Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.

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


Saturday, March 18, 2000

By Ken Ige, Star-Bulletin
University of Hawaii running back Afatia Thompson
takes a handoff yesterday at Cooke Field during day two
of spring practice for the new season.

Contact kept to minimum

June Jones isn't going to require a lot of heavy hitting over the next month of spring football.

The University of Hawaii head coach had thought about putting on the pads next week, but has opted for shells (helmet and shoulder pads), instead.

"We'll probably have two days where we tackle in full pads," Jones said yesterday morning. "And one of those will be the spring game on April 15. I think we'll go in full pads on April 7, but we'll have to see what develops."

Jones has 114 football players at his disposal, but conceded the Rainbows are thin in certain areas. He doesn't want to lose anyone for the fall by getting them hurt in spring practice.

Day 2 of spring was better in some ways than Day 1, but worse in other areas. At this point, the front seven on defense appears to be the strength of the Rainbows. The weaknesses are the inexperience of the quarterbacks and the offensive line.

"We did some things better today, but we're still pretty rough on offense," Jones said. "I like the strength and quickness of our defensive front. We've still got a few question marks in the secondary."

If the Rainbows were going to play tomorrow, the starting defensive backs would likely be Nate Jackson and Dee Miller at safety, and Feiamma Armstrong and Shawndel Tucker at corner. Developing depth in the secondary will be a goal this spring.

Making the switch

Jones shifted several players this spring to not only give them a better shot at contributing right away, but to help with numbers where the Rainbows are thin.

Chief among those moves are Tavis Campbell shifting from cornerback to safety, Bronson Liana going from safety to linebacker and Manly Kanoa switching from right guard to left on the offensive line.

"Jamal Garland is also going to get a good look at wideout," Jones said. "He is really good in the open field as he showed last year in the return game.

"You do these kind of things to help your team get better. Depth is always a problem. If somebody goes down, you need someone else to be able to step in right away."

Play ball

Quarterbacks Shawn Withy-Allen and Kevin Gilbride, and Jackson were given permission by Jones to play baseball this spring.

But Jackson is the only Rainbow on the traveling squad. He will miss this week of spring practice because the Rainbows are at Fresno State this weekend in a key three-game Western Athletic Conference series.

"But because we practice in the morning, I expect Nate to be out here when the team is in town," Jones said. "He has a good understanding of what we're trying to get done, so it shouldn't hurt him to miss a few days."

Injury update

Freshman defensive tackle Keyonta Marshall didn't suffer a sprained ankle as was originally feared. Instead, the UH training staff is calling it a bruised ankle.

It's unclear how many days of practice he will miss, but Jones is hopeful the Michigan product will be back after spring break.

Defensive end Laanui Correa remains sidelined with pneumonia, but should be back next week. Walk-on Chris Riccardi severed a tendon in his right hand with a knife during a kitchen accident and will be out for the spring.

Offensive play of the day

Wideout Channon Harris hauled in a perfect Jared Flint pass between defenders to score one of the few touchdowns by the offense during yesterday's workout.

Harris said he split the defenders on what he called "the switch," then looked up just in time to see Flint's pass land in his hands.

"All of our quarterbacks throw really nice footballs," Harris said. "All I had to do was look that ball into my hands and take off. It was a perfect pass. I'd like to do that as many times as I can this season."

Defensive play of the day

Backup cornerback Keith Bhonapha played a tipped pass to perfection during the seven-on-seven drills.

He snagged the football out of midair, causing his defensive teammates to let out a roar from the sidelines. Those quickly turned to groans, however, as Bhonapha tried to return it. Garland caught him from behind by the jersey.

By Paul Arnett

E-mail to Sports Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin