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Aloha Universities

Posted: February 7, 2008 2:16 a.m.
Updated: April 9, 2008 2:02 a.m.

With family and school administrators surrounding her, West Ranch High soccer player Gina Tumasone, bottom row third from right, signs a letter of intent Wednesday to accept an athletic scholarship from the University of Hawaii-Hilo.

National signing day marks an aloha of sorts as many high school and junior college athletes are making their farewells and hellos official.

It couldn't be closer to the truth for one West Ranch High girls soccer player and a pair of College of the Canyons football players.
While football grabs the main stage on this day, where locally, football starts Delano Howell (Hart High/Stanford), Patrick Larimore (Hart High/UCLA). BR Holbrook (Hart High/New Mexico), Ryan and Justin McKillop (Saugus High/Wagner), Shane Watterson (Saugus High/UNLV), Graham Wilbert (Valencia High/Florida Atlantic) and Mike Lien (Valencia High/South Dakota State) officially accepted scholarships, one signing was more unique on Wednesday.
Gina Tumasone, a soccer player from West Ranch, officially accepted the first scholarship in the school's four-year history.
Tumasone will be playing at the University of Hawaii-Hilo.
The three-year team captain and now West Ranch trailblazer received the official letter via fax Tuesday night and signed it at a ceremony Wednesday.
"It's really cool right now. I feel real honored being the first one," Tumasone said.
Hawaii and a Hawaii-connection were notable with College of the Canyons football.
Kainoa LaCount, a 6-foot-7-inch, 305-pound offensive lineman, accepted a surprise scholarship from the University of Hawaii, where his brother Kahai had played.
According to College of the Canyons interim head coach Garett Tujague, LaCount was bound for Kansas State, but some miscommunication made the lineman explore other options.
In a matter of three days, Hawaii contacted LaCount and signed him up, despite him earlier saying he had no interest in the school.
Joining him at the BCS school will be defensive back Chris Black.
"Chris Black is a perfect example of a student-athlete that just does everything the coaches asked him to do," Tujague said. "He probably never said more than two words all year, but he was the most dependable player we had in the secondary all year."
Defensive back Fred Anderson and offensive lineman Chris Staley will go to Portland State, where former Hawaii defensive coordinator and NFL head coach Jerry Glanville is the leader of the program.
Jovonne Augustus, a 6-foot-5 receiver who had great interest from Bowl Subdivision powerhouses before the season, settled for Grand Valley State in Michigan after having grade issues.
Tujague said as many as six other COC football players could receive offers from Division I and or D-II schools.
Hawaii expressed great interest in sophomore quarterback Andrew Miramontes, who tore his labrum mid-season, but decided to grab somebody else.
St. Bonaventure running back Darrell Scott, who terrorized three local teams in 2007 and was one of the nation's top recruits, decided to take a scholarship from Colorado.


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