LIHU’E, Kaua’i – The University of Hawai’i football team held a spirited practice followed by an autograph session at Kaua’i's Vidinha Stadium, Saturday. In keeping with tradition, the team held a spring practice on a neighbor island for the fifth consecutive year and second to the Garden Isle.
A crowd of several hundred braved the mid-day heat for the 90-minute practice and were treated to a glimpse of the 2013 Warriors. At the conclusion of the practice, the team performed the haka and fans were able to meet the team up close and personal during an hour-long autograph session.
“It was fun, it was a privilege to be here,” head coach Norm Chow said. “The guys worked hard and are still making some mental-type errors which we need to eliminate but I thought the energy was good and its nice to be out here and take the game to the people of Kaua’i and we’re awfully glad that we’re able to do it.”
“Its nice that we’re able to allow (Kaua’i fans) to see us practice a little bit. We want to make them feel that we’re representative of the entire state. We’re the only Division I team in the entire state that plays football so we have to respect that and hope that they feel good about how we represent them.”
The practice also marked a homecoming for offensive lineman Sean Shigematsu (Kapa’a HS; Kapa’a, Kaua’i) and defensive lineman Siasau Matagiese (Waimea HS; Waimea, Kaua’i) while former Warriors Jett Jasper and Mel Purcell were in attendance.
“I know its just a practice but its an awesome feeling looking up and seeing familiar faces that I wouldn’t be able to see before,” Matagiese said. “Its not that easy to catch a flight to watch a game so for us to bring everything to them is really an inspiration especially to the kids.”
Following lunch, the Warriors along with their coaches and staff toured the island with stops to Poipu Beach Spouting Horn and Kaneiolouma Ruins before returning to Honolulu on a late flight.
The Warriors head into their final week of spring practice which culminates with the annual Spring Fling, Thursday, at the Clarence T.C. Ching Field. The Warrior Bowl spring game begins shortly after 4:30 p.m.