Foes never a mystery to Warrior football team
|||Warriors make time for fun, game|
By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Stephen Tsai
When it comes to preparing for games, the University of Hawai'i football players read the writing on the wall ... and the articles on the wall ... and the biographies ...
"Everything we need to know about our next opponent is on the bulletin board in the locker room," UH quarterback Colt Brennan said. "It's amazing what they come up with."
Tonight, the Warriors and visiting Eastern Illinois meet for the first time since 2002. Since then the Panthers have changed offensive coordinators and personnel.
Yet, the Warriors have been able to follow the Panthers.
They know the Panthers, who compete in Division I-AA, are limited to offering 63 scholarships. (The Warriors, as Division I-A member, can offer 85 scholarships.)
They know the Panthers brought 58 players on this trip, are staying in Waikiki, and visited the Arizona Memorial after yesterday's walk-through practice at Aloha Stadium.
The Warriors also know EIU defensive tackle Mike Adams plays the piano and drums, defensive end Nick Kray admires Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis because of "his integrity," and center Chaz Millard aspires to work for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
The Warriors know all of that — and more — because their offensive line coach got lost while touring Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium four weeks ago, and a student worker has abandoned a social life to become an avid Internet surfer.
In previous seasons, backup center Marques Kaonohi said, "we were told, 'We're going to run this and that.' "
That was soon to change. On the eve of the season-opener against Alabama, the Warriors had a walk-through practice at Bryant-Denny Stadium. UH assistant coach Dennis McKnight was wandering when he inadvertently entered the Tide's home locker room.
On a wall was the Warriors' story.
There were pictures of the UH starters, complete with biographies and career statistics. On another wall, there were newspaper articles from the Honolulu dailies.
Realizing the best ideas are the ones stolen, McKnight shared his discovery with UH head coach June Jones.
The following Monday, Joon Hartman, a student worker, was asked to create a similar wall of information on UNLV, the upcoming opponent.
Hartman found a copy of UNLV's depth chart. Using the football program's computer, she printed out pictures of each UNLV player on the two-deep roster. She cropped the pictures, added each player's information from the UNLV media guide, and pasted the work onto two bulletin boards — one for offensive players, the other for the defenders.
She used red — the Rebels' team color — as the background.
Hartman also printed out articles from the Las Vegas newspapers.
She estimated it took up to three hours to collect the information, print and then organize it.
It took another hour to decorate the bulletin boards.
"We're doing it like the big schools," Brennan said. "But instead of having 20 assistants doing the work, poor Joon goes out of her way every week to fill the boards up. She does an amazing job. Every day I walk into the locker room, there are four or five guys standing in front, reading the board."
McKnight encourages the players to write down the information in their personal notebooks.
"You can learn a lot about the guy you're going against by reading his bio," said McKnight, who used the technique during his 11-year playing career in the National Football League. "Where's he from? Single-parent family? Does he put down his values? What are his hobbies? If a guy puts down 'computer and video games' as hobbies, that gives me an insight over somebody who puts down 'hunting and fishing.' Little things like that I want them to look for. All you're looking for is some slight edge you can use over your opponent."
Kaonohi said: "We know so much about the guy we're facing. We know his height, weight, stats, what he did in the past, his whole background. The first time I look at the guy, I'm thinking, 'I know all about you.' It really helps."
At first, the boards were to be set up in the week leading to a home game. After the rout of UNLV, Jones asked Hartman to set up the boards before all games.
"Joon does a great job," Brennan said.
The Warriors will miss her. If there were a bulletin board for student workers, Hartman's biography would note that the native of Vashon Island, Wash., is graduating in December.
WHAT: University of Hawai'i (1-2) vs. Eastern Illinois (2-2)
WHEN: 6:05 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Aloha Stadium
TV: Live on Oceanic cable pay-per-view digital. Call 625-8100 on O'ahu or (808) 643-2337 statewide. Delayed on KFVE Sunday 10 a.m.
AUDIO WEBCAST: 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 4 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: $30 sideline, $27 South end zone, $22 North end zone (adult), $17 North end zone senior citizen, $17 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.
(FOR EASTERN ILLINOIS) PROMOTION: "Family Night" ticket discounts will be $15 each for sections in the north and south end zones. A minimum of four tickets must be purchased. Maximum is 12.
ALTERNATIVE PARKING (no tailgating):
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.
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: http://www.thebus.org
Reach Stephen Tsai at email@example.com.