The men’s volleyball past and present meet when a combination USA/Hawaii team practice this week at UH in preparation for the 24th Asian Pacific Cup. The four-team event will be June 15-17 in Fukuoka, Japan.
UH head coach Charlie Wade and assistant Vernon Podlewski will be coaching the USA/Hawaii team. Among the former Warriors on the roster are outside hitters Joshua Walker and Tony Ching, setter Brian Beckwith and middle blocker Mauli‘a LaBarre. UH middle blocker Nick West and outside hitter Scott Hartley also will play for USA/Hawaii.
The event reaffirms ties between Hawaii and Asia (Don Takaki helped orchestrate Hawaii’s involvement), provides an audition in front of pro scouts in Asia, and gives West and Hartley additional competition.
Japan’s national university team, Thailand’s senior national team and China’s junior national team also will be competing.
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First things first:
“I had the best sandwich I’ve had in a long time,” former UH linebacker Corey Paredes said.
Across the street from the hotel where he is staying while participating in the Minnesota Vikings’ OTAs, there is the Potbelly Sandwich Shop. His favorite is “A Wreck,” which includes salami, roast beef, turkey, ham and Swiss cheese.
“It’s really good,” Paredes said.
Paredes is among 90 players participating in OTAs, which run for another two weeks. After that, there is a one-week minicamp.
Paredes and former UH linebacker Solomon Elimimian are both competing at strong-side linebacker. They rotate between the third and fourth teams. Paredes also is a wing on punts and an end on punt returns. There is no posted depth chart.
“I’m having fun,” Paredes said. “The Vikings are a good organization.”
Paredes said the players stay in a hotel where every unit is a suite. Paredes and his roommate each has his own room; they share a bathroom and kitchen.
“They take care of us over here,” Paredes said. “It’s a first-class program.”
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There are about 50 football Warriors participating in the offseason conditioning program in Hawaii. The rest are training on the Mainland and in Australia. The entire team will be in town beginning July 1 — a full month ahead of the start of training camp.
For those in Hawaii, there are various training programs, including one specifically designed for the quarterbacks. The off-island players are given training programs.
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It’s never too early to start preparing for the NFL fantasy football draft. An interesting site is profootballfocus.com. It’s worth viewing just for the Tamme Index and to learn that former Warrior running back Alex Green is worth a “speculative add.” The premium section has such stats as the percentage of a team’s snaps each player was on the field.
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Happy birthday to Protector and Jack Flash.
And birthday wishes to Rich2176.