U. H. _F O O T B A L L

Notebook
Monday, October 21, 1996


Oliveira not likely to
play again in '96

By Paul Arnett
Star-Bulletin



Shane Oliveira probably won't play again for the University of Hawaii football team this season.

The powerful center didn't even suit up for last Saturday's 38-28 victory over the Rebels of Nevada-Las Vegas.

It was the first time he didn't start for Hawaii since Nov. 12, 1994, against Southeast Missouri. The string was snapped at 22.

"It pretty much looks like I'm through for this year," a dejected Oliveira said in the upbeat Hawaii locker room. "I'm probably going to have surgery pretty soon."

Hawaii head coach Fred vonAppen didn't paint as bleak a picture but conceded that Oliveira was close to being put on the shelf. A painful bone spur in his right ankle will likely be removed in the next couple of weeks. The resulting Achilles heel problem has slowed him all season.

"It first began to hurt when we were doing our conditioning last spring," Oliveira said. "I tried to use different shoes, have treatment, whatever. Nothing has worked. It really hurts me not to be out there."

Over the last month of the season, Oliveira has rarely practiced. In one respect, it helped bring along freshman Sione Tafuna.

But early in Saturday's game, Tafuna suffered an ankle sprain that will likely keep him sidelined this weekend at Air Force. C.B. Wentling will get the nod.

"We're not sure who will back up C.B.," vonAppen said. "Sione is on crutches, so I don't expect him back. He also has a bad hamstring.

"As for Shane, it's still week-to- week, although surgery is a definite possibility. We may wait until after our bye in two weeks to see if resting the ankle helps him."

The Rainbows also lost middle linebacker Steve Gonzales to a shoulder problem. He is questionable this weekend. VonAppen didn't think there were any other serious injuries, although Carlton Oswalt injured his hip and was unable to kick late in the game.

"We could definitely use a bye," vonAppen said. "We've got a lot of walking wounded."



FIRSTS GALORE:

There were enough firsts to go around in the 10-point victory over UNLV.

Tight end Ryan Green scored the first touchdown of his UH career on a 13-yard grab from senior quarterback Glenn Freitas late in the first quarter.

Paul Purdy's 7-yard scoring catch in the third quarter was the first touchdown of his career at UH. So was Carlos Shaw's 2-yard run that gave the Rainbows the lead for good.

"It felt good getting in there and scoring the touchdown that gave us the lead," Shaw said. "I can't remember the last time I scored. It was during my sophomore season at Fresno City College."

Senior running back Randall Okimoto can do one better. His 6-yard improvisation was his first touchdown since his senior year at Farrington High.

"I forgot what it felt like," Okimoto said. "The play was supposed to go right, but there was no place to go, so I went around to the left.

"After I slipped that last tackle, I knew I was going to score. It felt great. Glenn was the first guy to congratulate me. I forgot how good it felt. I'm just glad I finally got the opportunity after being hurt early in the season."



INSIDE THE NUMBERS

Free safety Eddie Klaneski was the only UH player to crack the top 50 of any major statistical category, according to figures released yesterday by the NCAA.

Klaneski was No. 50 in the nation in punt returns. So far this season, he has 13 for 118 yards, an average of 9.08 a return.

His average would have been even higher had the referees not mistaken a hand signal he gave in the second half.

"I was just telling my guys to get out of the way, so I gave them the safe sign," Klaneski said. "I guess the official thought I signaled for a fair-catch. If they hadn't called it back, I might have scored."



SMALL CROWD

A downpour before the game had a lot to do with it, but Saturday's game was the smallest crowd to witness a Western Athletic Conference game in Aloha Stadium history.

The Rainbows sold 29,536 tickets, but the turnstile count was a paltry 20,475. In five home games, Hawaii is averaging 33,303 tickets sold. Last year in seven home games, the Rainbows averaged 34,633 tickets sold.

Despite the slight slip, UH athletic department officials don't see any major shortfall. In fact, the women's volleyball team is doing so well, the athletic department will likely remain in the black for 1996-97.



1996 UH Rainbow Warrior
Football Schedule




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