Wounded Warriors activated for bowl
By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
Two University of Hawai'i football players who were expected to remain on winter hiatus will be available to play in Friday's Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl.
"The doctors said I wasn't supposed to play, but I convinced them to let me try," Manners said.
UH coach June Jones said Manners yesterday received medical clearance from the team physician. Manners, who has been participating in non-contact drills, will be allowed to practice in shoulder pads today. "He'll get some (playing) time," Jones said. "He looks like he's not quite 100 percent, but he knows his assignments and he knows what to do. That will help."
Lamar Broadway, Landon Kafentzis, Matt Manuma and Keao Monteilh have rotated at right safety in Manners' absence.
Manners, a fourth-year junior from Wai'anae, suffered the injury in the Oct. 16 road game against Texas-El Paso.
"I went for a tackle against the running back for UTEP, and I was turning to make the play when I think it was (UH defensive tackle) Lui Fuga who accidentally fell on my leg," Manners said. "That's when it happened. I felt a pop. I limped off."
He was diagnosed with a fracture of the fibula near his right ankle. Four days later, he underwent a surgical procedure in which screws and plates were inserted to stabilize the injured area.
Date: Friday Time: 2 p.m. WHERE: Aloha Stadium TICKETS: Aloha Stadium box office, Stan Sheriff Center box office, phone sales: (808) 944-2697; Internet sales: www.etickethawaii.com
WHO: Hawai'i (7-5) vs. Alabama Birmingham (7-4)
Time: 2 p.m.
WHERE: Aloha Stadium
TICKETS: Aloha Stadium box office, Stan Sheriff Center box office, phone sales: (808) 944-2697; Internet sales: www.etickethawaii.com
He said he was motivated to play by "just watching these guys come out on the field. I wanted the adrenaline flow again."
He said the screws and plates are still in his right ankle.
"It's up to me, really," he said. "If they bother me, I can take them out. If they don't, I can leave them in there. So far, they don't bother me."
Tautofi, a second-year freshman from Kaimuki, suffered a concussion when he slipped in the Aloha Stadium shower following the Idaho game. Tautofi was having seizures and was bleeding from a cut on the back of his head when he was found by teammates Justin Faimealelei and Michael Lafaele.
"I think my body went into shock," he said. "It was a freak accident. I was one of the last ones in the showers, and I slipped. It happened so fast. ... I walked in there, slipped and when I woke up, it was Sunday. I don't even remember what happened on Saturday."
Jones said: "It was very scary."
Tautofi said he undergoes regular check-ups. During practices, he is monitored for headaches or dizziness.
"Right now, it's looking good," he said. "I knew I would play again. I love playing."
All Warriors should be cleared academically
Jones said he expects every player on UH's active roster to be academically eligible for the Hawai'i Bowl.
The Western Athletic Conference, of which UH is a member, requires its players to earn six credits the equivalent of passing two classes in the semester preceding a bowl. UH's last final examination was administered Friday, and Jones said he expects to receive an academic status report today.
"I'm not anticipating anybody missing (the game)," Jones said.
Faimealelei, a backup defensive end, suffered a sprained left ankle during yesterday's practice at Saint Louis School. Punt returner Jason Ferguson was restricted from practicing because of a groin injury.
Reach Stephen Tsai at email@example.com or 525-8051.