There was a shining end to Hawaii's football regular season this past weekend. The Warrior's rallied to defeat San Diego State 41-40. Now, the guys in green prep for the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Day. And as they do, expect some pep in the step of Hawaii lineman Vince Manuwai because the V-Man is an All-American.
V-Man is the nickname given to Manuwai in a UH pitch to get offensive guard some All-America recognition. Apparently it worked because Monday CNN and Sports Illustrated put Manuwai on their first team All-America squad, one of seven All-America teams sanctioned by the NCAA.
Manuwai now joins Tommy Kaulukukui in 1935, Al Noga in 1986 and Jason Elam in 1992 as the only men in Hawaii football history to earn First Team All-America honors.
Also good news for Hawaii defensive end Travis Laboy, he's the WAC Defensive Player of the Week. The 6'4", 250 pound junior recorded seven tackles, five for a loss and two sacks as Hawaii rallied to top San Diego State. Laboy's last sack was a game saver as he took down Aztec quarterback Lon Sheriff on 4th down to lock up Hawaii's 10th win of the season.
And with the season done and put away, except for the bowl game, the Warriors had a chance to look back last night at their annual awards banquet.
That's where linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa was named the Alec Waterhouse team Most Valuable Player. The first team All-WAC selection had 121 tackles this season, 18 of those for losses with six and a half sacks. All of those were team leading totals.
The Warrior Scholar-Athlete of the Year award went to quarterback Shawn Withy-Allen. And the Ben Yee Most Inspirational Award went to defensive tackle Lance Samuseva.
All of this comes as the warriors cap off a 10 win season with a late rally to beat San Diego State. From here the Warriors shoot for the second 11 win season in Hawaii history.