Injury has Ramos
out after 44 games

The lineman had played in
every Islanders’ contest since
team started

Pregame introductions for the Hawaiian Islanders' contest with the San Diego Riptide tomorrow will be unlike any of those preceding the franchise's previous 44 games.

Riptide at Islanders

When: Tomorrow, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Blaisdell Arena

TV: None

Radio: Live, 1500-AM


Tickets: Lower bowl reserved $25, upper bowl sideline reserved $15, upper bowl end zone (general admission $10, Youth (17 and under) $7, handicapped $10.

Parking: $5

West Division W L T Pct.
Bakersfield 6 4 0 .600
Hawaii 6 4 0 .600
San Diego 4 5 0 .444
Central Valley 1 9 0 .100

This week's games
Central Valley at Bakersfield, 4 p.m.
San Diego at Hawaii, 6:30 p.m.

For the first time since the arenafootball2 team was established in 2002, lineman Andy Ramos will not have his name called when the Islanders take the field at Blaisdell Arena.

Ramos, the only Islander to play in every game in team history, will likely miss the rest of the regular season due to a torn meniscus in his left knee.

"I'm going to miss his face out there and all that he brings to the game," Islanders coach Cal Lee said. "He's been there forever and it's going to be kind of weird with him not there because he's such a wonderful person and great player."

Ramos suffered the injury during the Islanders' 70-42 win over Central Valley at Blaisdell Arena and will have surgery on June 29.

He was placed on the long-term injured-reserve list, and will be out six to eight weeks.

The Islanders activated former Saint Louis and University of Arizona linebacker Joe Siofele to fill Ramos' roster spot for tomorrow's game.

Siofele, who will play on the line, was briefly a member of the Cincinnati Bengals and started attending Islanders practices after being released.

With Ramos out, Kealii Aguiar moves up the depth chart at center/nose tackle, while linemen Sean Souza and James Davis have worked in the middle this week.

Souza was thrust into the role against Central Valley, working with quarterback Darnell Arceneaux on the center-quarterback exchange at halftime.

"They have to have that knack with the quarterback bringing the ball up and blocking," Lee said. "It takes a little bit of practice and we're working hard with the exchange to the quarterback."

Ramos, a Castle graduate, has been a reliable member of a line that has allowed eight sacks this season and had one of the Islanders' 11 sacks.

"You can count on him on offense to do a good job pass protecting and he's been a real force for us defensively with the rush he puts on in the middle," Lee said. "That's going to be a huge loss for us for this game."

The Islanders (6-4) face San Diego for the third time this season and the memory of their record-setting 91-77 loss to the Riptide on May 28 remains fresh.

San Diego quarterback Kane Claunch passed for a Riptide record 379 yards in the highest-scoring game in af2 history. The Islanders responded with their most productive offensive night of the season, but hampered themselves with five second-half turnovers.

"We have to keep the ball away from them; we can't give them too many opportunities," Lee said. "To our credit, offensively we did a great job, we just gave them the ball too many times. It's all about execution and taking care of the ball."

The Islanders snapped a two-game skid with last week's win over Central Valley and are tied with Bakersfield for first place. To maintain their place atop the standings they'll have to get past one of the hottest teams in af2.

The Riptide (4-5) had a bye last week and enter the game riding a three-game winning streak that vaulted them back into contention in the West Division.

San Diego will have a chance to pick up ground on the Islanders this week and again on July 3, when the Islanders travel to San Diego for their fourth and final meeting of the season.

Coming and going: Along with Siofele, the Islanders were also assigned defensive specialist Halakilangi Muagututia this week.

The team picked up Muagututia after he was released by Central Valley last week. He was the Coyotes' second-leading tackler with 27.5 total stops and had one interception.

The Islanders released defensive specialist Desmond Maul.

San Diego acquired lineman Dustin Rykert this week. The 6-foot-7, 330-pounder played his college ball at Brigham Young and was a sixth-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2003.

Short yardage: Former University of Hawaii receiver Dwight Carter has already broken the Riptide's single-season records for receptions (63), yards (853) and tied the mark for receiving touchdowns (14). ... Islanders defensive specialist Eddie Klaneski's surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee has been scheduled for Wednesday. ... Fans with a Geico Direct insurance card receive a 50 percent discount on a general admission ticket at the Blaisdell Arena box office tomorrow.


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