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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Leaders of the Team, Moniz, Fonoti

Stephen Tsai has a great article about Blaze Soares and John Estes taking charge and conducting a players-only practice in the middle of a four-day break.
"After this past Wednesday's game," senior linebacker Blaze Soares said of the 27-6 nationally televised loss to Louisiana Tech, "I didn't feel we deserved to get a day off. We had a horrible game. The way we played was an embarrassment to this program. To say we represented Hawai'i was embarrassing."

After returning from the Mainland Thursday night, Soares and center John Estes, a co-captain, shared their feelings of frustration.

"We got embarrassed on national TV," Estes said. "We didn't play good in all three phases of the game. We were like, 'Damn, we need to tell these guys how we feel and what we're really playing for.' We're playing for Hawai'i and we're playing for a bowl game. We need this bowl for Hawai'i more than anything."

They decided to conduct a players-only practice.
The players wore jerseys, shorts and helmets, but no pads.

They spent the hour working on tackling techniques and other fundamentals. The seniors rotated serving as coaches.

When the workouts were completed, the players gathered at midfield. Soares and Estes addressed their teammates for about 10 minutes.

"This showed a lot of character, especially from our seniors," sophomore quarterback Bryant Moniz said. "After a struggling loss, this shows a lot of attitude. We're taking a step forward from the loss."
This sounds like it could be a turning point. One last quote from Blaze:
"I want to say, that's the last time you'll see Hawai'i play like that. I mean it. I'm going to make sure my team is ready every week."

Tsai also profiles new No. 1 quarterback Bryant Moniz.
"What's better than playing in front of your home crowd?" he said. "It's every little kid's dream to play for the home team, especially for a local boy."
And Dave Reardon has an update about some of the players' families in American Samoa.
Hawaii defensive end Fetaiagogo Fonoti has located his mother and brother who were in American Samoa visiting during last week’s tsunami, and they are healthy and safe, UH coach Greg McMackin said today.

Several other UH players and recruiting coordinator Tony Tuioti are still tracking down relatives there, the coach said.


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