hoped it would be," said Agustin.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound senior cornerback was still excited a day after playing his final football game for the Colby College White Mules.
A week ago, Agustin talked about how the script was perfect for Saturday's showdown against Bowdoin on the Bears' field at Brunswick, Me.
The game would settle the 2005 Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Championship.
"We're both 6-1 and we're arch rivals. Rivalry games are so special. It's like Punahou-Iolani," said Agustin, who had been thinking about this game all year.
"There are a lot of 'lasts' for me. Last year of college. Last football game. It's been quite a journey since I started playing football when I was 9 years old. I've thought about all the things I went through to play football and other sports," said Agustin.
He and his teammates shut down Bowdoin's high-powered passing game, put their own ground game in gear and took a 28-3 victory home to Waterville, Me.
It was the third consecutive CBB title for the White Mules, winners of 14 of the last 18.
"We gave up some completions, but kept them from completing the deep pass," said Agustin.
He and his teammates held Bowdoin's top receiver, Jeff Nolin, who was averaging five receptions for 20.6 yards a catch per game, to three receptions for 26 yards
"Travis has had an outstanding career. He is a very good athlete, a very bright kid and he developed at an early stage here," said Colby coach Ed Mestieri.
"He basically plays on the right side and has a clear understanding of what we want to do on defense. Our league is very competitive. It is referred to as the small Ivy League."
IN EIGHT GAMES this year, Agustin recorded 20 solo and 20 assisted tackles, broke up eight passes and intercepted one with a 9-yard return.
Agustin said, "I can't believe it's all done. No more football. I'm happy our record has gotten better each year."
Colby has gone 5-3, 6-2 and 7-1 in the three seasons Agustin has been a starter.
Agustin made it clear that it was not a case of wanting to leave Hawaii, but wanting to act on his desire to experience something different during his four years in college.
He considered Middlebury in Vermont, Claremont McKenna in California, DePaul in Illinois and Colby. He visited DePaul and Colby.
"I really liked all the schools and teams. What stood out about Colby was not only the coaches, but the whole experience, how the team interacted and how they treated each other. It was like a big family. The program was a lot like Iolani," said Agustin. "Colby was the perfect fit. Everything just fell into place."
Agustin could be excused if he had second thoughts after his visit to the Waterville campus.
COURTESY OF TRAVIS AGUSTIN
Travis Agustin with teammates Tyler Hales, left, and Josh Berman, right, after Saturday's season-ending game.
"It was spring. It was baseball season. I was hanging out in my shorts and T-shirt at the baseball game and a cloud came over and it started snowing," said Agustin, who lives in Pearl City.
That is a contrast that continued for Agustin last Thursday. The leis his family sent for all the coaches and seniors arrived and the first snow of the season fell.
He has played football for the White Mules for four years, the last three as a starting cornerback, and played baseball his first two years.
A Stone Scholar at Iolani, Agustin said he received "a really generous financial-aid package" at Colby, an NCAA Division III school that does not offer athletic scholarships.
"Without financial aid, I couldn't have gone to Iolani or Colby. I'm really lucky that all the opportunities have worked out for me," said Agustin, who maintains a 3.18 grade-point average. "We never miss class for practice or games."
COLBY IS a highly selective liberal arts college with a current student body enrollment of 1,821. About 70 percent of the students take advantage of the chance to study abroad.
Agustin did that last spring, but not before making a big decision.
"I had to give up either football or baseball. I talked with both coaches. It was a tough choice," said Agustin, who studied at the CBB Center in London, England.
Agustin's family has been active in helping him spread the aloha spirit at Colby.
"My freshman year, my mother (Margaret) and my sister (Sarah) brought orchid leis for the entire team. Everyone went crazy," said Agustin. "Now, everyone looks forward to it. I would like to see more Hawaii students consider Colby and keep the tradition going."
Agustin hosted a party in his campus apartment for Parents Weekend two weeks ago.
"It was a typical Hawaiian party. We had kalua pig, dried ahi, poi, laulau, Aloha Shoyu and rice. My mom is always sending Hawaii stuff up, but my roommates really don't know about Spam. And, after being in London and trying to cook for myself, if there is a meal plan, I'll take it."
Agustin is majoring in government with a minor in administrative science (business, accounting, marketing, corporate finance). He will take the LSAT this spring and hopes to attend law school either in Boston or San Francisco or at the University of Hawaii.
» Michael Vitousek, a 6-4, 205 junior linebacker from Hawaii Prep, assisted on six tackles for Bowdoin in the 117th meeting between the schools.
For the year, he had 25 solo and 25 assisted tackles in seven games. Vitousek also recovered a fumble, broke up three passes and had 2 1/2 tackles for loss.
AGUSTIN BY THE NUMBERS
Travis Agustin's college statistics