A must-win series, Spurrier speaks up
Friday - April 20, 2007
It seems like some teams just get another team’s number, and you couldn’t blame Mike Trapasso and the baseball Rainbows if they’re feeling that way about Fresno State. The Bulldogs have taken eight series in a row from the UH in Fresno, and this year’s series was one of the most painful to date. After the Bows hang on to win by a run in the opener, the Bulldogs come back and win two games in the bottom of the ninth with two outs.
Despite playing well, the frustration factor is high. The Bows can take revenge on Louisiana Tech in a three-game series beginning Friday night. It looks like the only route to post-season play for any WAC team will be to win the conference tournament, so the task is to get better each week and peak at the end of May.
With all the vitriol surrounding Don Imus’ inappropriate remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team, you’d have thought that University of South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier would have been on safe ground saying at a speaking engagement that flying the Confederate flag is an embarrassment and should be discontinued. While the ol’ ball coach has never been particularly active in politics, you can bet that he is opposed to anything that might cost him even one outstanding recruit. And its obvious that African Americans in the South regard the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism and discrimination. It seems to be cut and dried, but no - Spurrier is being attacked for voicing an opinion on something other than football.
Perhaps we do have a long way to go.
University of Hawaii offensive line coach Dennis McKnight looks straight out of central casting. Six-foot-five and in the 300-pound area with a shaved head and malevolent glare, McKnight is not afraid to get in anybody’s face. “I was taught by coaches who got emotional and demanded more,” says McKnight. “That worked for me, and I’m doing everything I can to make it work for these guys.”
McKnight has a particular affinity for his Polynesian players.“What I love most about these guys is their attitude,” he says. “They don’t look at practice as drudgery, they go out and have fun with it. And when it comes to lifting weights they get in the gym and enjoy it. That’s the way it should be.”
Two UH teams that have gotten very good have done it in very different ways. Mike Wilton’s volleyball Warriors were in a huge struggle and looked well out of the play-offs until they went on a terrific tear and won 10 straight to earn a shot against UC-Irvine in the MPSF tournament.
That’s very different from Bob Coolen’s Rainbow Wahine softball team that started off hot and just kept it going to where it’s now a five-alarm blaze. And they’re doing it with the long ball, and getting prodigious home runs up and down the order. It’s unquestionably the best offensive team in Rainbow Wahine softball history.
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