Many Changes Are In Store For Hurricanes’ 2010 Roster
signal-caller Noah Pascua has completed his eligibility after starting three seasons. Six players are vying for it, and the battle could go deep into summer.
“ We’re starting from scratch with them,” Hernandez said of the quarterbacks.
Another change to the offense will be at the top, where Michael Carter returns as offensive coordinator. He was the program’s OC in 2000, 2001 and 2002, but had to leave for work commitments. Now he’s back in the fold to replace Jon Yamada, who resigned this off-season to spend more time with family.
“A week after Jon stepped down, Michael called,” Hernandez said.“We’re excited to have him back. He’s a tremendous coach. It’s like going back to our roots. He is the one who implemented the spread option offense at Kapolei.”
And the spread is here to stay.
Far more pressing a priority for the staff this spring is to sort through its talent base. “We’re so young and green everywhere, we’re high in the evaluation stage right now. We have a lot of talented players — they’re just unproven. We have to get back to work to get those guys going.
“ This will be the youngest team I’ve ever had at Kapolei,” he added. “ In 2006, we had only one starter returning. We were talented, and we improved as the season went along. I see this team in a similar vein.”
The players have been weight training and conditioning since January. Under OIA guidelines, schools are allowed 10 days of spring practice in a two-week period, five in which they can use full equipment.
For Hernandez, one of the byproducts of building a solid program is that there was much to celebrate on college signing day in February. Fourteen players from his 2009 team are headed to college in the fall, 12 of them on football scholarships: Shaydon Akuna, Dustin Elisara and Tuulauena Lolohea (Oregon State); Paul Belford and Niko Uti (Snow College); Fo’i Fo’i and Alex Paiva ( Eastern Arizona); John Carter, Noah Pascua, Kainoa Pakele and Nick Ulu (Montana Western); Pouesi Togiailua ( Grossmont College) and Cyril Maluina (Pima College).
“ We’re very proud of them,” Hernandez said. “We try really hard to get them opportunities to play college football. Not everyone will be a Manti Te’o ( Notre Dame, Punahou), but there are more than 300 colleges across the nation that play football. There’s a place for anyone who works hard.”
The Hurricanes train for the upcoming football season by doing high-knees and other calisthenic moves. Photo by Byron Lee, email@example.com.