Spring is in the air

Because of hiring policies, spring break and other factors, the Warriors become one of the last schools to open spring training with today’s first of 15 practices. This could be a good thing. The five new hires were able to get acclimated; injured players had more time to heal.

Every year there’s a QB battle. And with Aaron Zwahlen joining in late May, the Warriors probably will wait until training camp to announce an opening-day starter. But here are some positions to watch:

> Center: Kody Afusia has graduated. John Wa‘a is one of the top contenders for the position. Wa‘a has the tools — strength, high football IQ, toughness. There are 15 practices to see how it goes.

> Nose tackle: Kennedy Tulimasealii isn’t a prototypical nose. But neither was Moses Samia, and he did a terrific job when he played in the middle. Tulimasealli is naturally strong and quick. He’s added weight since joining two years ago, and he became a vocal leader during offseason conditioning drills. Penitito Faalologo reminds people of a raw Lance Samuseva.

> Corners: Tom Mason’s defense relies heavily on good cover defenders who can occasionally blitz. Ne’Quan Phillips, Nick Nelson, Gaetano DeMattei and Jalen Rogers are corners who have cross-trained as nickels. The more tacklers in the backfield, the better.


  1. Stephen Tsai April 4, 2015 8:58 am

    Re: Quarterbacks
    Ikaika Woolsey isn’t the starter. There is no starter.
    Based on seniority, past contributions, etc., Woolsey gets the first rep in practices. The order is supposed to go: Woolsey, Reilly, Wittek. But I’m sure they’ll move it around. This is spring. Everybody is getting equal work.

  2. Stephen Tsai April 4, 2015 8:59 am

    Re: Ursua
    Last year, I heard he had not met the NCAA qualifications.
    Not sure what he needs to do or if there is a timetable for doing it. But he has not been mentioned as one of the available returning mission players.

  3. Stephen Tsai April 4, 2015 9:03 am

    Re: Medical hardships.
    A player on medical hardship if, in good standing, remains on scholarship. Several examples include Jordan Loeffler, Chauncy Winchester-Makainai, Aofaga Wily …
    A medical hardship does free up a scholarship toward the overall limit of 85, but not the initials (25 per year). Many cases, a walk-on is awarded that scholarship.

  4. Stephen Tsai April 4, 2015 9:06 am

    In most cases, it appears the medical hardship guys do earn degrees.
    It’s tough to leave a sport. But it also means earning a degree without student loans, and the ability to walk without pain when you’re 40.

  5. tom April 4, 2015 9:08 am


    Spring pratice! Also Spring Cleanup with the UH Volleyball team and Tsaikos down at the Athletic Office and SSA. No experience needed. Spend a couple of hours or so helping before heading to the practice field!

  6. Stephen Tsai April 4, 2015 9:11 am

    Now medical retirements are hidden costs. The athletic department is paying for a player who is not playing.
    But you know what? That’s tough sheep.
    It’s honorable and a good-faith effort to continue to support players who were injured playing for the school. At the least, the school owes them an education. It’s good that the school and football coaches honor that commitment. And, like I said, most of the medical retirees do end up with degrees.

  7. H-man April 4, 2015 9:25 am

    I am sure Kiha Sai wishes he could continue playing, but cannot ignore injuries. Good luck to him and “Graduate!” As for returning players, I am anxious to see how much the interior defensive linemen have improved, especially Kennedy . I am curious about Ka’au Gifford.

  8. warriorsanddolphins April 4, 2015 9:36 am

    What is the status of the JC Nose tackle we suppose to be recruting? There must be over a thousand defensive linemen that were seniors in high school or played their last year of juco last year. Dont tell me we cant even find one more guy for our team.

  9. clyde April 4, 2015 9:41 am

    Re: Ursua. Thanks, Stephen. Too bad, thought the kid had a lot of potential dating to when he was a freshman on the Big Island.

  10. bouncingball April 4, 2015 9:45 am

    Let’s be clear and honest here. There is no QB battle – of the 3 QBs listed, there is only ONE with the potential of being a Div.1 starter at our level and that’s the guy who couldn’t cut it at USC. If he can’t cut it here (and there’s already precedence that he may not – Schroeder and Graham), look for another long, losing season with any passes beyond 15 yards an iffy proposition. When one of the worst Div.1 QBs from last year is still in the running for a starter this year, it’s not a good sign.

  11. letsgowarriors April 4, 2015 9:57 am

    so DonYeh Patterson left too? lol nice 2014 WR class Chow. Josey and Patterson GONE.

  12. Inyoface April 4, 2015 10:20 am

    Reilly still has a shot I think.

  13. Tempmanoa April 4, 2015 10:43 am

    Bouncing Ball #10, you are mistaken about Schroeder not cutting it. He had an outstanding season in the 11 games he played in. He was ranked 4th in the Conference. Completion rate of 62%, 8 yards per attempt, 2.6 TD’s per game. His accuracy and productivity went up as the season went on, and in his last 4 games, he had a completion percentage of 67.4%, a 158 Rating, and averaged 8.3 yards per attempt. With a new QB coach, I believe Wittek or whoever our starter is should come close to the same level and even match Schroeder if we throw enough.

  14. bouncingball April 4, 2015 10:51 am

    Why is Kennedy being looked at for nose tackle? Wasn’t he being “strong and quick” the perfect formula for him being the next great defensive end? I would argue a good defensive end is far more valuable than a nose tackle so does that mean he’s not good enough to be a Div.1 defensive end? So, UH has no good defensive ends and no good nose tackles?

  15. bouncingball April 4, 2015 10:57 am

    #13, you miss the most important stat – wins. Schroeder’s numbers were inflated because UH was behind by so much in most games he played and Chow had to chuck his “balanced” attack and fling the ball to try to come back against prevent defenses. Meaningless gaudy numbers, but when it really counted at the end, Schroeder didn’t deliver a single comeback victory with completions when it mattered. You may call that an “outstanding season” but I don’t.

  16. Tanman April 4, 2015 10:58 am

    Wish list:
    1) One more QB, good one who can withstand pass rush and pass accurately, beside Zwhalen, who’s joining in May. Extremely improved Woolsey and Reilly to go with Wittek. Get someone like Russell Wilson, who can pass accurately on the run… Of course, we probably won’t be able to get someone like him but if someone who can make that kind of escape and passes half the time… I’ll be happy!
    2) One more good DL, who can stop the run and pass rush. Pass rush was non-existence in many big games these past few years.
    3) Secondary who can run, cover, and tackle well. We need to be able to stop those streaking TE in the middle the speedy WR running next to the sidelines.
    4) OL providing good protection for QB and open up holes for RB without injuring themselves.
    5) WR who have speed and can catch the ball OR who can catch the ball and have speed.
    6) TE who can block and sneak down field to catch the ball.
    7) RB who understands the blocking scheme.
    8) Speedy Def players who can run and tackle well!! Well, tackle and finish up the play!!! Not tackle and let go or tackle and let the opponents get away.
    9) Good play callings on Off, Def, and Sp. Team with improved time management.
    10) Kicker who can make those field goals…
    11) Exciting and effective punt and kickoff returners.
    12) Reduce the number of injuries.

    Need good conditioning, need good practices, need good coaching, no stupid penalties to stop ourselves…

    Go Warriors! Go Rainbows!!

  17. kev-1 April 4, 2015 11:02 am

    So who else is extremely disappointed that UH held a scholarship for a mission kid, Ursua, and he doesn’t even meet NCAA requirements?

    What’s up with that?

  18. Da Punchbowl Kid April 4, 2015 11:02 am

    Good Morning Gangeez! 😉

    Exciting time of year. Hope springs eternal. Lots of great talent to work with.


  19. kev-1 April 4, 2015 11:04 am

    And I also don’the understand the logic of taking your best DE, a beast of a DE, and making him a NT. Not saying he won’t do well there, but DE may suffer.

  20. Warrior Dave April 4, 2015 11:25 am

    #19 kev1,

    That’s Chow’s MO. What a waste of talent to make someone outstanding I their current position to adequate in another. So much for recruiting to your needs.

  21. Tofuzuke April 4, 2015 11:37 am

    What time does the practice start?

  22. H-man April 4, 2015 11:41 am

    Going into spring practice, I feel Ikaika should be the No. 1 QB. He earned it last year and I felt that he showed maturity towards the end of the season. Although Hawaii lost, Ikaika had a good game against Fresno St., passing for 247 yds (22-39-2/3TD/long of 40). If Wittek is to be the starting QB, then he should earn it through spring and fall camp. It should be fun.

  23. bouncingball April 4, 2015 12:34 pm

    How anyone can say Woolsey “earned” the right be the 1st string?

  24. A-House April 4, 2015 12:54 pm


    thanks for Swahlen’s hs video

    gotta wonda how much was lost the past 2 years – seems most of his passes were “timing” tosses out to his WRers

    how much speed was lost by no “practicing”? in hs, he ran the last leg for his 4×100 team.

    how much can he regain once coming off the mission before reporting to UH? or, will he come direct to Hawaii from Philly with a stop in Calli?

    has he grown in height, weight, strength?

  25. A-House April 4, 2015 12:55 pm

    of course we all it supposed to be Zwahalen – not Swahlen!!!

  26. Da Punchbowl Kid April 4, 2015 1:15 pm

    Fa’alalogo was a beast at last years spring scrimmage. He was playing RB and was a one man wrecking crew. I’m interested to see how that power plays out on the D-line! Nice that Samuseva will be working with him. He will make a hella blocker in a power backfield, and from what I saw last year, a great short yardage guy.

    I still remember the first time we saw Reilly’s highlights reel and kifi saying “wow!”. I hope Reilly can show more of the same.

  27. leron April 4, 2015 1:32 pm

    One guy who stood out at practice today was slot back Dylan Collie. Guy was catching everything thrown his way. We got a good one here.

  28. Na Alii Pride April 4, 2015 1:47 pm

    #26 – If he looks good at WR, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before he’s converted to corner. Chow’s MO. Some times I just shake my head. It’s not like he tries players at different positions on offense or defense. He’s got guys moving from offense to defense back to offense. How can they get better if they’re not given time to develop at one position? I didn’t know this was Pop Warner!

  29. kapakahi April 4, 2015 2:08 pm

    #14, #19, & #20,

    The simple answer as to why KT is being moved from his natural DE position to the NG position is……..because it’s out of necessity……..since UH simply failed to sign any mid-year JC NG/DT transfers to replace Samia, Friel & Malepeai…….nor has UH signed any new NG/DT type(s) yet to date as part of the 2015 recruiting class.

    Probably a good guess that…….incoming true frosh Gus Lavaka…….returning from his LDS mission…….will be given an initial look at NT……..instead of OL.

  30. Tempmanoa April 4, 2015 2:22 pm

    Bouncing Ball, Sean’s 2013 stats like passing percentage and Rating do not change with passing attempts. And he did better in the first half than the second. First Half: 15 TD’s, 63.2% Completion, Rating 151.2, and 15 TD’s. Second Half: 13 TD’s, 61% completion, Rating 140.7, and 13 TD’s. Sean had 376 attempts in 2013, Woolsey had 416 attempts in 2014. In 2013, compare Sean’s 376 attempts vs. Carr at 689 , CSU’s Smith at 488, Fales at 487, and again Ikaika at 416. So Sean’s stats were not the product of bombing away from behind.

  31. Trunks420 April 4, 2015 2:33 pm

    How many showed up today to help.
    I would have but me was Lil hungover from last night hehe.

    I was trying out my grandson Xbox and played his NCAA’s football game.

    I was HC of the warriors and had a season record of 5-8 and was fired after one season.

    Even the games CPU know when to go in new direction.

    Also My Grandson is Big Warriors Fan even though his mom (my Daughter) is a huge Fresno State fan.

    Hopefully he will be Warrior QB someday he was pretty good Starting for his team last year.

    And he is Football Genius on the game hehe.

  32. cappie the dog April 4, 2015 2:34 pm

    Chicago likes to sign WAC/Mountain West QBs, then not give them a chance to prove themselves. They did it it Idaho’s Nathan Enderle, and then last season, they didn’t give San Jose State’s David Fales a shot.

  33. bouncingball April 4, 2015 2:39 pm

    #29. when you’re getting blasted, it doesn’t matter which half you abandon the game plan from. Again, empty numbers in an empty season, much like every year under Chow. You can provide same gaudy numbers for running back Iosefa, lot of yards (not too good yards per carry though), but gets stuffed for no gain or loss in critical situations. Just looking at numbers without the basis underlying it is never a good measure of performance. I assume you attend the games like I do, so it’s a little baffling to put Schroeder in the ranks of “good ” QBs.

  34. bouncingball April 4, 2015 2:42 pm

    #28, if what you say is true then we ARE in trouble!

  35. warriorsanddolphins April 4, 2015 2:54 pm

    All any opposing offensive coordinator has to look at is that we are THIN at defensive line. We going be in big kim chee if we cant find 6’3 320 pounders that can squat 600 pounds to stabilize our line. I guess Norm doesnt care.

  36. Tiki808 April 4, 2015 2:54 pm

    Hawaii Warrior Football; the book? pg 116 Dan Robinson 6-4 Best QB Regardless of WAC title.

  37. Inyoface April 4, 2015 3:11 pm

    This is college football. Half the schools in the nation will start a qb with no starting experience. That’s the beauty of the game, not knowing who will show up when the lights are turned on.

  38. kapakahi April 4, 2015 3:13 pm


    “These are the facts of the case. And they are undisputed.”

  39. bouncingball April 4, 2015 3:38 pm

    #37, unfortunately we know who’s showing up at QB for UH and it’s not beautiful.

  40. Trunks420 April 4, 2015 3:53 pm

    Woosley is our QB this year and he will lead us to a championship.

    Don’t underestimate his Determination and skills.

    After all he has marching orders but if he is allowed freedom to audible on the fly he could be a star heck allow him to go up tempo no huddle like the entire Conference.

  41. pollypicador April 4, 2015 3:57 pm

    Re-Why did/do people rave at the recruiting/coaching prowess of the former defensive line coach, Powell? Silly. Even some media types were tooting Powell’s horn. More silliness.

    So taking a look at the current roster shows there’s no meat on the bone at defensive tackle (see). Nothing. The numbers are thin. This doesn’t fall on the former defensive line coach? Sure it does.

    A further look at Powell’s body of work-None of his players will have made the NFL (not even a sniff),or All-League,or second team (?)…and in year one Powell’s unit played a big part as to why the defense was the worst ever in UH’s history. Year two and three opposing teams ran right over his defensive line. Steamrolled. Scoring defense the last 3 seasons-35, 38, 26. These are numbers (with the exception of year 3) and player distinctions that shouldn’t evoke people saying that Powell was a great coach, recruiter or dearly missed. My summation of Powell during the games on the sidelines-bump on the log type, bystander, arms always akimbo…non emotional…non motivating…non coaching. Personally I’m not seeing what other people are seeing in elevating Powell’s coaching while he was here with the Warriors. His players under performed.

  42. turfwar April 4, 2015 4:04 pm

    Ikaika got the ball out the quickest of the three QBs and Wittek threw some very nice passes today. Like Leron said Dylan Collie is the real deal. May be the best football player on the field. Nice routes and catches EVERYTHING. All with his hands. Lots of completions in the intermediate routes to many different receivers. TE’s, rb’s, slots, etc. Looks like a fun offense when everyone gets on the same page.

  43. BigWave96744 April 4, 2015 4:06 pm

    #25 sorry but it’s not Zwahalen, it’s Zwahlen

  44. beans April 4, 2015 4:25 pm

    Scary to hear that Ikaika gets the ball out the quickest. Unless he has improved from last year? last year my observation was the he frequently held on to the ball too long and then threw it too hard on the short routes. It was hard to handle. The saying “if you touch it you should catch it” is baloney. Some passes require some touch. I do hope that he has it this year.

  45. 3-Prong April 4, 2015 4:40 pm

    Does everyone realize that, while small in number, when Zwahlen shows up in camp, this may just be the best set of arms UH has ever had on campus? hopefully a more wide open scheme will be conducive to putting up big numbers. (Big word eh “condusive”, trying fo be like da boo guy….hehe)

  46. 3-Prong April 4, 2015 4:43 pm

    A-House: Who knows, he might end up as our starter when we take the trek to Columbus.

  47. tom April 4, 2015 5:13 pm

    Lots of help this am – the lower campus _ Ssa and the athletic office
    Area hasnt not looked as good for the last 20 years as it does now. Thanks guys!

  48. tom April 4, 2015 5:20 pm

    Dwight the workers appreciated the goodies _ much thanks!

  49. H-man April 4, 2015 6:22 pm

    I agree with Beans. Ikaika held on to the ball too long, leading to unnecessary sacks and defensive backs could read his eyes when he hesitated to throw, leading to interceptions. But this is a new season and he should show significant improvement from last year. Yes, quarterback competition is great.

  50. cappiethedog April 4, 2015 6:36 pm

    I like the idea of trotting out the #2 QB at Columbus.

    The objective is to win the West division of the Mountain West.

    My greatest fear is that the starter, whoever that may be, will suffer a major injury.


    A little more skilled than Seth Sundberg.

  51. Da Punchbowl Kid April 4, 2015 7:16 pm

    Thanks for the updates everybody!

  52. Rodney April 4, 2015 8:01 pm

    Watching baseball Bows!! Lets go Bows
    Watched spring ball today. Keep in mind
    no pads and no hitting.
    My take away as far as Qb
    Wittek is our Qb..Ikaika is much better than
    last year and look out for Dylan Collie,
    Ewaliko and Amond. Noticed team was in
    super great shape. My 2cents
    Lets go baseball bows!!!!!

  53. BigFan April 4, 2015 8:26 pm

    Good to hear about Collie. I guess it runs in the family. It also would be nice to see a receiver hold on to the ball this year. Now, if only Stubblefield can add that speed element.

  54. Tiki808 April 4, 2015 8:53 pm

    Funny you should mention Chayce Ka’aua. He starts at catcher for UH baseball and is only 5-9. I think he blends in well with JJ Kitaoka, and Marcus Doi. I’m not sure how they ended up playing all in one field together. Still though, I think UH baseball is or has been in a downward spiral for 10 years, just about. The last 4 years has been a dismal one. Even more worse than the last previous 6 years. This says a lot where the ticket sales have been. Not sell out and still no extra income or added support. The parents, no longer part of the club has disappeared. 1420 AM radio on tonight. Scott Robbs

  55. Tiki808 April 4, 2015 9:10 pm

    I’m from the Honolulu, area. I’m not Scott Robbs. I’m for radio/pc/TV. We’re cool with your setup. I’ll be here too.

  56. hitman April 4, 2015 10:28 pm

    aloha everyone !! how are we looking ? thank ST for the qb up date !!

  57. iwonderwhytheyhateme April 4, 2015 10:34 pm

    There is no hope in dope.

  58. Tiki808 April 4, 2015 10:59 pm

    Timmy Chang who?

    After five seasons and three bowl games, Chang completed 57 % of his passes – 1,388 to be exact – for 17,072 yards and 117 touchdowns, shattering the old mark of 14,465 yards by BYU’s Ty Detmer. Four times he was an All-WAC selection.

  59. Tiki808 April 5, 2015 7:04 am

    Good morning! Easter Sunday

  60. tom April 5, 2015 8:19 am

    Happy Easter!

  61. Ipu Man April 5, 2015 8:49 am

    With Hawaii’s new offensive coach, things will get speedier.
    Big fat O line men will wilt.
    Need lean and mean.
    Go Bows!

  62. Stephen Tsai April 5, 2015 8:54 am

    New post: http://hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=29790

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