Soares blessed to be back


POSTED: Friday, August 07, 2009

Blaze Soares passed through the gates and knew exactly what to do.

The senior linebacker dropped to one knee and said a prayer of thanks.

“;I just felt blessed,”; Soares said of his emotions yesterday when he walked onto the Hawaii grass practice field ready to play after a year of missed time. “;I felt blessed to be out here with these boys again. Just competing.”;

Soares relished every moment on the field, getting in the mix again for reps for the first time after he tore his left calf muscle just a week into fall camp last year.

His excitement was obvious as he mimicked his teammates' movements on the side during the reps he didn't take (he was in on about one in every four).

But the UH coaches have advised the hard-hitting Soares not to over-exert himself as he works his way back into the fold.

Soares nodded knowingly at this. The Castle alum knows all too well what another serious injury would mean as time winds down on his UH playing career.

“;(Sitting out) was very depressing,”; Soares said with a head shake. “;Know what I mean? Just going through that battle. It's something that I don't want to go through again.”;

He pledged to do his part to keep himself in position to play when it matters most.

“;They keep working with me on pacing, because I know I have a tendency to go full speed,”; Soares said. “;Do what I can do and glory will come. That's what I'm hoping.”;

Falemalu on the line





        All practices will be held at either the Grass Practice field or Clarence T.C. Ching Field.

» Today: 4-6 p.m.
        » Tomorrow: 8:30-11 a.m.
        » Monday: 8:30-11 a.m.
        » Tuesday: 8:30-11 a.m.
        » Wednesday: 8:30-10:40 a.m.; 3:30-5:05 p.m.
        » Thursday: 8:30-10:45 a.m.
        » Friday, Aug. 14: 8:30-10:45 a.m.; 3:30-5:15 p.m.
        » Saturday, Aug. 15: 8:30-10:45 a.m.
        » Monday, Aug. 17: 8:30-10:45 a.m.; 3:30-4:50 p.m.
        » Tuesday, Aug. 18: 8:30-10:50 a.m.
        » Wednesday, Aug. 19: 8:30-10:45 a.m.; 3-4:50 p.m.
        » Thursday, Aug. 20: 8:30-10:45 a.m.
        » Friday, Aug. 21: 8:30-10:35 a.m.
        » Saturday, Aug. 22: 8:30-11 a.m.




Greg McMackin has never been shy about shifting players to get more speed on the field. The latest such move sent freshman linebacker Paipai Falemalu from outside linebacker to defensive end.

“;Coach Mack asked me if I wanted to play D-end. I told them whatever I have to do to help the team,”; Falemalu said.

Falemalu missed most of last season with a shoulder injury and was held out of contact in the spring. He said he's back to full strength and spent some extra time with defensive line coach Dave Aranda after practice receiving pointers on line play.

“;It's a whole different world, it's a bunch of new techniques to learn,”; Falemalu said. “;It's totally different, but if the coaches believe in me I'm pretty sure I can do it.”;


Rolovich does his part

Quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich knows the Hawaii coaches are a man down with the departure of graduate assistant Craig Stutzmann, so he doesn't mind putting in some extra work while the position remains vacant.

Rolovich tossed out pointers to the Warriors receivers yesterday as they practiced their routes, while he simultaneously went through his usual work with the quarterbacks.

He noted that offensive coordinator Ron Lee (formerly the receivers coach before Stutzmann assumed the job) is sharing the duty.

“;I just got some quarterbacks to worry about, but if I can give a tip here or there ...,”; Rolovich said. “;The filmwork is what really allows us to coach everyone. But as far as hustle and getting those guys going, I kind of say what I think needs to happen. If they listen, they listen. I hope they do. They have so far.”;

“;Aussie, Aussie, Aussie”;

Wearing a helmet for the first time, Alex Dunnachie wasn't quite sure what to expect from his first practice. And the freshman punter was caught a little off-guard the first time he saw a bunch of linemen charging after him.

“;I was a bit nervous actually. When Luke (Ingram) snapped it to me I didn't know they were going to rush me, so I caught it and I looked up and there were all these guys around me,”; Dunnachie said. “;But after that first time, I was able to settle down and just concentrate on watching the ball and kicking the ball.”;

Dunnachie played Australian rules football growing up and is getting his first exposure to the American game. He was able to get off several impressive blasts, drawing an “;Aussie, Aussie, Aussie”; cheer from his teammates after driving one more than 50 yards.

“;We kick the ball end over end (in Australian Rules), so it's just a matter of turning the ball and making sure everything's going straight,”; he said. “;You have to try to come up through the ball instead of kicking it low.”;


Lane sits out

Senior wide receiver Malcolm Lane did not participate in yesterday's practice. Jovonte Taylor was first in the rotation at right wide receiver.

“;He just has some personal things he's taking care of,”; McMackin said.

Defensive tackle David Hafoka, a junior-college transfer who practiced with the Warriors in the spring, is not on the fall camp roster. He is being held out as a precaution due to a back strain.