Fergerstrom’s season gets shakier
Victor "Bully" Fergerstrom is a hard guy to shake up, on the football field or off.
"He's a hard-nosed tough guy with no fear," Hawaii defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville said of the backup outside linebacker and special-teams player.
But Fergerstrom has had to bounce back from a couple of scary events recently.
First, his senior season seemed in jeopardy when he lay motionless on the practice field for more than 10 minutes after a collision during fall camp. When a tough guy is down that long, everybody knows it's serious.
"Usually I can handle pain pretty good, but this time, whoa. I was a little scared," Fergerstrom said.
It was a double whammy, as Fergerstrom was diagnosed with a bruised back and strained groin from the same incident. He was out several weeks.
He missed the first two games, but battled back and reclaimed his special-teams spots on the kickoff, kickoff-return and punt teams.
"It's what I've been working for," Fergerstrom said. "It took me some time to get back into the swing of things."
The 5-foot-10, 218-pound Hawaii Prep grad has four tackles this season, exceeding his career total going into 2006.
Fergerstrom's world was rocked again Sunday, when he was awoken by that morning's earthquakes.
"I'm from Waimea (on the Big Island). We got it pretty bad. Everything in the house fell off the shelves. The glasses broke and everything," Fergerstrom said. "A couple of my friends' houses burned down. At least everybody's safe now. My mom's kind of shook up with the situation, but nothing happened to her."
Fergerstrom -- who had just returned from the mainland after playing in the Warriors' 68-37 rout of Fresno State the day before -- spent most of Sunday wondering about his family rather than relishing the big win.
"I couldn't get through to them until about 9:30 Sunday night," he said. "I was kind of worried about them. Family's everything."
Sidelined: Injured slotback Ryan Grice-Mullins did not look ready to play yesterday. At practice he played catch on the side and observed the team drills. He still has a slight limp from an ankle sprain suffered in the Sept. 23 game at Boise State.
Grice-Mullins did not make the trip. Ross Dickerson, who led the Warriors with 10 catches for 115 yards last week, will again start in his place.
All-in: Junior-college transfers Myron Newberry on the right and Gerard Lewis on the left both turned in impressive practices yesterday at cornerback and appear poised to start Saturday at New Mexico State.
"Let's go, Texas Hold 'Em," defensive backs coach Rich Miano said as the first-team defense lined up for practice yesterday, referring to the home state of both Newberry and Lewis. He complimented Newberry several times for good jams at the line of scrimmage.
"It's almost a home game for the secondary," defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville said. "We'll be sleeping in El Paso, and three-fourths of them are from Texas."
It will be the first start for both. A.J. Martinez and Guyton Galdeira worked out with the second unit yesterday. Those two, along with C.J. Hawthorne and Ryan Keomaka, might also play Saturday.
"Speed is critical in this upcoming game," Glanville said. "Right now, the Texas guys are our best speed and they play the ball very well too."
Wrap it up: Starting inside linebacker and leading tackler Adam Leonard has been playing hurt the past three weeks. He didn't know how much until a few days ago.
"I sprained my wrist against Eastern Illinois and it was kind of nagging. I found out it was fractured last week. So we put a cast on it and cut if off for the game," Leonard said. "I knew it was hurt, but I thought it was just a strain or something that would go away. It kept on nagging me so I decided to get an X-ray."
Leonard leads the Warriors with 49 tackles.