Update: Francis Maka

Even with a degree in mathematics, former UH linebacker Francis Maka knew he was defying the odds four years ago.

Two days after being released by Spokane of the Arena Football League, Maka gave San Jose lineman Ray Hisatake a ride to the SaberCats’ training facility. Both were raised in San Mateo and then played at UH.

“He asked (the SaberCats) if there was any way I could come in and work out,” Maka recalled. “They brought me into camp.”

Maka aced the tryout and “I’ve stuck around ever since. It’s pretty crazy.”

This is Maka’s fifth season with the SaberCats, who lead the National Conference’s Pacific Division with a 10-0 record.

In the AFL, defenses are allowed two linebackers to play in the “box” — a rectangle that extends 5 yards from the line of scrimmage and the width of the hash marks. Only the “middle” linebacker, who actually is a d-end aligned across the tight end, is the linebacker allowed to rush the passer. Maka, who plays the middle, is second in the AFL with six sacks, a number that probably should be boosted except one of yesterday’s sacks was credited to another player and a second was ruled a rush.

The SaberCats’ use the SAP Center, which is the home ice for the San Jose Sharks and the setting for major concerts and WWE shows.

“The crowd over here is pretty insane,” Maka said.

Maka and his fiancee, Shanelle, have two sons — Soane, 4, and Anthony, 3. Maka and Hisatake, who is on the AFL’s injury list while recovering from a shoulder injury, are best friends who still hang out.

Of life, Maka said, “I’m having a blast.”


  1. oneseason May 31, 2015 9:56 am


  2. st. anthony trojan May 31, 2015 11:07 am

    Guess many want to sleep in late this sunday morning…

  3. tom May 31, 2015 11:09 am


  4. 3-Prong May 31, 2015 11:35 am

    Think its such a good idea, I’m bringing it forward from the last post.

    Just saw a tv show where Baylor leading to its’ stadium has a brick “Bear Walk” made with personalized bricks sponsoed by donations to the program. I can envision the same kind of “Rainbow Warrior Walk” at Aloha Stadium where our team does their pregame walk. I know I would sponsor a brick or two. I’m pretty sure most on this blog would too!

  5. SteveM May 31, 2015 11:36 am

    Good morning everyone!

    Good to hear about Francis Maka still playing!

  6. bowwar May 31, 2015 11:54 am

    #4: Better if it was for an “on-campus” stadium versus “no-Aloha” stadium…I’d pay for a couple of bricks if it was for UH’s own football stadium. Whatever happened to the idea of building one in West Oahu??

  7. Down with... May 31, 2015 12:58 pm

    #4 gonna be a very short walkway. lol

  8. 3-Prong May 31, 2015 2:15 pm

    Nah Down with… I think you under estimate the Hawaii fanbase. This will bring out even the casual fans. Everyone likes to see their names and want to part of the roll call of true fans.

  9. st. anthony trojan May 31, 2015 2:23 pm

    Excellent idea…unfortunately…if it doesn’t originate at KOA…it wont fly…just needs the right person to work on it to bring it to fruition… takes sum work to get her done,…but is a money maker 4 sure….

    PLUSES: ne one can buy…even your Ohana…cost of bricks are very minimal…look good n starts a tradition…cab be bought from ne where…no need to be in HAWAII TO SUPPORT…CAN BE SOLD NE WHERE…AT GAMES…AT SUPERMARKET…
    AT MALL …all excellent selling points….even chancellor can carry a pad n sell…
    easy mechanics to sell… just fill out short form n mail check etc…

    MINUSES: 2 GOOD AN IDEA THAT WILL WORK…SO NATURALLY WON’T GET APPROVAL…OR NO ONE WILL PICK UP THE BALL…no need to say more..another excellent idea down the tubes…what is good for Baylor …is not good enough 4 us…n KOA…it has to originate from UH or KOA office..is where all the smart ones are…ask mr. yee…he he he…MAYBE SAMMY AMALU HAS N IDEA ??

  10. Stephen Tsai May 31, 2015 2:25 pm

    Brick sounds like a good idea.

  11. st. anthony trojan May 31, 2015 2:29 pm

    They should make the walk very long…then fill it with bricks..then sell.. the impact of seeing their name or family name at next game is a good selling point..of course if the union can do the work in one week.. n the paper work is approved.. n the FBI clearance… n BBB.. THEN THE ATTORNEYS UP THERE IN ADMIN..HE HE HE

  12. st. anthony trojan May 31, 2015 2:33 pm

    Yea..if BJ just took one idea…n really worked it…instead of tweeting all day..as so many on here has said he does.. n appearing on every show…yaking away…could he be still sitting there as AD…HE WAS HERE LONGA ENOUGH…900 + DAYS TO MAKE SUMTHING WORK…

  13. 3-Prong May 31, 2015 2:42 pm

    Hope they don’t have to do the traditional feasibilty study at a cost of $100,000 to kick off this no brainer idea. Hehe!

    Anyway I hereby commit to purchasing the first brick.

  14. st. anthony trojan May 31, 2015 3:12 pm

    Well it it don’t work…you can always use to throw at admin or regents huh ?

  15. Tiki808 May 31, 2015 3:56 pm

    I’m fond of Maka. You study in math, smash heads on the football field, then you get a BA degree from UH in math. Now still football. You are a great scholar. We need more people like you in math and football at UH and in the profession. Good luck.

  16. Fei Jai May 31, 2015 3:57 pm

    I always felt bad for the Kalani foot ball fans; since norm came to Hawaii, I have come to know how kalani fans feel.

  17. al May 31, 2015 5:06 pm

    Took me two weeks to find today’s post.
    The only link on the SA is the Kealoha Pilares link.
    What up?

    Alerted the blog host via text…but, no response.

  18. hitman May 31, 2015 5:51 pm

    aloha everyone !! koa controls everything ?

  19. Pomai May 31, 2015 6:10 pm

    #4 & #10 – We tried to do this at RWSS, brick with your name on it, small kine walkway from main gate to clubhouse got shot down by athletic department. Then came up with idea of plaques with name on it or in memory of type to be put on exterior wall of club house at RWSS, again shot down by athletic department.

    AD to booster’s “we want you to raise money, but whatever idea you come up with we will say NO, just ask people to give $$$.” I get very very close to just quiting, but then I get pi$$ed, I will not let them win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. hitman May 31, 2015 6:48 pm

    Brick sounds good !! would be nice for each sport have there own !! would be nice to see that for like football !! putting player names from the past leaving there name on a brick laying the foundation from years gone bye put UH on the map !! then a section suporter of UH sports

  21. oneseason May 31, 2015 6:48 pm

    #19 … just like politics.

  22. oneseason May 31, 2015 6:52 pm

    #19 … just like politics.

  23. oneseason May 31, 2015 6:55 pm

    Everything in moderation?

  24. 3-Prong May 31, 2015 8:58 pm

    Pomai, das how…..get P’d and don’t give up, don’t ever give up. (As Jimmy V and Winston Churchill both said).

    Hitman: “…brick laying the foundation” I like it, I like it!

    Go Bows!

  25. tom May 31, 2015 9:18 pm

    POMAI: Don’t even give it another thought. Softball needs people like you.

  26. SteveM May 31, 2015 9:21 pm

    Bricks are a nice idea.
    So how does this get installed? The walkway ground must be leveled and properly prepared to accept the bricks which must be mortared/grouted into place. So what is the contract engineering and construction costs for the prep since do-it-yourself projects for permanent things is a no-go?

    Then, where do the bricks come from? There mist be state construction specifications on that and bids must be reviewed. How is the name going to be placed on the brick? Another vendor needed.
    What vendor gets the contract for installing the bricks? Another cost.

    Logistically, this has to be a one-shot deal. What if you don’t get enough bricks to finish the walkway? Wanting to add more bricks later opens up the contracting hurdles again.

    So what we would probably see is a half built brick walkway which is barricading since it unsafe and does not reach it’s destination which cost more $$$ to build than the donations received… unless each brick was a $10,000 donation.

    ….and at that price, back to the not enough bricks scenario again…. 👿

  27. 3-Prong May 31, 2015 9:31 pm

    Ran up against this same mentality when trying to raise funds for daughters high school teams. Coaches always warned us that all fund raising activity needed to be approved by school. Rationale was that school did not want big doners innundated with multiple solicitations for funds. Limited to doing manini stuff like car wash etc. Personally, I think less funds overall were raised with this mentality because the grass root small doners were not given the opportunity to contribute.

  28. kruzen May 31, 2015 9:32 pm

    Al, sorry I forgot who posted this link but it works for me.


  29. 3-Prong May 31, 2015 9:45 pm

    SteveM was not referring to your comments. Was referring to Roadblocks from admin. In fact you bring up valid concerns. “Walk” should be paved in sections, and of course completed in section, for safety concerns. As donations are made, replace blank pavers with engraved ones. Consult with those that handled the Chinatown marketplace where they helped fund that structure with the brick paver idea. We must have mason contractors that are boosters. Shouldn’t be too expensive to plan. There are no structural concerns to worry about.

  30. SteveM May 31, 2015 9:48 pm

    kruzen — it look like someone updated the blog entry history. Hooray!
    This morning, the same URL brought me to the Kealoha Pilares entry as most recent… as it did the last few days.

  31. hitman May 31, 2015 9:48 pm

    how about a rock garden ? and sell rocks or blocks to people to spell there names painted on !! and set up in the rock garden !! for the season to raise money !! and you can renew it every year for a fee ?

  32. 3-Prong May 31, 2015 9:51 pm

    If we have UH maintenance workers on staff that cannot replace mortarless pavers with engraved ones we really are in trouble. Oh wait, the light bulb thing was an issue huh….(apologies fior the sarcasm). Seriously though, I think they can handle it.

  33. hitman May 31, 2015 10:05 pm

    they could make it a school project maybe each sport team takes care there area

  34. Old School Dave June 1, 2015 6:33 am

    UH Upper Campus and the their relationship with the UH Athletic Dept: Someone should showcase that infamous rubber water hose that UH football players drank water from after practice during the Dave Holmes regime and later, someone from upper campus complained to the coaches about their “unauthorized use” of campus property. Fast forward to today: They need to also save some of the cots the football players sleep on during fall camp in the dancing studios.

  35. MauiBoyAlaska June 1, 2015 8:02 am

    Stephen Tsai , long time reader, first time poster. I love reading about former players. I wanted to suggest you write an article on former UH player and longtime Japan X-League player Kevin Jackson. I believe he player in Japan for over 9 years for the Obic Seagulls who won several Japan Bowls in resent years. Kevin also worked as the PR Manager/Marketing for the Obic Seagulls.

  36. A-House June 1, 2015 8:19 am


    since BJ gone, will you try your idea with Matlin? If yes, same result(s)?

    ever since our Tsaiko only meeting with BJ early on in his tenure, when he made glowing remarks about what they did at Ohio State, and A-Joe and I made recommendations about doing the same and was abruptly shot down, I had little or no respect for him

    BTW, got a “‘penned” thank you note from Coach Coolen after he saw the donation list and amount of $$ donated by each person – as you mentioned, sooner or later it will come – to’ I prefer much sooner!!!

    got a color photo from the UH swim/dive team, 2015 MWC champs, signed by each athlete – vey nice and will add to our collection.

  37. 3-Prong June 1, 2015 8:54 am

    Just sent an email to Mr. Matlin regarding the “Rainbow Warrior Walk”.

    Can, Fo Real Can! Just Try!

  38. Ken June 1, 2015 9:27 am

    I recall seeing fundraiser bricks on campus. So while not new at UH, still a good idea.


  39. Stephen Tsai June 1, 2015 9:54 am

    New post: http://hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=31337

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