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Cal's Alualu living in the moment


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POSTED: Thursday, December 03, 2009

Tyson Alualu admits to being as emotional as any of the 16 California football players playing their final regular-season game this weekend.

The fact that he's still wearing a Golden Bear uniform is a testament to the remarkable journey that has been his collegiate career.

“;I thank God for bringing me this far and for everything that has happened,”; said Alualu, a 2005 Saint Louis grad. “;Definitely very many emotions for me because of from where I came from not wanting to be here to loving this place.”;

Alualu chooses not to think about a future that scouts will tell you includes hearing his name called in the 2010 NFL Draft.

He's not concerned about what bowl the Bears (8-3) will play in, depending upon the outcome of Saturday's game at Washington.

Alualu can't bring himself to think ahead at a time made for celebrating his past.

Not when he is saying goodbye to the institution that has made him the man he is today.

“;I've been feeling it for awhile, because this place has changed me,”; he said. “;I'm living every day to the fullest because I'm trying to leave this place with no regrets.”;

Alualu arrived on the Berkeley, Calif., campus in the summer of 2005 and immediately was homesick. His wife, Desire, was pregnant with the couple's first son and leaving the islands was a cultural shock.

Before the summer was over, Alualu was back in Hawaii and sat out the fall season to be at home. He never thought he would go back.

“;I didn't think I'd play (for Cal),”; he said.

But with his wife and infant son, Tyree, in tow, Alualu made it back to Northern California. Now, with a family that includes daughter Dereon, the 6-foot-3, 295-pound defensive tackle is a father, a touted NFL Draft prospect, and a man content with where he stands in life.

“;I have a lot of pride in making it to this point,”; he said. “;There's a lot of talk (about the future), but I don't pay attention to it. I've learned to cherish what I have now and worry about (the future) later.”;

Alualu will make his 38th consecutive start on Saturday and is one of the most prolific-tackling defensive linemen in school history. He has 180 career tackles and 13 1/2 sacks, and has really excelled the last two years after California changed its defense from a 4-3 to a 3-4 scheme with Alualu lining up over the ball in the middle.

“;I think it's more confusing for the offensive line that has to worry about so many things coming from our linebackers,”; Alualu said of Cal's 3-4 defense. “;It allows me to use the techniques coach has taught us to get off the ball faster and create more problems.”;

Alualu starts alongside redshirt freshman Aaron Tipoti (Word of Life '08) and the Bears also feature tight end Savali Eselu (Moanalua '07) and linebacker Solomona Aigamaua (Saint Louis '07).

California has already clinched a seventh straight bowl game and could wind up in the Sun Bowl, usually reserved for the Pac-10's third-place team, for the first time.

“;Wherever we go I'm fine with it,”; Alualu said. “;I don't think about that much.”;

He's too busy living for today.

 

A Civil War for the roses

The Pac-10 representative in the 2010 Rose Bowl is guaranteed to have a strong Hawaii presence.

Who that will be comes down to tonight's Civil War (4:30 p.m., ESPN) between No. 7 Oregon and No. 13 Oregon State.

Ducks quarterback Jeremiah Masoli (Saint Louis '06), the unquestioned leader of Oregon's spread offense, takes on a Beavers defense featuring starting middle linebacker David Pa'aluhi (Waianae '07) and key reserves Suaesi Tuimaunei (Kahuku '06) and Brandon Hardin (Kamehameha '07).

Masoli has accounted for 26 touchdowns this season (14 passing, 12 rushing), throwing for 1,865 yards and rushing for 619 more.

Pa'aluhi is second on the Beavers with 64 tackles and Tuimaunei, who has four starts this year, is seventh with 38. Hardin has made two starts and has 27 tackles, and the Beavers have also gotten production from bothers Kevin and Devin Unga (Kahuku '06), who have 17 and 11 tackles respectively.

 

Notables

FOOTBALL
» Notre Dame freshman Manti Te'o (Punahou '09) had 10 tackles in a 45-38 loss to Stanford on Saturday. Te'o played in all 12 games this season and finished fourth on the team with 63 tackles and recorded a sack.
» Colorado linebacker B.J. Beatty (Kahuku '06) had six tackles and Michael Sipili (Damien '06) added three tackles in a 28-20 loss to Nebraska on Friday.
» Idaho linebacker Robert Siavii (Leilehua '08) had five tackles and junior Jojo Dickson (Baldwin '07) had three tackles, including two for a loss, in a 52-49 loss to Utah State on Saturday.
» Utah junior defensive end Nai Fotu (Kahuku '07) had four tackles and senior linebacker Kepa Gaison (Kamehameha '05) had two tackles, including a sack, in a 26-23 overtime loss to Brigham Young on Saturday. BYU sophomore Spencer Hafoka (Kahuku '05) had one catch for 13 yards.
» Linfield (Ore.) cornerback Nate Dixon (Kapolei '08) had six tackles and two interceptions and kicker Maika Kunioka (Leilehua '09) made field goals of 22 and 33 yards in a 53-21 win over Mary Hardin-Baylor in the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs on Saturday. Sophomore Kalae Parish (Kapolei '08) added four solo tackles and Robert Kukahiko (Kamehameha-Maui '06) had two for the Wildcats.
» Washington defensive end Daniel Teo-Nesheim (Hawaii Prep '05) had three tackles, a sack and recovered a fumble in a 30-0 shutout of Washington State on Saturday.
» St. Francis (Pa.) senior offensive lineman Cody Kekipi (Punahou '06) and senior defensive lineman Russell Fisher (Mid-Pacific '06) were named to the All-Northeast Conference first team on Monday.

WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL
» Washington senior libero Tamari Miyashiro (Kalani '05) had a match-high 31 digs in a five-set loss to Oregon on Friday in the regular-season finale that cost the Huskies a split of the Pac-10 championship.
» Oregon State senior setter Camilla Ah-Hoy (Kahuku '06) had 57 assists, 14 digs and three blocks in a five-set loss to Oregon State to end the regular season.
» Saint Mary's (Calif.) junior Kapua Kamana'o ('Iolani '07) had 18 assists and two digs and sophomore Chanteal Satele (Word of Life '08) had six kills and two blocks in a three-set win over Brigham Young to finish the regular season on Saturday.
» Central Washington junior Brandie Vea (Kalani '07) earned AVCA honorable mention Division II All-America honors on Monday. Vea ranks fourth nationally with 5.83 digs per set.
» Cal State Fullerton senior Deven Bukoski (Kamehameha '06) had nine digs, two block assists and three kills in a five-set victory over UNLV on Saturday. Freshman Nile Te'o (Kahuku '09) had 14 digs and two aces and Kela Lau Hee (Kamehameha '07) had a team-high 22 digs for the Rebels.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
» Utah freshman Iwalani Rodrigues (Kalani '08) made her first collegiate start and finished 2-for-6 from the field with four points, a steal and a block in 29 minutes in a 56-41 win over Weber State.
» Cal State Northridge junior Analee Viena-Lota (Kamehameha '07) had a team-high 16 points on 7-for-15 shooting in a 79-42 loss to Northern Colorado. Freshman Janelle Nomura (Punahou '09) added six points and two steals and Violet Alama (Kalani '09) had six rebounds for the Matadors.
» Concordia (Calif.) junior Nicole Fu (Maryknoll '07) nailed two 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 20 points on 6-for-11 shooting in a 65-53 win over Holy Names (Calif.) in the final game of the Holy Names Thanksgivng Classic on Sunday. Hawks junior Jamie-Leigh Ronolo (Moanalua '07) tied a team-high with 12 points and sophomore Danielle Lovell (Waianae '08) played 10 minutes but didn't score.
» UNLV sophomore Jamie Smith ('Iolani '08) had nine rebounds, seven points and four assists before fouling out of a 74-66 loss to Boise State on Saturday.

Billy Hull, Star-Bulletin