Inspired LaBoy
plays through pain

The dominating UH defensive
lineman has dedicated the
season to an ailing friend

Travis LaBoy doesn't need an alarm clock. He has Greg Sinigiani.

"I use him as motivation when I don't feel like getting up," said LaBoy, who must rise early for Hawaii football practices that begin at 7 a.m. "Those who are less fortunate than you, you just got to remember them."

Sinigiani, LaBoy's childhood friend, is recovering from a near-fatal accident that put him in a coma last month.

"He ended up losing a lot of blood and went into shock. He was in a coma a week and a half," LaBoy said. "I don't want to talk too much about his accident. But he's out of the coma now, doing better now, day by day."

LaBoy and Sinigiani grew up together and were track and field and basketball teammates at Marin Catholic High School in California.

"He's my inspiration for this season. He's pretty much like my third brother," LaBoy said. "We were best friends throughout high school, middle school, elementary school."

LaBoy might be the Warriors' most physically gifted athlete. He has the strength, speed, quickness, agility and size (6-foot-4, 249 pounds) to play in the NFL; scouts inquire about him more and more as the draft nears.

The biggest questions about him before this season had to do with injuries -- LaBoy missed numerous practices and four games in 2001 and 2002 because of various ailments.

He's answered the questions this fall by participating in every practice since recovering from a painful groin injury in early September before UH's second game of the season.

LaBoy has started eight of nine games this season after doing so in only 10 of 21 before this year.

His newfound consistency is overshadowed only by his spectacular play. LaBoy is eighth nationally in sacks with nine in nine games, and he leads the Western Athletic Conference with 1.56 tackles-for-loss per outing.

He admits the Warriors (6-3, 5-1 WAC) need to improve against the run to win at Nevada (5-5, 3-3) on Saturday.

"Our first concern is always the run. We struggle against the run," LaBoy said. "The last time we played at Nevada (a 28-20 loss in 2001) that was our big problem."

LaBoy said he's accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl, where scouts can get a closer look at him.

He's also been invited to the Hula Bowl, but is waiting to hear from the East-West Shrine Game officials. LaBoy can only hope that with some luck, maybe Sinigiani will be out of the hospital and can make it to that one, which is played in San Francisco.

Defensive line coach Vantz Singletary said that would be more important to LaBoy than the presence of scouts.

"Travis is not a money guy. Most people are inspired by a signing bonus," Singletary said. "He's different. If somebody's down, he'll do it for him. He's ignited by those type of things."


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