Justine Smethurst, who went on a one-year sabbatical to pitch for Australia’s national team in the 2008 Olympics, apparently will not return to the UH softball team.
Smethurst, who has two year of NCAA eligibility remaining, was scheduled to enroll in school yesterday.
Smethurst was the ace of the staff in 2006 and 2007, when the Rainbow Wahine reached the Super Regionals.
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Former UH DBs Ryan Keomaka and Myron Newberry were selected in the recent United National Gridiron League draft. Ohio took Keomaka; Texas picked Newberry. Here’s the link:
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Gahr High quarterback Corey Nielsen agreed to answer questions from readers. Nielsen made a verbal commitment to play for the Warriors.
1. Although we know no player wants to redshirt, seeing as how the top three quarterback slots are already penciled in, are you OK with that probability? Or do you feel you will be given a legitimate shot at stealing one of those coveted spots?
Corey: I think Greg Alexander did a great job this season. He is the starting QB for Hawai‘i. Coach Mack wants me to come in and compete and let everything unfold on the football field. I will have a chance to show what I am capable of doing in this offense over the summer and fall. Hopefully, my familiarity with the offense and my training will allow me to crack the top 3 on the depth chart. I am not opposed to redshirting.
2. What type of offense did you run at Gahr High, and how does it compare to the current run-and-shoot at Hawai‘i?
Corey: My uncle put in Hawai‘i’s offense my freshman year of high school, with the same terminology and concepts. The only variation we used is when we went ‘no huddle’ and signaled all the plays in from the sideline. When I moved up to varsity my sophomore year, we implemented the same run-and-shoot philosophies. I have been in the run-and-shoot system my whole football life. Hawai‘i is where I always wanted to play, not only because I love the state but because I ran the run-and-shoot my whole career. There really was no other college I wanted to go. That is why when Hawai‘i offered a scholarship, it was an easy choice to make.
3, What is your 40 time?
Corey: According to my uncle, who is a Canadian Football League scout, I am between a 4.6 and a 4.7. I am strength training now, so I won’t start my speed training for a few months.
4. How tall are you?
5. How do you feel you did in adjusting to the speed of the game during the Hawai‘i-Mainland all-star game?
Corey: The speed of the game was much quicker than in high school. All the players on our team and the Mainland team brought a Division I feel to the game and practices. It took me a couple of practices to adjust to the speed. Once I got into the flow, it was playing football all over again. During the game, it was hard for any of the QBs to get into a rhythm because we were switching out every series. Once I settled down, I felt comfortable. That’s when we went down and scored our only points of the game.
6. Did you see the offensive struggles of 2008 as a motivation to come to UH better than you have ever been to take hold of our run-and-shoot or did you see this as more of a challenge to overcome as you have seen players struggle to work together as a unit to make the offense successful?
Corey: I knew it would be a great opportunity for me to come in and help the Hawai‘i program. The run-and-shoot offense is based on the QB’s understanding of the offense and his ability to get the ball off on time. That is definitely my strength. I feel very comfortable with the Hawai‘i run-and-shoot offense.
7. What are your life’s ambitions and goals?
Corey: I don’t really have a career goal in mind. I just want to come to Hawai‘i with an open mind and meet as many people as I can. I am sure I will find a career path once I get there. I have been fortunate enough to meet a lot of sports and entertainment celebrities growing up. My uncle has taken me with him and allowed me to share in that experience. He always tells me it’s not who you know, it’s whom you know. I plan on taking full advantage of my time in Hawai‘i.