A different arena:
Ex-’Bow is back

Former UH receiver Dwight Carter faces
the arenafootball2 Islanders tomorrow

Dwight Carter is upset about some of the changes in the Hawaii football team's appearance since his playing days.

Not that the former UH receiver finds the Warriors' new look distasteful. He just wishes it had come sooner.


Who: San Diego Riptide at Hawaiian Islanders

Where: Blaisdell Arena

When: 7:30 p.m. tomorrow

"I'm mad we didn't have the uniforms they've got now," Carter said. "I have to try to get one of those helmets. ... We had the black helmets, but we didn't have the 'H' on there. That 'H' is sweet."

Carter is back in town this weekend as a member of the San Diego Riptide arenafootball2 team. The Riptide takes on the Hawaiian Islanders at Blaisdell Arena tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.

The Islanders and Riptide are tied with Wichita for the lead in the National West Division at 2-1. Tomorrow's game will be the first of three meetings between the Islanders and Riptide. The next two will be played in San Diego.

Carter played his first game for the Riptide last week and caught a 12-yard touchdown pass against Arkansas. Although he'll be on the visitors' sideline this time, he is looking forward to playing in front of the Hawaii fans again.

"As long as they cheer before the game, they can boo me during the game," Carter said.

Former UH defensive back Quincy LeJay is also on the San Diego roster, but is nursing a strained quadriceps and didn't make the trip.

"It's a total bummer," LeJay said earlier this week. "I was supposed to be starting against some of the guys I played with in college and I get hurt last week. It's real disappointing."

LeJay and Carter were seniors at UH during the team's turnaround season in 1999, when the Warriors went 9-4 and won a share of the Western Athletic Conference championship after going 0-12 the prior campaign.

"We were the start of a new beginning," LeJay said. "That's something special, when you go into a losing program and turn it around. ... It means a lot to me and it's a moment I'm going to cherish."

LeJay briefly held an NCAA record by returning three interceptions for touchdowns in 1999. He finished the year with seven picks.

Carter rewrote UH's receiving record book with 77 catches for 1,253 yards and nine touchdowns that year. The wideout played on the San Francisco 49ers practice squad as a rookie and spent a season in NFL Europe with the Rhein Fire. He returned to the 49ers the next season but didn't make the cut.

"I'd like to get back (to the NFL), that'd be cool, but I'd be fine with arena-1 now," Carter said. "They've got an NBC contract, they're getting paid, too. So I'm not even trippin'. Either way, I'd be fine."

This is also a comeback season for LeJay. He played in the AFL with the Georgia Force and Nashville Cats after leaving UH. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee playing for the Cats in 2001 and is working his way back with the Riptide.

"This season is to say that I'm back so I can get another shot at arena-1 or the NFL," LeJay said.

"The arena game has opened up a lot of doors for a lot of people who thought the dream was over. The arena game has definitely kept the dream alive."

This season also marks a reunion for LeJay and Carter, who played together at Mt. San Antonio College before transferring to UH together.

"It's become a package deal now," Carter said. "Wherever one goes the other one is going to be there. It's like in our contract or something."

LeJay leads af2 in tackles with 22.5 per game, while Carter is getting used to playing defense.

The arena league requires players to play both sides of the ball, so Carter is making tackles for the first time since high school. He's proved to be a quick study, as he recorded his first interception last week.

"I'm a receiver. If they throw the ball anywhere near me and I see it, it's going to get picked," he said. "(Defense) is still awkward for me because I have to look at everything backward, but I'm getting used to it."

Carter and LeJay said they still follow the fortunes of the UH football team and enjoy keeping their current teammates updated on how the Warriors are doing.

"I talk bad to everybody and tell them how Hawaii would have beat everybody's teams," Carter said. "We're good now, so I can say that."

In addition to LeJay and Carter, several other players with Hawaii ties dot af2 rosters this season.

Former UH quarterback Jared Flint played for the Islanders last season and is with Wichita this year.

Saint Louis graduate Randyn Akiona, who played his college ball at Montana, is a receiver with the Macon Knights and has five catches for 33 yards.

Kicker Stefan Schroffner (Punahou and Notre Dame) is on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers roster.

Former UH offensive coordinator Wally English was the head coach of the Louisville Fire (1-2), but was fired last week.

A few other names around the league will be familiar to Hawaii football fans. San Diego quarterback Wesley Phillips played for UTEP two years ago and former BYU signal caller Charlie Peterson plays for Peoria.

Former Rice safety Dan Dawson now competes for Wichita. In two games against UH, Dawson intercepted four passes and returned one for a touchdown. The Islanders play at Wichita next week.

Hawaiian Islanders

E-mail to Sports Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --