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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, August 18, 2007

Warriors work on 'war chant' to replace haka

Photo galleryPhoto gallery: UH football practice
Video: Kicking it with the Warriors' special teams

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

University of Hawai'i wide receiver Davone Bess weaved past defenders yesterday at UH's practice field.

ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Guyton Galdeira

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The University of Hawai'i football team will no longer perform the haka, and instead will create its own war calling.

The Warriors did the haka, a traditional Maori dance form, during warmups and postgames last season.

But during a recent team meeting, it was decided to retire the haka.

"We have great respect for the Maori culture," cornerback Guyton Galdeira said. "But we wanted something that represented us. We're from Hawai'i. We're Hawai'i Warriors."

Galdeira, linebacker Brad Kalilimoku and defensive tackle Keala Watson were put in charge of creating the chant and dance form. Galdeira and Kalilimoku have training in hula, and all three players studied the Hawaiian language.

Watson said several teammates made suggestions. They also consulted with several Hawaiian language instructors. While the focus will be on Hawaiian, the calling will incorporate traits from other Polynesian cultures.

"We took ideas from everybody and combined it into one," Watson said. "We tried to make something that would be unique to us."

Kalilimoku said he hopes the chant will be completed by tomorrow night.

"We want to make sure we choose the right words," Kalilimoku said.

Watson added: "We want to keep the words simple."

Linebacker Timo Paepule, who helped lead the haka during spring training, said the dance form is basically finalized. The Warriors had a mini rehearsal before yesterday's morning practice.

"It's not a haka," Galdeira said. "Haka is a Maori term. Let's say it's a war chant, a calling. It's coming from the team. We're not trying to single out a culture. It's coming from the Warriors."

Quarterback Colt Brennan said he welcomes the new calling.

"It's a new year, a new team," Brennan said. "Why not?"

Linebacker Rustin Saole said: "When people see it, they'll know this is strictly Hawai'i. This is the University of Hawai'i."

NAUAHI SAYS HE'S READY

Viliami Nauahi, a 2002 All-State safety from Kahuku High, has been cleared to join the Warriors.

Nauahi's eligibility clock did not start until last year, when he enrolled at Fresno City College. He recently earned an associate degree at Kapi'olani Community College.

He said he already underwent the NCAA-mandated medical examinations. He must attend an orientation tomorrow before being cleared to practice.

It is not known if Nauahi will receive a scholarship this fall.

"It doesn't matter to me," Nauahi said. "I could care less about the scholarship now. I'm just happy to have this opportunity."

PAPERWORK COMPLETE

How fast is running back Leon Wright-Jackson?

At 8:45 a.m., he was told to stop practicing while UH officials awaited transcripts from a junior college. Less than four hours later, Wright-Jackson was cleared to practice. He participated in the afternoon workout.

"My (junior) college said they sent something, but it didn't happen," Wright-Jackson said of the initial problem. "So they re-sent it, and now everything is good. I wasn't nervous."

But left wideout Joe Avery, a 2007 graduate of Banning High in California, was not as fortunate. He is awaiting paperwork from Banning officials.

Avery said he expects to resume practicing on Monday.

THEY'RE STILL NO. 1

Defensive coordinator Greg McMackin confirmed what has been apparent: Gerard Lewis and Myron Newberry remain as the No. 1 cornerbacks.

"They're the starters at this point," McMackin said. "Everything is up for competition. We're going to play the best guys. Both of those guys in the spring and fall camp Gerard and Myron kept getting better and better. They won 11 games with them last year. They're good players. They haven't done anything to hurt themselves."

McMackin said first-year Warriors Ryan Mouton, Jakeem Hawkins and Calvin Roberts will receive extended playing time at cornerback during today's practice.

"We need to see more of the others," McMackin said. "We've got two weeks (before the Sept. 1 opener against Northern Colorado). We have a lot of competition."

PEDERSEN COMING BACK

Injury report:

  • Safety Erik Pedersen said he did not suffer any damage to the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

    Although the ACL is "loose," Pedersen said, a magnetic resonance imaging said the ACL "is still attached and everything is good."

    Told of the news, Pedersen said: "I was really excited. I had a smile on my face. I can't wait to come back."

    He said he expects to resume practicing Monday.

  • Despite a dislocated ring finger on his right hand, wideout Malcolm Lane practiced. He even chased down a long pass from Brennan.

    "Everything is fine," Lane said.

    QB 'LIVING THE DREAM'

    Scout's honor, quarterback Jake Santos enjoyed his stint in training camp.

    Although he will have to sit out this season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules, Santos was invited to training camp. He spent his time throwing to receivers during pass drills and serving as the scout quarterback against the defense.

    "Right now I'm just an arm, just a body," said Santos, who attended Missouri Southern last year after two years at a junior college. "But I get to be out here competing and making the others better. I hope next year I get a chance, and I'm not just an arm."

    Santos embraces his role as the scout quarterback. He will be allowed to practice this season.

    "I know I can't play (in games), so being on the scout team is my season right now," Santos said. "I look forward to doing that. I get to learn a new offense every week and try to make the defense better."

    Brennan said he tries to offer tips.

    "He's getting a feel for it," Brennan said. "Coach Jones sees great potential for him to compete for playing time next year. This is just giving him a head start. It's not a tease. He should be thankful he's out here because he is a redshirt. There are some guys who could have been in camp and he has their spot. I think he's grateful for the chance."

    Jones said Santos' work has not gone unnoticed. Jones studies videos of every play in practice.

    Santos, who will be a senior in 2008, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee at Missouri Southern. He missed the 2006 season.

    He said the ACL has completely healed. He said a brace is optional.

    "I don't really have to wear a brace because the quarterbacks aren't allowed to be touched in practice," Santos said.

    He will petition the NCAA for a medical hardship that would allow him to play as a sixth-year senior in 2009.

    Even if that plan fails, Santos said, "I'm very happy to be here. My dream was to be at a D-1 school. Now I'm here, and I'm living the dream. I'm in Hawai'i. It's awesome."

    PRACTICE AT ALOHA TODAY

    The Warriors' final three-hour practice will be today at Aloha Stadium. The practice is closed to the public.

    Visit Tsai's blog at http://blogs.honoluluadvertiser.com.

    Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.