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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, April 13, 2002

Bass having hard time on sidelines

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Running back Mike Bass started 10 games as a freshman last season.

Advertiser library photo Sept. 4, 2001

WHAT: University of Hawai'i football intrasquad game.

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. tomorrow.

WHERE: Cooke Field, UH campus (capacity 3,000).

TICKETS: $6 adults, $5 Na Koa members, senior citizens, military, fire department and police department, and all UH students with valid ID. No charge for children 3 and under.


The hardest thing University of Hawai'i running back Mike Bass has had to do recently was stand still.

"It's very hard not to participate in spring (football) practice," said Bass, who is recovering from hernia surgery. "It looks like they're having a lot of fun, and I want to have fun, too."

Bass, who started 10 games as a freshman last season, is being challenged by 10 others for the lone running back position.

While Bass does not believe the injury will hurt his chances of retaining his starting job — he led the Warriors with 558 rushing yards — he had hoped to use spring training to work on his running technique. Even family members believed Bass' problems in maintaining his balance on open-field runs were traced to his form.

"I want to work on not falling over," Bass said. "A lot of people think I'm a little too fast for my feet. I'm working on my balance, and getting a little bit bigger."

The 5-foot-6 Bass weighs 160 pounds.

"My aim is to be 175," Bass said. "That's my summer project."

Trading places: Deciding it was time to try walking in other players' cleats, assistant coaches Mike Cavanaugh and Vantz Singletary asked the offensive linemen and defensive linemen to switch places.

"There were some nice prospects out there," said Cavanaugh, who coaches the UH blockers.

In particular, defensive end La'anui Correa and defensive tackles Lance Samuseva and Houston Ala proved to be effective blockers.

"We do that once in a while," Correa said. "I blocked Vince (Manuwai, the starting right guard) and (reserve guard) Chad Kahale. My strategy was to attack them instead of waiting for them to attack me."

Correa said he has no plans to move positions, and that he is finally comfortable at left defensive end.

Since transferring from Nevada-Las Vegas in 1999, the 6-foot-3 Correa has gained muscle and strength. He weighs 260 — 65 more than when he was a St. Louis School senior — and can bench press a maximum 450 pounds. He also can bench 225 pounds 39 times, second only to linebacker Chris Brown's 42 repetitions.

"T" time: In the latest issue of the men's fashion magazine, GQ, New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza is pictured wearing a "Hawai'i Strength" T-shirt. Only a few people own the black-and-green shirts, which were designed by UH strength coach Tommy Heffernan.

Heffernan gave some to pro bodyboarder Jacky Buder, who sent them to baseball player Benny Agbayani last summer. At the time, Agbayani and Piazza were Met teammates.

Heffernan plans to hang the picture in the weight room.