[ UH FOOTBALL ]
sitting it out
Hawaii defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga didn't suit up for yesterday's morning session to rest a strained back muscle.
The Outland Trophy candidate's status is listed as day-to-day. He was also held out of one-on-one drills on Monday.
"It's the same thing he had last year," UH coach June Jones said. "We just have to monitor it and let him do what he can do in practice and we'll go from there. He'll line up and play in the first game (Aug. 30 against Appalachian State)."
Sopoaga played in all 14 games last season and led the UH linemen with 72 tackles.
Sophomore Abu Ma'afala took part in more repetitions with Sopoaga sidelined. Defensive line coach Vantz Singletary also praised the play of senior Kealii Aguiar.
"He might be my third best tackle right now," Singletary said. "He's stepping up and making the offensive line work."
The Warriors are also loosening the reins on defensive end Travis LaBoy, giving him opportunities to roam the defensive front and find a weak spot in the protection. LaBoy had 17 tackles for losses last year.
"He's a natural, an athlete," Singletary said. "He's got a great feel for the game, so there will be many situations where we'll let him make his own reads and stunts."
Catch of the day: The defense dominated the action for much of yesterday's practice, but freshman receiver Ross Dickerson earned some redemption for the offense with a spectacular leaping grab of a throw from Tim Chang during seven-on-seven drills.
Dickerson out-jumped freshman cornerback Ray Bass to make the snag, then juked Lamar Broadway on his way to the end zone.
On the sidelines: Among yesterday's visitors was new Saint Louis School coach Darnell Arceneaux. The former Crusader and Utah quarterback kept a close eye on the Warriors practice as he embarks on his first season as a head coach.
"You've gotta learn from the best and these guys are on it," Arceneaux said. "You look at the offense and you have Ron Lee, Dan Morrison, June Jones and Coach Cav (Mike Cavanaugh), and the great thing is they're all great coaches and they can all click together."
Na Koa kickoff: Na Koa will hold its Kickoff Celebration tomorrow at the Stan Sheriff Center. Tickets are $100 per person. The event begins at 6 p.m. and will include food from prominent local chefs, a silent auction and live entertainment.
Each person purchasing a ticket to the celebration will also receive two tickets to the Warriors' season-opener against Appalachian State on Aug. 30.
Tickets can be purchased at the Sheriff Center ticket office, by calling 944-2697 or online at www.etickethawaii.com.
Twice the fun: The Warriors have two-a-days through Saturday before taking a day off on Sunday. The morning sessions start at 8:30 a.m. with the afternoon workouts starting at 3:30 p.m. The afternoon sessions tomorrow and Saturday -- which are only walk-through strategy sessions to be in line with NCAA rules prohibiting back-to-back double-days -- are closed.
Star-Bulletin reporter Dave Reardon contributed to this report.
The following UH football players, including three projected starters, are currently dealing with injuries:
|WR Denny Flanagan
|DT Lui Fuga
|WR Clifton Herbert
|WR Daniel Inferrera
|KS Nolan Miranda
|OL Uriah Moenoa
|DB Kenny Patton
|WR Nick Pierson
|OL Samson Satele
|DT Isaac Sopoaga
|WR Gerald Welch