Hawai'i Homegrown Notes
By Dennis Anderson
Advertiser Staff Writer
Please excuse Jesse Keaulana-Kamakea if he considered Christmas Day a little anticlimactic. He already had his best presents.
On Dec. 8, Keaulana-Kamakea started his 24th straight game at offensive guard for City College of San Francisco as the Rams destroyed Palomar 61-12 to win their third straight JC Grid Wire national junior college football championship.
He was chosen All-Golden Gate Conference.
And on Dec. 19, three days after his visit, he signed a full-scholarship agreement to attend Kansas State.
Keaulana-Kamakea, a 1999 Kailua High graduate from Waimanalo, completed his AA degree at San Francisco last week and will enroll at Kansas State next month.
San Francisco coach George Rush, whose team has won 36 straight games, sees more success in Keaulana-Kamakea's future. "He's a great learner. He wants to get better and pays attention," Rush says. "Jesse has excellent technical skills and challenges himself on a day-to-day basis to improve those skills."
And, Rush adds, "he can run ... he's fast."
Keaulana-Kamakea, listed at 6-3 and 285 pounds at San Francisco, is home this week getting even bigger before he heads for Manhattan, Kan. "I'm stuffing my face every day with Polynesian soul food," he said, listing lau lau, beef stew and rice as his favorites.
Jesse planned to attend Hawai'i out of high school, but was short a core credit required by the NCAA. "UH suggested I go to San Francisco," he said. "It was a good recommendation."
He hadn't heard from Hawai'i since last spring, said his father, David Keaulana.
Keaulana-Kamakea also visited Iowa State and talked with Washington State, Oregon State and Missouri since the season ended.
Paradise Bowl: Quarterback Fred Salanoa of Eastern Washington and defensive end/linebacker Scott Parkhurst of UNLV have been invited to play in the first Paradise Bowl senior all-star game Jan. 12 in St. George, Utah.
Salanoa, a 1996 Radford graduate, set Eastern Washington season passing records of 3,057 yards, 228 completions and 26 touchdowns, among others. He ranked seventh in NCAA Division I-AA in total offense at 286 yards per game. Salanoa is hoping for a chance to play in the Canadian Football League.
Parkhurst (Leilehua '95) realized a defensive lineman's dream in the final game of his UNLV career when he scooped up a fumble and ran 21 yards for a touchdown in a 34-10 victory over Air Force.
Parkhurst was a JC Grid Wire All-American at Long Beach City College before transferring to UNLV last year.
The Paradise Bowl will be televised on Fox Sports Net. "Paradise" is a matter of perspective. The temperature in St. George the day the rosters were announced was 37 degrees.
UNLV: Scott Parkhurst's younger brother, sophomore offensive lineman Matt Parkhurst (Kahuku '97), underwent back surgery in 2000 and has been told by doctors that he should not play again, UNLV spokesman Mark Wallington said. However, Scott worked out with the Rebels this season and "his future is up in the air," Wallington said.
The Parkhursts, whose eligibility was extended because they spent two years on Mormon missions, reside in Mililani.
Senior linebacker James Sunia (St. Louis '97) of Wai'anae, who was on track to break the UNLV record for tackles before tearing anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments five games into the 2000 season, played in three games this year.
"It looks like we may apply to the NCAA for an extreme hardship case for a sixth year," Wallington said. Sunia has had surgery on his injured knee twice in the past year.
He was a Football News Freshman All-America in 1998 and was the first freshman in UNLV history to be voted team captain. Sunia had 115 tackles that year and 119 in 1999.
He needs 31 more to break the UNLV career record.
Washington: Look for St. Louis alum Joe Lobendahn (number 53) covering kickoffs on tomorrow afternoon's ESPN telecast of the Holiday Bowl against Texas.
Seattle radio station KOMO selected Lobendahn, a true freshman and a crowd favorite, as one of three Husky Special Teams Players of the Year.
Washington special teams coach Bobby Hauck says Lobendahn is "a really physical player who is anxious to get to the point of attack. He gets there with a lot of punch and pop he's a great hitter."
Against Michigan, Hauck said, "we had just gone ahead by 12 with 6 minutes left in the game, and Joe tackled their kickoff returner on the 5-yard line. That left them with 95 yards to go." Washington won 23-18.
GETTING IT STRAIGHT
Utah football: Lauvele Sape (Leilehua '97) says he spoke English in school but never at home growing up in American Samoa. A different characterization was reported Dec. 16.
English is taught in all public schools in American Samoa, says Gus Hannemann, liaison and consultant to the senate of American Samoa.
Defensive lineman Elia Laeli (Roosevelt '99), who redshirted this past season at Utah while recovering from knee surgery, went by the name Elia Tauala during two years at Santa Ana (Calif.) Community College, where he was a JC All-American. At Roosevelt he was Elia Laeli.
Harvard: Junior quarterback Neil Rose (University '98/Pac-Five) of Mililani was chosen New England's Division I Offensive Player of the Year by the Grid Iron Club of Greater Boston.
Rose had the fourth best passing efficiency rating (161.7) in NCAA Division I. With one season of eligibility remaining, Rose already is Harvard's career leader in passing yards (4,511) and touchdown passes (33). His numbers for 2001 were 127 completions in 198 attempts for 1,830 yards and 15 touchdowns, a .641 completion percentage, and five interceptions.
Gonzaga (Wash.): Junior cross country runner Mark Bridenstine (Mililani '99) and senior soccer defender Zach Scott (Maui '98) of Haiku were chosen on the West Coast Conference Fall All-Academic Team.
Bridenstine's grade point average of 3.77 was second highest on the team. Scott (3.29) was also first-team on the WCC men's soccer all-stars.
The WCC says it graduated 69.5 percent of its scholarship athletes in the most recent report, highest conference west of the Mississippi.