Posted on: Friday, August 1, 2003
Ramos an iron-man for Islanders
By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
| What: arenafootball2 first-round playoff game
Who: Wichita Stealth (8-7-1) vs. Hawaiian Islanders (10-6)
When: 7:30 tonight
Where: Blaisdell Arena
Admission: $22.50 suite level; $15 lower level; $10 upper level adult; $7 upper level ages 4-17.
Radio: KUMU2 AM 1500
Ramos, who is 6 foot 3 and 330 pounds, is the only Islander to play every game in the franchise's two-year history.
Tonight he'll play in his 33rd game when the Islanders (10-6) face the Wichita Stealth (8-7-1) in an arenafootball2 first-round playoff game at Blaisdell Arena.
Kickoff for the Islanders' first-ever postseason game is set for 7:30.
"I take a lot of pride in it, to be the only one to play every game so far," Ramos said. "I try to be here for the boys most of all."
Ramos plays center, defensive tackle and long snapper on place-kicking attempts.
He gets battered just like any other player and he's nursing a sore knee and elbow heading into the Wichita game.
"He's always going hard," Islanders linemen coach Frank Pahia said. "He doesn't rest and he's one of those guys who wants to be ready all the time."
Ramos, 28, said he's only missed "one or two" practices in his Islanders' career.
His good health is probably a direct result of his work ethic off the field.
During the season, Ramos puts in a full day. He starts work early as a lifeguard at the Hilton Hawaiian Village swimming pool, goes to practice at night and lifts at 24 Hour Fitness in Kane'ohe until midnight.
"It's nice to have a player like that who comes to practice every day," Pahia said.
Ramos' father, Andy M. Ramos, also is reliable when it comes to Islanders' practices and games.
The elder Ramos has been a season-ticket holder the past two years and attended all but two practices.
No. 6 Wichita Stealth (8-7-1) vs. No. 3 Hawaiian Islanders (10-6), 7:30 p.m. (HST) at Blaisdell Arena.
No. 5 Bakersfield Blitz (8-7-1) at No. 4 Arkansas Twisters (9-7)
Lower remaining seed will play at the No. 1 Quad City Steamwheelers (14-2)
Higher remaining seed will play at the No. 2 Tulsa Talons (14-2)
No. 6 Mohegan Wolves (10-6) at No. 3 Cape Fear Wildcats (10-6)
No. 5 Florida Firecats (10-6) at No. 4 Macon Knights (10-6)
Lower remaining seed will play at the No. 1 Tennessee Valley Vipers (14-2)
Higher remaining seed will play at the No. 2 Albany Conquest (13-3)
Ramos' middle name is Kealiihoomalu, which means "Prince of Peace" in Hawaiian. He said he tattooed his middle name on his very large left arm three years ago.
"I guess the peace goes away when the helmet comes on when we're on the field," Ramos said.
Against the Bakersfield Blitz on Sunday, Ramos was more fired up than normal early in the second half.
"I was on the ground and I tried to get up and (a Blitz player) kept slamming me to the ground and ripping my helmet off my head," he said. "I said, 'That's it, you play like that I'll play the same way.' "
In the same game Ramos had a chance to live out every lineman's dream carrying the ball over the goal line. The bizarre play didn't count as six points; it was worth two.
In the first quarter, Islanders kicker Kimo Naehu had his extra-point attempt blocked and Ramos scooped up the ball and ran it five yards into the end zone.
"It was like a slow-motion play," Ramos said. "You pick the ball up, you turn around and it's like what's going on now? You've got to head straight for the end zone. I just picked it up and ran it in just out of instinct. Sure enough I saw the referee put his hands up and it was like, 'I scored.' "
Arceneaux will start at QB: Darnell Arceneaux will start at quarterback for the Islanders tonight against Wichita.
After Sunday's loss to Bakersfield, Lee said he was uncertain if Arceneaux or Mike Tillis would start the team's next game.
Arceneaux played the first half against the Blitz and finished 8 of 19 for 138 yards and two touchdowns. He threw five incompletions and two interceptions on his first seven pass attempts.
"Darnell had one of those games last week," Lee said. "Everybody sometimes has some of those games. But he's been our starting quarterback most of the season and I have a feeling he'll have a great game."
Tillis played the entire second half by design and completed 10 of 18 passes for 148 yards and four touchdowns.
Arceneaux, who missed time with a hand injury, has started 10 games this season.