Archive for December, 2009

The decade that was

December 26th, 2009
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I hope everyone is enjoying a happy holiday season. I’ll be taking a few days off, but will be thinking about the biggest local sports stories of the years 2000 through 2009, and I’d like your input. There sure is a lot to choose from, ranging from UH football to local golf phenoms Michelle Wie and Tadd Fujikawa to historic happenings in Hawaii high school sports to MMA and BJ Penn. There were plenty of great achievements by teams and individuals from here.

Tell me your favorites and why. It truly was a monumental decade.

–By Dave Reardon

That’s how you run and shoot

December 25th, 2009
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Several UH fans have commented to me in the hours since the Hawaii Bowl that they’re glad the Warriors didn’t get to play SMU … because they would’ve been smashed by the Mustangs, who dominated Nevada 45-10.

I think I agree. Unless Hawaii would’ve forced some turnovers, the Mustangs would’ve handled the Warriors on a day when June Jones’ team fired on all cylinders — offensively and defensively.

Most of SMU’s two-deep are freshmen and sophomores, and a blowout bowl game win will help solidify another strong recruiting class. Translation: SMU should be a Conference USA championship contender in the coming seasons, maybe as soon as next year.

–By Dave Reardon

Manley to NMSU, Blaze signs with agent

December 21st, 2009
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Leilehua quarterback Andrew Manley told me today he has committed to New Mexico State.

Manley led the Mules to state championships as a sophomore and the final again as a junior.

Hawaii had been among the schools that offered him a scholarship. But the offer became a grayshirt offer when UH got a commitment from Kevin Spain of Paradise Valley High in Arizona.

He said New Mexico State is his only offer.

“I’m not disappointed. I understand how college football recruiting works. They do what they have to do,” Manley told me today. “I feel very fortunate to have a scholarship to play college football at New Mexico State.”

He also said there’s a benefit to going to a WAC school.

“I get to come home every other year to play at Aloha Stadium in front of friends and family,” he said. “That is a great bonus.”

I think UH missed the boat on Manley and should’ve given him a full ride, no questions asked. At 6-feet-3 and 220 pounds, he is plenty big and has a big arm. His footwork is extremely underrated. This may come back to haunt the Warriors, especially with NMSU being in the same conference.

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UH linebacker Blaze Soares has signed with the MAG agency. Wynn Silberman is his agent. Silberman also represents Jake Ingram and Solomon Elimimian.

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–By Dave Reardon

Bonus likely for Shoji

December 20th, 2009
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Hawaii athletic director Jim Donovan said he plans to award volleyball coach Dave Shoji with a financial bonus for leading Hawaii to the final four and winning his second national coach of the year honor. Shoji also attained 1,000 wins during the season.

The amount of the bonus is unspecified, and must be approved by the Board of Regents when it meets in February.

Shoji certainly deserves a bonus. Volleyball turns a profit every year and leads the nation in attendance.

–By Dave Reardon

Shoji is national coach of the year

December 17th, 2009
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Dave Shoji was just announced as national Division I coach of the year at the AVCA awards luncheon here in Tampa.

MC Dr. Cecile Reynaud of the AVCA Board of Directors asked Shoji to put in a bid to host the NCAA championships, to plenty of applause. Jim Donovan was in the audience, so maybe he took note.

Hawaii has hosted the NCAAs before, but might be hard to get the final four again, considering it can’t even get the first two rounds of a regional.

–By Dave Reardon