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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mane attraction at UH

 •  Saturday's turnstiles may click past 30,000
 •  Pay TV may be reviewed

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

University of Hawai'i defensive back Desmond Thomas recently did something so improbable, so un-Warrior-like, it left his football teammates and coaches stunned.

Thomas cut his hair.

In Manoa, where it has been said the rain falls plainly on the mane, this was an unimaginable act.

For the Warriors, a long 'do is like a tattoo: every player has one.

"Everybody was surprised," said Thomas, who had gone nearly two years between snips. "It was a hassle. It was a lot of work. My girlfriend had to braid it, then twist it up. It was too much maintenance. I want to just wake up in the morning and go."

To be sure, Thomas, who was appropriately recruited as a split end, is unique on a team with dozens of hairy tales.

Marissa Bonilla, the senior manager, said she spends most of pregame downtime braiding players' hair.

One of her regulars is center Samson Satele, who, like his Biblical namesake, finds strength in long hair.

Bonilla ties a braid in Satele's hair for each UH victory. The Warriors entered last week's game with a 7-2 record, but Satele wore eight braids. A prediction? No, Satele said, "I had eight rubberbands."

Running back Nate Ilaoa grew out actually, grew up his hair because of an old-fashioned reason. He made a bet with his cousin, Adam Iloilo, a former UH linebacker.

"Whoever cuts his first owes the other 100 bucks," Ilaoa said. "It's continuing. He's growing his hair out. Ol' bald Adam is looking like a Conquistador."

It was four years ago when most of the Warriors had closely cropped haircuts. Then the 2003 recruits enrolled, and a couple of years later, Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Polamalu popularized the hair-to-the-numbers look.

Defensive end Larry Sauafea, who was raised in American Samoa, has not cut his hair since 2003.

"I wanted to grow it out in high school, but my mom didn't want me to," Sauafea said.

With about 2,600 miles of ocean from her disapproval, he began growing out his hair in 2003.

"All she says now is: 'If you grow it out, keep your face clean,' " said Sauafea, who has earned the nickname "Liger" from teammates.

Sauafea shampoos his wavy hair three times a week. He relies on nose tackle Michael Lafaele to "brush out the bottom half. I can't reach."

Lafaele said: "Look at the Liger's mane. It's a horse's tail."

Lafaele, who has not had a haircut since 2004, has his own styling routine.

"I just put my hair in a ponytail or bun, then slick it back," Lafaele said. "I don't like braids. I think braids are for girls."

Linebacker Timo Paepule, who also has mid-back-length wavy hair, said he abides by his family request of not having dreadlocks.

"If I came home with dreads, my dad would knock me out," Paepule said. "My dad doesn't really want me to have long hair now. But I take care of my hair. The key is to wash it three times a week, using shampoo and conditioner, brush it after you shower, and put it up right after it's wet. You've got to let it dry out."

Cornerback Ryan Keomaka said he is taking special care. Keomaka is set to donate his hair to Locks of Love, which provides hair prosthetics for children with long-term medical hair loss. The organization does not accept hair that has been chemically treated.

"I wash it every two days," said Keomaka, who uses Aussie shampoo. "You've got to get the natural oils. Nothing too dry."

Wideout Dylan Linkner, meanwhile, is a product of science.

"Jerome Russell 40 volume," Linkner said of his goldy locks. "It comes with a tri-packet of powders. I mix it together at home, throw it all in. I leave it in (the hair) for 40 minutes. When you put it on your head, you can feel it tingling. I've been doing it since I was in the seventh grade."

Linkner, in fact, had a different plan to dye young.

"I wanted to dye my hair green in the seventh grade," he recalled. "I did it, and found out it was against school rules. I got suspended for a day. The only thing I could do was bleach my hair or cut it all off. I bleached my hair. I just liked it."

• • •

UH FOOTBALL

WHAT: University of Hawai'i (8-2, 6-1 in Western Athletic Conference) vs. San Jose State (6-3, 3-2 in WAC)

WHEN: 6:05 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Aloha Stadium

TV: Live on Oceanic cable pay-per-view digital; rebroadcast on PPV at 10:30 p.m. Call 625-8100 on O'ahu or (808) 643-2337 statewide. Delayed on KFVE Sunday 10 a.m.

AUDIO WEBCAST: www.espn1420am.com

VIDEO WEBCAST: Available through Hawaiian Telecom and KFVE. Tickets available for single game at $9.95, a full season for $39.95. Go to www.hawaiiantelmedia.com

RADIO: Live on ESPN 1420, with warmup show at 5 p.m. Neighbor Island simulcasts on KAOI on Maui/Kona, KPUA in Hilo and KQNG on Kaua'i

GATES OPEN: Parking lot 2:30 p.m.; Stadium gates 3 p.m.

TICKET PRICES: $38 sideline, $32 South end zone, $27 North end zone (adult), $22 North end zone senior citizen, $22 North end zone students 4-18, $5 UH students.

TICKET SALES: Available online at hawaiiathletics.com, by calling 944-2697 (BOWS) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or at Stan Sheriff Center, Aloha Stadium, UH Campus Center, RainBowtique at Ward Centre and Windward Community College's OCET Office during business hours. Convenience fees may apply.

PROMOTIONS: Senior citizens and armed services members will receive two tickets for the price of one. Discount ticket deals for armed services members has been extended to the rest of the regular-season. Members of the Armed Services, active and reserve, will receive two-for-one tickets prices (maximum of 12). A valid military identification card is required when purchasing tickets at the Aloha Stadium in advance or on game day. This discount also is available at the Stan Sheriff Center in advance (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Senior citizens (65 years and older) will receive the discount (maximum of 8). A driver's license or identification card is required when purchasing tickets at the Aloha Stadium Box Office in advance and on game day. It is only available at the Stan Sheriff Center Box Office in advance (Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). Other restrictions may apply.

The first 10,000 fans to enter Aloha Stadium will receive "Fanbannas" (retractable banners), compliments of game-sponsor Hawaiian Telcom. The two-sided banners have "Hawai`i" printed on one side and "Go Warriors" on the other.

PARKING: $5

ALTERNATIVE PARKING (no tailgating):

• Leeward Community College (free with $2 charge for shuttle service);

• Kamehameha Drive-In ($5 with free shuttle service);

• Radford High School ($3 with no shuttle service).

All shuttle service runs from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and approximately one hour after the game ends.

SECURITY: Only fanny packs, purses, backpacks and handbags will be allowed into stadium (subject to check).

TRAFFIC ADVISORY: Sports Radio 1420 will provide traffic advisories and updates before each UH football home game.

BUS SHUTTLES:

For UH students: Chancellor office is providing free bus transportation to the home games at Aloha Stadium. Buses will pick up UH students on Dole Street in front of Gateway House two hours before game time.The buses will leave the stadium 30 minutes after the game and return to Gateway. Sign-up sheets are at the front desk at each UH residence hall.

Roberts Hawaii is offering round trip "air conditioned" shuttle bus services to Aloha Stadium for $6 from three O'ahu areas.

Bus No. 3 will pick up at the Hawai'i Kai Park n' Ride at 4 p.m., at Bank of Hawai'i at Kahala Mall at 4:15 and proceed to the stadium.

Bus No. 2 will pick up at the Kailua District Park, Kainalu Avenue at 4:15 p.m., at Windward Mall Shopping Center on Alaloa Street facing Sears at 4:30 and proceed to the stadium.

Bus No. 1 will pick up at the Mililani Mauka Park n' Ride at 4:30 p.m. and go directly to the stadium.

Reservations are required and service is first come, first serve. Call Roberts School Bus at 832-4886 for reservations and additional information.

City bus service

The FootballExpress offers 17 pickup locations throughout O'ahu.

The first trip from each location leaves approximately three hours before kickoff and the last trip leaves approximately 90 minutes before the game. Return trips leave as soon as the bus is full, with the final trip leaving 30 minutes after the game ends.

Honolulu pickup locations are at Ala Moana, downtown, Hawai'i Kai, Kahala Mall, Kaimuki, Palolo, Waikiki and the University of Hawai'i.

Leeward pickups are at 'Ewa Beach, Kapolei, Mililani Mauka and Village Park.

Windward pickups are at Kalaniana'ole Highway and Kailua Road, Kailua Road at Keolu Drive and Hele Street, Kailua Road at Hahani Street, Kane'ohe Bay drive at Mokapu Boulevard and Kane'ohe Bay Drive at Makalani Street.

Rates are $3 one way and $6 roundtrip. Passes and transfers are not accepted.

For information, go to: www.thebus.org

Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.