High school all-stars get together


POSTED: Friday, December 12, 2008

Kaimuki senior Trendt Marsom is going country.

Marsom is no country singer, though. The safety/wide receiver verbally committed to Wyoming yesterday, giving the Cowboys their first local recruit in decades.

“;I don't think they've had a Hawaii guy since the 1970s,”; former Kaimuki coach Darren Johnson said, referring to Kahuku alumnus Paul Nunu, an All-WAC linebacker for Wyoming in 1976.

The new coaching staff at Wyoming includes former New Mexico State assistant Mike Fonoga. Two years ago, Fonoga was instrumental in recruiting several local prospects to the Aggies campus.

“;I'm not surprised. He has a good track record of graduating the kids,”; Johnson said.

Marsom was a key defender in the secondary for Kaimuki, which reached the playoffs on its return to the OIA Red Conference. He also had seven receptions for 93 yards in part-time duty at receiver.

Marsom turned down offers from BYU, UNLV and Utah, Johnson said.


Owls get their kicks

If there were a Top 10 poll in boys soccer, the Mid-Pacific Owls might be at the very top. With two wins over two ILH powerhouses, the Owls could be the best Division II squad in the state.

Mid-Pacific edged 'Iolani in the semifinals of Hawaii Prep's Ka Makani Classic two weeks ago, then lost to Punahou in the final 2-1 on penalty kicks.

On Wednesday, MPI stunned Punahou 5-1 behind the remarkable scoring prowess of Cody Sullivan. The junior midfielder scored four goals in the win. He also had both goals in the win over 'Iolani.

Though it was the first win over Punahou that coach Mark Miranda can recall, he cautioned against too much optimism. Pac-Five has an ILH win over the Owls, but the promise is certainly there.

“;We look like we can actually contend,”; Miranda said.


Teaching at the U

A familiar face popped up during practice sessions for the Mainland squad at Aloha Stadium this week.

Ana Tuiasosopo, whose son plays at New Mexico State, has been involved with Football University for four years.

“;I get to work with the top kids in the nation,”; he said. “;My role is to talk to them about the experience of being in college. It's a big change from what they're used to.”;

Across the field, Hawaii/Polynesia team member Manti Te'o simmered and stewed.

“;Hey, that's Coach Ana. What's he doing over there?”; he said. “;He's a traitor!”;

Te'o was joking.

Mainland coach Bill Renner, with two decades of coaching experience, doesn't see the no-blitz rule common in all-star games as a negative.

“;If they get a good read, (linebackers and defensive backs) won't need to blitz anyway,”; he said.

Chemistry up front, he added, is another factor.

“;For the offensive line, it's hard to pick up everything in just four to five days,”; Renner said.

Fastbreak football is the way of the future, he said.

“;As you saw when June Jones was here, it's hard to stop four or five playmakers on offense. It's impossible. Now, you don't win championships because of defense. Teams win now because of offense,”; Renner said, referring to this year's NCAA BSC championship finalists.

“;In high school and college, the skill level has taken off. You know you have to score 40 points to win.”;

Another “;teacher”; at Football U. is former Falcons receiver Andre Rison, who prospered as a slotback in the run-and-shoot. His position coach, of course, was Jones.

“;I played five or six years for him and I consider him a friend and a great coach,”; said Rison, who worked with receivers at the Mainland team's workout. “;I owe him a lot for what he did. Being in that system, you've got to be smart. A slot's got to know the defensive coverages, blitzes, dogs.”;

The new generation has advantages in terms of exposure, but lacks some old-school values.

“;I think they're lazy in the sense that when we grew up, we didn't have anything. Now, in an instant, a kid can be seen anytime,”; said Rison, who has coached high school players in Flint, Mich., and semi-pro and CFL players. He turned down a chance to coach with the Kansas City Chiefs, he added, to assist longtime friend and coach Courtney Hawkins.

“;I love coaching kids. I've always been coaching, in a sense, even when I was a player.”;







        Former Kaimuki football coach Darren Johnson was misidentified as Paul Johnson in the photo caption on the original version of this page.