It’ll be a reunion of sorts for homegrown products Damien Packer, Shane Brostek and Psalm Wooching when the University of Hawaii hosts No. 25 Washington on Saturday.
The trio are part of a talent-packed 2012 graduating class from the Big Island Interscholastic Federation that saw a total of eight seniors earn college football scholarships.
Packer (Keaau) is a redshirt sophomore for the Warriors (1-11 last season) while Brostek (Hawaii Prep) is a junior offensive lineman and Wooching (Kealakehe) a redshirt sophomore outside linebacker for the Huskies (9-4).
Other 2012 graduates who played college ball are Kamehameha’s Akoakoa Paleka-Kennedy, Midwestern State (Texas) University; Warner Shaw, Pacific University; and DJ Grant-Johnson, Navy; and Konawaena’s Mike Andrade, UH; and Honokaa’s David Nesting, Southwest Baptist (Missouri) University. Andrade is not on UH’s roster due to injury.
Last season, Packer played in nine games, primarily on special teams, and finished with four tackles. He was named to the academic All-Mountain West Conference team.
During the spring semester, he earned a scholarship. A couple of weeks ago, Packer was moved from safety to wideout.
In his senior season at Keaau, Packer was named to the All-BIIF Division I first team at wide receiver and defensive back.
Brostek, 6 feet 4 and 283 pounds, is listed as the No. 3 right guard on Washington’s depth chart. Last year, he played in five games, including a bowl victory over BYU.
He graded out as the strongest and most agile O-lineman, but the Huskies prefer their starters to weigh over 300 pounds. Brostek still has a redshirt season.
Wooching (6-4, 225) is also third on the depth chart at Buck linebacker, a hybrid defense end in the Huskies’ scheme. He was a fullback his first two seasons.
Last season, Wooching played in 11 games, and was named honorable mention on the academic All-Pac 12 team.
He was an All-BIIF honorable mention at running back during his 2011-12 senior season. Wooching rushed for 812 yards and 15 touchdowns on 126 carries, and missed the early part of the season.
In his senior year at HPA, Brostek was an All-BIIF Division II first team O-lineman, and received honorable mention at D-line.
The Huskies fly to Honolulu on Thursday. Brostek and Wooching are on the traveling squad.
The game will kick off at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, and will air live on CBS College Sports (Oceanic digital channel 247 and 1247), and KHLO Radio AM 850.
It’ll be the fifth meeting between the Warriors and Huskies. The series is tied 2-2. The last game was in 2011 at Husky Stadium, where Washington prevailed 40-32.
Last season, UH was 104th in rushing defense out of 123 teams on the NCAA Division I level. The Warriors surrendered an average of 214 yards on the ground per game.
UH was worse against the pass, and ranked 116th. Opponents torched the Warriors for an average of 281 yards in the air.
In what passes as good news for the Warriors, the Huskies’ leading running back Bishop Sankey, and quarterback Keith Price are gone to the NFL.
Sankey, who ran for 1,870 yards and averaged 144 yards per game last year, was the Tennessee Titans’ second-round pick, and Price, who averaged 247 passing yards per game, signed a rookie free-agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks.
Chad Wissing (2011 Hilo) is a redshirt junior for Washington (1-1), which plays Gonzaga on Friday.
In his freshman season, he played in eight games. In 2012, he took a redshirt year. Last season, Wissing saw action in one game as he returned from injury.
Jamestown freshman Skye Ombac (2014 Waiakea) and her fellow Jimmies will open the season Friday at the Valley City State Invitational in Valley City, N.D.
Ombac is on an athletic-and-academic scholarship at Jamestown, an NAIA school in North Dakota. She ran cross country, and also competed in hurdles and jumps at Waiakea.
The 30-minute trip to Valley City State will be a nice reunion for Ombac, whose fraternal twin sister Katrina Ombac is there on an academic scholarship.
The Jimmies have a tough road to the postseason. The new North Star Athletic Association will join with the Frontier Conference for a regional qualifier in Billings, Mont. Only one team gets an automatic berth.
After cross country, Ombac will be busy for the Jimmies, competing in pole vault and hurdles for the track and field team.
To submit a candidate for the Big Island College Report, email firstname.lastname@example.org.