Hawaiian Homecoming


After a long camp without hitting, the Trojans are scratching at the walls in anticipation of the opener in Hawaii, but it's even more significant to the team's island boys, OL Abe Markowitz and LB Simione Vehikite.

"I'm happy to be from the island, representing the island and what I grew up learning and knowing," said former walk-on Abe Markowitz.  "I'm happy that I've had good success here and I get to take it back to the island to show what the island made."

Markowitz is from Hawaii Kai and went to famed Punahou High School, President Barack Obama's alma mater.  Simione Vehikite calls Kapolei home, but it's been awhile.

"It means everything.  I have not been home for awhile now, so I can't wait.  I'm really excited to go and see my family," Vehikite said.

While the natives are anxious to see the Hawaii products don the cardinal and gold, Markowitz and Vehikite are limited to four tickets each, so they're working to get all their supporters in the house.

"As many tickets as I can get, that's how much is going to come," Vehikite said.

Simione said the team is getting used to "us Tongan boys" and that running backs coach Kennedy Pola incorporates the culture to fire up the squad. 

Markowitz is not "technically" Hawaiian, but he grew up there and adopted the way of life, which helped him fit in at USC.

"I love the way I grew up learning about every culture and different people," said Markowitz, who wears the #50 in honor of the 50th state in the union.  "It's helped me adapt to different types of people on the mainland here at school."

The Trojans will have to adapt to the unfriendly confines of Aloha Stadium, but Markowitz has told them what to expect.

"Their crowd does get a little rowdy.  The people that sit right behind the bench really heckle you pretty good.  We have to be prepared for that," said Markowitz, who earned a scholarship during camp.

While both players have fit in nicely at Troy, they do sometimes long for their island paradise.

"Over there it's a lot more laid back than here, over here it's busy," said Vehikite.  "But I just miss my family the most."

How do you prepare for this???



Brett Kan is also from Hawaii

Calistro is too.....but perhaps they are not traveling. There is a limited number that can go, I think.

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