H A W A I I _ S P O R T S


Friday, April 2, 1999

Mortimer gets a first-
hand look at practice

JUNE Jones looked around the practice field in search of a missing administrator.

"Has Dr. (Ken) Mortimer left yet?'' Jones asked. "I was going to ask him to address the team, but I forgot.''

Mortimer exited the field about midway through the practice. He and athletic director Hugh Yoshida spent the first half of yesterday's workout listening to Jones instruct the Hawaii offensive unit on the finer points of the run-and-shoot.

Wearing a green aloha shirt and a UH baseball cap, Mortimer not only spent time watching the offense, but walked across the field with Yoshida and took a look at the defense as well.

"It's always nice for the president to come out and show his support,'' Jones said. "He's been great. I know he did the same thing for the previous coaching staff. That's how the university president needs to be.

"It's good for the players. I'm glad he did it because it probably doesn't happen that often when a president comes to a practice. Maybe next time we can get him to say something to the troops.''

Putting on the pads

The next time the Rainbows walk out to Cooke Field, they'll be in full pads.

Jones plans to work the team on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week. There will be some contact, but don't look for any helmet-to-helmet stuff until the spring game.

"We'll be pretty much the same and continue to work on the things we have,'' Jones said of the three practice sessions. "Obviously, we're going to put the pads on, but we'll still be zeroing in on fundamentals.

"We're not going to be into a lot of hitting and a lot of tackling. We'll probably only do that once or twice because of the possibility of injuries. We're very thin and we just want to get a lot of teaching done right now. The more reps you can get, the faster they will learn.''

The players may have a different idea to being in full regalia. And Jones is well aware of that. Even wearing only helmets and pads, the players have already taken a shot at each other a time or two this week.

"Usually, it's hard to control them,'' Jones said. "They'll do it because they have to remember that we want everybody around for the spring and fall camp. We've got some key guys in some key spots hurt where we're thin in, so we have to be careful.''

Remembering Shannon

Senior quarterback Dan Robinson put his helmet down at the feet of his 15-month-old daughter so the initials "SS" were in view.

A little tattered and torn, the tiny sticker that stands for Shannon Smith still means a lot to Robinson and his wife, Jill. They spent last weekend with the Smith family on Kauai. It was the two-year anniversary of Smith's drowning at Slippery Slide.

"We just wanted to go over there and be with them,'' Robinson said. "It was a nice trip. But you can tell Shannon's death has taken a lot out of them.''

The Hawaii place-kicker died saving the life of former UH head coach Fred vonAppen's son, Cody. Robinson was one of many players, who attended the funeral.

"It's not something you forget,'' Robinson said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with their family.''

Paul Arnett, Star-Bulletin

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