Maui’s Rosa to Celebrate Christmas at Hawaii Bowl
By Rodney S. Yap
Christmas came early for Oregon State’s Mana Rosa and four of his teammates who call Hawaii home.
On Sunday, the Beavers accepted an invitation to play Boise State of the Mountain West Conference in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. The annual Christmas Eve game will be played at Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium, beginning at 3 p.m. and air on ESPN.
Rosa, a 2008 Baldwin High School graduate and former Maui Interscholastic League player of the year, is a senior starting defensive lineman for the Beavers. The Haiku resident helped Oregon State close out the 2013 regular season with a 6-6 record. Rosa finished with 49 tackles, including one sack, and two blocked kicks.
OSU won six straight games during the course of the season and finished the Pac-12 Conference slate with a record of 4-5.
“I am thrilled that our football team has an opportunity to play another game at an exciting destination against an outstanding opponent in Boise State,” said Beaver head coach Mike Riley. “The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl has a great tradition and we are excited to bring our team, which features several natives of the great State of Hawaii, to represent the Pac-12 Conference.”
This will be the Beavers’ eighth bowl appearance with Riley, boasting a 5-2 record.
Boise State (8-4) will be making its 12th-straight bowl appearance, tied for the seventh-longest active streak in the country, and its 14th appearance in the last 15 years. The Broncos will also be making their second appearance in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, having also played in the game in 2007.
Boise State will be without coach Chris Petersen, who last week Monday, Dec. 2, became the head coach at Washington. Linebackers coach Bob Gregory will serve as interim coach.
“I would like to thank the officials at the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, ESPN and the Mountain West Conference for this opportunity to play in one of the top postseason settings in college football,” said Broncos’ athletic director Mark Coyle. “We are excited for this year’s Bronco team, and especially for our senior class.”
Besides Rosa, the Hawaii Bowl marks the homecoming for OSU players Titus Failauga from Waipahu, Manase Hungalu from Kailua-Kona, Devon Kell from Hilo, and Ali’i Robins from Ewa Beach.
Defensive line coach Joe Seumalo, graduate assistant coach Tavita Thompson and administrative assistant Aaron Nichols are from Honolulu. Offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh served in the same role for the Rainbow Warriors from 1999-2004, wide receivers coach Brent Brennan was a graduate assistant at Hawaii in 1998 and his cousin Colt Brennan was a record-setting quarterback at UH. Defensive coordinator Mark Banker was Hawaii’s outside linebackers and special teams coach in 1995.
The Broncos and Beavers have previously met seven times, with Oregon State holding a 4-3 advantage in the series. The Broncos have won each of the last two games against the Beavers, including a 37-24 victory in Boise, Sept. 25, 2010.
This is the first time the schools have met in a bowl game.
The Beavers will return to Aloha Stadium on Sept. 6 for Game 2 of the 2014 season against the Rainbow Warriors.