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Super Games break grind of UH's offseason drills


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POSTED: Thursday, March 19, 2009

Offseason conditioning isn't all about fun and games.

But the Hawaii football team found time for both amid the grind of lifting and running.

The Warriors ended their Super Games competition yesterday, closing the seven-week series designed to inject some fun into the offseason while building leadership and camaraderie among the players.

“;It brings us together a lot,”; said defensive tackle Rocky Savaiigaea, one of the 10 captains assigned to lead a team. “;We work so hard during the week with individual drills, it's a good chance one day out of the week we can come together and mix it up and we just have fun with it.”;

The Warriors hit the weight room four days a week with Wednesday mornings reserved for events including basketball, water polo and yesterday's home run derby at Les Murakami Stadium.

UH head coach Greg McMackin introduced the Super Games last year with teams earning points for their performances in the events and their progress in the classroom and the weight room.

Players could earn bonus points by making significant gains in their lifting or attending extra study halls. Missing or being late for a class or a workout resulted in points being deducted from the team's total.

“;You don't want to mess up for the team,”; Savaiigaea said. “;Instead of coaches telling you what to do, you have team captains and they're the ones who keep you on track.”;

Yesterday's finale was won by Tunda Katz, captained by defensive lineman Tuika Tufaga. A plate was set up in shallow center field at Murakami Stadium with each player getting two swings to try to pop a tennis ball over the fence.

With his team down to its last out, Mana Silva kept the Tunda Katz alive with a home run. Steele Jantz then won it with a homer in a tiebreaker round.

With the games complete, the Warriors are looking forward to the start of spring practice on March 30.

“;These guys have worked out harder than any group I've been around since I've been here as far as the offseason,”; McMackin said. “;This is a group that really is hungry.”;

GA post filled

Mike Smith, a former NFL linebacker, will join the coaching staff as a graduate assistant working with linebackers and special teams this season.

Smith was McMackin's first recruit at Texas Tech after McMackin left UH following the 1999 season. Smith went on to earn All-Big 12 honors in 2004 and was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2005. A shoulder injury ended his playing career, and he'll join Craig Stutzmann as the Warriors' graduate assistants.

Never too early

UH's deposit program for new season-ticket sales continues and associate athletic director John McNamara said the notices for renewals are scheduled go out by the end of the month, with new season-ticket sales expected to start in June.

Once the Western Athletic Conference schedule is completed, McNamara said the school will start working on a pay-per-view package for road games for season-ticket holders similar to the program it introduced last year.

Those placing a $50 deposit for season tickets by March 27 will receive coupons for four tickets to a UH men's volleyball or baseball game, 25 percent off merchandise at the RainbowTique and will be entered into a drawing for a trip for two to Las Vegas.