Posted on: Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Hawaii players having Devil of a time
By Kalani Takase
Advertiser Staff Writer
The small town of Itta Bena, Miss. has a population of just over 2,000 and if not for a former All-Pro receiver, it may have never become more than a dot on a map.
Instead, Itta Bena is home to Mississippi Valley State University, whose most famous alumnus is future Hall of Famer Jerry Rice and the impact on the school's football team is reaching further than ever.
The Delta Devils went 21-9-1 during Rice's tenure (1981-84), including a school-best 9-2 in 1984.
A wave of players from Hawai'i are hoping to re-create that success at the 450-acre campus located 100 miles north of Jackson, Miss. and 120 south of Memphis.
Kicker Zack Gilarski (King Kekaulike '06 of Ha'iku), considered to be the best in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, kicked a 42-yard field goal in the season opener, a 16-9 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. However, MVSU has lost its next three games, including Saturday's game against Jackson State.
Backup kicker Jamie Whitworth (Radford '06) kicked a 25-yard field goal Saturday. Holding for Whitworth was sophomore reserve quarterback Ryan Burciaga (Radford '06 of Honolulu). Sophomore linebacker Kevin Aguigui (Campbell '06 of 'Ewa Beach) also sees special teams action.
Freshman Marc Moody (Saint Louis '07 of 'Ewa Beach) has ascended to the top of the depth chart at one of the defensive back positions.
Also on the MVSU roster is freshman offensive lineman Esrom Pascual (Saint Louis '06 of Wai'anae).
The Delta Devils (1-3) compete in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA). Other notable schools in the SWAC are Grambling State, Southern and Alcorn State.
Oregon State junior safety Al Afalava (Kahuku '05 of La'ie) had a team-high 10 tackles in the Beavers' 44-32 loss to Arizona State.
Junior left tackle Tavita Thompson (Saint Louis '04 of Honolulu) started for the Beavers. Junior Jeremy Perry (Kahuku '04 of Hau'ula), who suffered a leg injury against Utah on Aug. 30, returned to limited action.
Also playing in the game for Oregon State were freshman safety Suaesi Tuimaunei (Kahuku '06 of La'ie), freshman wide receiver Aaron Nichols (Kamehameha '06 of Honolulu) and senior defensive lineman Naymon Frank (Roosevelt '03 of Honolulu).
Brandon Rodd ('Aiea '03 of 'Aiea), a graduate student, started at left tackle for the Sun Devils.
Sophomore offensive lineman Shawn Lauvao (Farrington '05 of Honolulu) also saw action for Arizona State (4-0), which debuted at No. 23 in this week's Associated Press poll and tied for 25th in the USA Today poll.
New Mexico State junior linebacker La'Auli Fonoti (Kahuku '04 of Kahuku) had five tackles and a fumble recovery in a 55-20 loss at Auburn.
Junior defensive end Oren Long (Saint Louis '03 of Honolulu) and senior nose tackle Ray Manumaleuna (Kahuku '01 of La'ie) each collected a tackle. Junior linebacker Dylan Moss (Saint Louis '04 of Kailua) also got in the game.
Navy junior quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada (Kapolei '04 of Kapolei) passed for 217 yards and touchdown in a 46-43 win over Duke. Kaheaku-Enhada also rushed 19 times for 72 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown.
Sophomore defensive tackle Mika Kane (Kamehameha '05 of Honolulu) and sophomore defensive end Tyson Alualu (Saint Louis '05 of Honolulu) started for California in a 45-27 win over visiting Arizona Saturday. Kane had five tackles and Alualu recovered a fumble.
Colorado senior linebacker Jordon Dizon (Waimea '04) had just 4 1/2 tackles in a 42-0 rout of Miami (Ohio), but he still leads the nation with nearly 14 tackles a game.
Southern California junior linebacker Kaluka Maiava (Baldwin '04 of Wailuku) had two tackles in the top-ranked Trojans' 47-14 rout of Washington State.
San Jose State sophomore libero Kristal Tsukano (Kamehameha '05 of Honolulu) had 12 digs in the Spartans' three-game loss to Hawai'i Monday. Freshman outside hitter Brianna Amian (Moanalua '07 of Honolulu) also played.
Pepperdine senior middle blocker Lecca Roberts (Seabury Hall '04 of Kula) put away 14 kills in a four-game win over Marshall and 13 against Akron. Pepperdine went 3-0 and won the Blue/Green Classic last weekend in West Virginia.
Washington sophomore libero Tamari Miyashiro (Kalani '05 of Honolulu) had 14 digs in a sweep of Oregon State Saturday in Corvallis, Ore. Senior defensive specialist Ashley Aratani ('Iolani '04 of Honolulu) added four digs.
Oregon State sophomore setter Camilla Ah-Hoy (Kahuku '06 of La'ie) had six digs.
Pacific University (Forest Grove, Ore.) senior Caitlyn Tateishi (Waiakea '03 of Pahoa) ran a personal best of 23 minutes, 52 seconds in the Bear Fete Invitational. The mark is sixth-best for a 6-kilometer race in Boxers' history. She finished 17th.
Saint Mary's (Calif.) junior midfielder Justin Kim (Mililani '04 of Mililani) had an assist in a 2-1 win over San Jose State Sunday.
Boston College senior midfielder Satoshi Mitsuda (Punahou '03 of Honolulu) scored his first goal of the season in an 8-0 rout of Maine last week. Mitsuda, who was competing in his first game since 2005, put in a header in the 78th minute for the No. 13 Eagles.
Pacific University (Forest Grove, Ore.) freshman Ashley Kanda (Castle '07 of Kane'ohe) and junior Kelli Ganiko (King Kekaulike '05 of Makawao) scored in a 2-1 win over Pacific Lutheran.
Wellesley (Mass.) senior midfielder/forward Jennifer Lau (Punahou '04 of Honolulu) scored twice in a 6-1 win over the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Thursday.
Rutgers sophomore forward Caycie Gusman (Kamehameha '06 of Honolulu) scored twice in a 5-0 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson Sunday.
Oregon freshman Sean Maekawa (Honoka'a '07 of Pa'auilo) finished seventh at the Oregon State Giustina Memorial in Corvallis. Maekawa opened with a 5-under par 67, stumbled with a second-day 75, but rebounded with a final-round 69 to finish at 5-under 211. Maekawa was the top Oregon golfer.
Pacific University (Forest Grove, Ore.) freshman Max Bonk (Hawai'i Prep '07 of Kamuela) was third at the Northwest Conference Men's Fall Tournament with a 3-over 75.
Freshman Tami Park (Waiakea '07 of Hilo) and sophomore Jasmine Ching (Waiakea '06 of Hilo) finished third (88) and fifth (90), respectively, in the women's tournament. Junior Lauren Yoshimura (Pearl City '05 of 'Aiea) and freshman Valerie Kitamori (Waiakea '07 of Hilo) both shot 93 and tied for eighth.
Gonzaga senior Sarah Sheffield (Kea'au '04 of Kea'au) tied for 15th at the MDA Invitational at Spokane, Wash. Sheffield's 16-over 232 paced the Bulldogs, who finished seventh.
Stanford junior Mari Chun (Kamehameha '05 of Pearl City) finished 20th at the Mason Rudolph Championship a week ago in Tennessee, shooting a three-round total of 3-over 219. Chun is tied for 15th (69-76) going into today's final round of the Margaret Branch NCAA Preview in Albuquerque, N.M. Southern California's Dewi Claire Schreefel is the leader at 137.
Reach Kalani Takase at email@example.com.