Calm before the storm?
Warriors enjoy final practice
before Sunday's Challenge
By Paul Honda
Friday, April 12, 2002
HONOLULU – Sultry is not awful. It could be worse, of course.
In parts of the Midwest, temperatures are still hovering in the 30s. Skies are gray out East.
The University of Hawaii Warrior only have to contend with 80-degree heat, and with no breeze to speak of Friday morning, some humidity.
Beats working out at 2 p.m. – on artificial turf. From the coaching staff's perspective, though, there's some satisfaction. After all there have been no serious injuries after 14 spring practices. All that remains is Sunday's Spring Challenge at Cooke Field.
"I'm glad this spring is coming to an end. We got a lot done," head coach June Jones said.
The Spring Challenge, featuring everything from a quarterback passing contest to a dunking booth – pick your celebrity, but Stephen Tsai won't be in it this year – is nothing short of a carnival atmosphere. Gates open at 4, and keiki and old kids alike are one full attack for autographs from the Warriors.
The actual scrimmage doesn't begin until 5:30 p.m.
"The players probably are excited. They'll turn it up just a little bit, being in a game situation. Unfortunately, we gotta play on that Astroturf. Hopefully, we'll survive it," Jones said.
Practice was similar to Thursday's workout. The defense worked against the option. Omega Hogan, the speedster from Houston, ran the offense through a myriad of sets against the first and second defensive units.
Offensively, the Warriors tweaked things a little, going 11-on-11 against a lineup of reserves. Jeff Rhode, Jason Whieldon and three-year letterman Shawn Withy-Allen continued to make progress. Rhode delivered a 43-yard rainbow to Clifton Herbert in the nicest connection of the 11-on-11.
Defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa and quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison were equally enthused about the progress of their players.
Extra points: Lempa and Morrison spoke with RSN. Those interviews, along with John West, Laanui Correa and Hyrum Peters are coming this weekend.