Sports Notebook


Quarterback Wasserman
to choose a school soon

By Dave Reardon

Zac Wasserman, the former Parade All-American high school quarterback, said he will decide between Hawaii or San Jose State in "probably about a week or two."

Wasserman, who was a freshman at Penn State two years ago, transferred closer to home to Los Angeles Valley Community College after the death of his mother.

If he successfully completes a 27-unit course load this spring, Wasserman earns an associate's degree and qualifies to play for an NCAA Division I school again this fall, as a sophomore in eligibility.

"It's a lot of work, but I'm doing it," Wasserman said. "I think it's the best I've done in school in my life."

Although Hawaii went 9-3 last year and San Jose State went 3-9, Wasserman said he sees positives about both programs.

"Hawaii has a great team with a lot of talent coming back. They have a chance to be excellent," he said. "Then again, San Jose State had a great recruiting class, the coaches got the kids they need. That's also a factor for San Jose State, it might be fun to be part of something that has a chance to really improve."

Both teams return starting quarterbacks: Tim Chang for the Warriors and Marcus Arroyo for the Spartans.

Shawn Withy-Allen, Jeff Rhode and Jason Whieldon are competing for the No. 2 spot at UH while Chang recovers from wrist surgery. Freshman Ryan Stickler arrives in August.

Wasserman said he doesn't mind competition.

"I'm down to the point where I'll just be happy to play football again. At the JC level, you still have good athletes, it's just not as fast-paced," he said.

Wasserman, who visited UH in early March, was also on Maui two weeks ago during spring break to visit his uncle, David Hawley, who lives there.

Pisa hurt: Outside linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa missed practice yesterday with a sprained left ankle, but expects to be back by Thursday. He suffered the injury while lifting weights last Friday.

"I was doing some leg work and jumped up and landed the wrong way," Tinoisamoa said. "At first, I thought it was really bad. I didn't think I could finish spring (practice). But I got some really good shiatsu treatment and it's much better."

Ala impressive: In his first two seasons, Houston Ala was the utility man of the defensive line, shuttling often between end and tackle. Now a junior, Ala may have found a home at end. He's been one of the most impressive players in spring camp.

Although Travis Laboy and La'anui Correa are solid returning starters, the coaches will find ways to get Ala on the field this fall.

"He's gotten so much stronger. He's becoming what we thought he would coming out of Kamehameha," coach June Jones said. "He's very intense and he's got a motor that's non-stop. He's really worked hard with (strength coach) Mel (deLaura) in the weight room and it's showing now. He's going to be a force."

The 6-foot-1, 251-pound Ala attributes hard work for his 33-pound weight gain that doesn't seem to include any fat.

"I'm just doing what I gotta do," he said. "There's no secret. If you want to get on the field, you got to put in the time. If you want to get on the depth chart, you've got to do all the little things to improve."

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