Many Changes Are In Store For Hur­ri­canes’ 2010 Ros­ter

MidWeek Islander (West Oahu) - - West Oahu Sports -

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, by­ron­lee@midweek.com.

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