UH lineman Kanoa to play in Shrine Game
By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
University of Hawai'i offensive lineman Manly Kanoa III has accepted an invitation to compete in the 77th East-West Shrine all-star football game Jan. 12 at Pac Bell Park in San Francisco.
"I'm floating right now," Kanoa told The Advertiser yesterday. "It's special. It's an honor."
Kanoa, a 6-foot-5, 308-pound senior from the Kamehameha Schools, was the Warriors' top run-blocker this season.
"He worked hard during the offseason," said Mike Cavanaugh, who coaches the UH linemen. "He's having a great season for us. Now the ball is in his court."
Kanoa has been the starter for three years, but he admittedly struggled last season.
"Last year was disappointing to me," Kanoa said. "I didn't play as well as I should have been playing. I went through every game film. I knew everything I was doing wrong was correctable. Cav helped me out. We got it done."
During the summer, Kanoa adhered to workouts designed to improve his speed and stamina. He lost 12 pounds while maintaining his strength.
"As an offensive-line unit, we made a commitment to work hard every day," Kanoa said. "Even through the losses we played hard. We competed. Everybody's hard work paid off, and I get to experience some of the pleasures of it."
Kanoa, who was named to the Western Athletic Conference all-star team Monday, also has managed to balance a busy schedule. He and his wife, Sarah, have a 5-month-old daughter, Emma.
Last year, Kanoa said, "we decided we wanted to be a family. We were ready. Financially, we weren't, but who is? We're happy and our marriage is good. We felt we were ready to take the next step. It's been the greatest decision we've ever made."
Kanoa and his wife do not use a baby-sitter. Instead, they worked out a schedule in which they take turns caring for Emma and attending classes. They spend the evenings together as a family.
"It's not easy, but it's real special what we have," Kanoa said. "There are so many positive things. I'm very thankful."