Mirror Image Warriors

With similar skills and personalities, best pals Davone Bess (7) and Ryan Grice-Mullen can look in the mirror and practically see the other one. UH quarterback Colt Brennan, meanwhile, just sees his two favorite receivers, while Coach June Jones sees NFL careers ahead

Steve Murray
Friday - August 31, 2007
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to 15 months in a detention facility and, at the age of 17, it appeared the dream had died. If not for a stubborn coach with an impressive record doling out second chances, it just might have.

Bess hauls in passes during practice
Bess hauls in passes during practice

“Whatever I do off the field is going to affect him (June Jones), good or bad. So when people say good things about me now, it reflects on Coach Jones because he was the one who took a risk on me,” says Bess about the coach who wrote letters to the judge on his behalf.

But the fact that Bess got far enough for Jones to offer an opportunity is a testament to his mother, Chinell Carpenter, who kept him away from the very real dangers of his Oakland neighborhood.

“I came from a real messed up area, but fortunately I had my mom there for me and she kept me grounded,” says Bess. “To this day every time I go back home I go to my high school and do a whole bunch of clinics and I talk to the kids and tell them that I’m a living example of hope because I’ve been through hell and back and I’m still here. I’m still standing tall. There’s more to life than drugs and alcohol and just BSing with your life.”

With a soft schedule and the big dogs - Fresno State, Boise State and Washington - all coming to Aloha Stadium, it has fans talking 12-0 and a shot at a Bowl Championship Series game.

It’s a thought that neither can focus on but is admittedly something to contemplate.

“We would be lying if we said we didn’t think about it,” says Grice-Mullen. “Everywhere we go on the Island people talk about it; 12-0, the BCS. Do I believe we can go 12-0? Yeah I do. I definitely do. Do I think it will be easy? Not at all. Is this the year I think we can do it? Definitely!”

Grice-Mullen hauls in passes during practice
Grice-Mullen haul in passes during practice

Bess explains that while not being cocky, the confidence in believing you are unbeatable is necessary to success. Without that belief, there is no reason to play.

“We have to go into the season thinking, even if we’re playing USC or Ohio State, that we can go undefeated, that we can go 12-0,” says Bess. “We don’t want to disrespect the other teams, but it’s definitely in the back of everybody’s mind.”

And in the sights of everyone with an interest in the program, whether they will admit it or not.


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