Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, August 16, 1999

R A I N B O W _ F O O T B A L L

Football ’Bows
take ‘a step back,’
Jones says

While UH's head football coach
is pleased with where his team stands,
he is not happy with yesterday's
mental mistakes

By Paul Arnett


Perhaps announcing the top three teams on both sides of the football put a little too much pressure on the Hawaii team.

Maybe donning the full regalia for the first time in fall camp left the Rainbows a little dazed and confused. Whatever the reason: Hawaii wasn't as sharp yesterday afternoon at Cooke Field as first-year coach June Jones hoped.

"We weren't as sharp today mentally as I would have liked," Jones said. "We made more mental errors on offense than we made Saturday. We took a step back.

"Right now, I'm pleased at where we're at. We're about where I expected us to be. Putting on the pads today doesn't really change anything. We don't want to have a lot of contact ever in practice."

Taking a similar approach to former head coach Fred vonAppen's, Jones doesn't want to lose a player to injury during drills.

"If somebody is going to go down, we want it to happen in the games," Jones said. "We just don't have enough depth. So, our contact will always be limited. I had to remind a couple of guys of that."

The defense got the better of the offense through most of yesterday's workout. If Hawaii were playing 19th-ranked USC tomorrow, the starting line would be right defensive end Joe Correia, right tackle Doug Sims, left tackle Lui Fuga and left end Mike Iosua.

The middle linebacker is Jeff Ulbrich, with Yaphet Warren to his right and Anthony Smith to his left. The left corner is Quincy LeJay, the two safeties are Dee Miller and Phil Austin, and the right corner is Shawndel Tucker.

The top offensive tackles are Adrian Klemm and Kaulana Noa, the guards are Andy Phillips and Manly Kanoa, and the center is Dustin Owen. Dan Robinson is the first-string quarterback, but the running backs and receivers appear to be interchangeable.

Dwight Carter has nailed down one spot with Davey deLaura, Craig Stutzmann, Ricky Lumford, Ryan Gray and Sean Butts receiving plenty of repetitions as well.

The top newcomers at wideout are speedy Justin Colbert, Channon Harris, Scott Sims and Clifton Herbert. The running backs receiving the most repetitions are Avion Weaver, Afatia Thompson and Robert Grant.

The number two quarterback is freshman Mike Harrison, with senior Josh Skinner currently No. 3 under center.

"We needed to get some guys in place, but it's still pretty fluid at some spots," Jones said. "Ideally, we need 12 wide receivers up and ready to play.

"Attrice (Brooks) is seeing some time at receiver, but he's a little bit behind right now. Once he learns the plays better, he'll get his opportunities, believe me. He could be the most physically gifted receiver I've ever had."

Defensive tackle Tony Tuioti has seen limited playing time this fall camp because of his aching back, but he should be close to full speed by the season opener. Once he's up, he is likely to start in place of Doug Sims.



Players, coaches feel better
about improved practice field

It may not be the best facility in America, but it's a whole lot better than the day former defensive coordinator Don Lindsey called the Hawaii grass practice fields, "A travesty to Division I football."

Thanks to some tender, loving care in the off-season, and a little overseeing by NFL grounds guru George Toma, the practice fields are in the best shape this decade.

"The players love it, especially the old ones," UH campus coordinator Kyle Tengan said yesterday before practice. "We reseeded both fields with Bermuda grass, so it's a lot softer than it was."

Tengan said they began to tend the field in earnest last February. Toma gave UH some ideas and a local company -- RMY Construction -- donated a man, two machines and the fertilizer to help get the fields in better shape.

"They came down here four times a week," Tengan said. "We really owe them a lot. We'll do some more after the football and soccer seasons are done."

UH head coach June Jones is pleased with the work so far. He believes a softer field will cut down on injuries encountered the past few seasons, including shoulder separations, and abrasions and contusions.

"They've done a really good job in a short amount of time," Jones said. "We'll continue to make some improvements during the off-season. Our guys love it."

Footing still remains a problem in some areas. The fear there is ankle and knee injuries could occur if a player plants his foot and then slips down.

Taking a dip

After a spiffy two-minute drill that featured each of the three offensive units moving 80 yards down the field, Jones called everyone into an impromptu huddle and said, "How about we go cool off in the swimming pool?"

He didn't have to say it twice as the players left the grass fields en masse. They hadn't moved that quickly as a unit all fall camp.

"I thought we needed to take a break," Jones said. "So, everybody went to the pool to enjoy themselves. It worked out well."

Some players confided that they couldn't swim. They were urged by their teammates to stay in the shallow end of the pool because no lifeguards were on duty.

"I think we needed a little time out," senior quarterback Dan Robinson said. "Things are going pretty well right now. But it's always fun to go swimming in a pool."

Injury update

Everyone was fit for duty during yesterday's first workout in full pads. Defensive tackle Tony Tuioti isn't seeing as much playing time as he would like, but his back still needs time to heal.

He had a ruptured disc repaired earlier this year. The senior lineman had hoped to be at full speed by fall camp, but he is still experiencing a little tightness.

The UH medical staff is limiting his contact. Everyone else is fit for duty.

Closed practice

Hawaii's first practice this Wednesday evening at Aloha Stadium will be closed.

"We're going to do pretty much what we've done in practice so far, but give the new guys a feel for what Aloha Stadium is like," Jones said. "I also want to see what the new surface is like."

The Rainbows will still have a practice Wednesday morning at Cooke Field.

Best offesnive play

Near the end of yesterday's practice, a scrambling Josh Skinner moved out of the pocket and fired a nice pass toward the left corner of the end zone. Cornerback Clyde Lewis appeared to have good coverage on newcomer Channon Harris, but at the last moment, the wideout made a nice adjustment and cut in front of Lewis to catch the ball for a touchdown.

Best defensive play

Left cornerback Quincy LeJay went down to the ground and scooped up a tipped pass for one of the better interceptions of fall camp. On the play, senior quarterback Dan Robinson tried to hit wideout Craig Stutzmann on a quick slant, but the pass bounced off Stutzmann's hands and into the waiting arms of LeJay.

Weather report

The natural tradewind flow cooled things down during yesterday's single workout in full pads. At times, the Manoa mist swept across the field to keep the 50 or so folks in attendance cool, calm and collected.

By Paul Arnett, Star-Bulletin
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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