Quinabo Earns 2nd-Team All-Conference at Concordia
By Rodney S. Yap
Wide receiver Colten Quinabo closed out his collegiate career with 47 catches for 567 yards and four touchdowns.
His numbers were good enough to earn second-team All-Conference honors in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, while helping the Concordia University Bulldogs improve to 5-6 overall (4-6 GPAC).
“I had so much fun playing football this year,” said the former Baldwin football and track standout. “We switched from an option team to a pistol team. I was blocking last year. It was frustrating because we weren’t winning and we weren’t throwing the ball. This year we started throwing the ball a little bit, getting back to playing like Baldwin football.”
Despite losses in its final two games, Concordia showed marked improvement from 2011 to 2012. The Bulldog offense went from an average of 16.7 points per game and 249.5 yards per game last season to 24.0 points and 306.5 yards per contest this season.
The buzz surrounding Bulldog football since spring camp was centered largely upon the new offensive scheme brought in by first-year offensive coordinator Curran White, who previously served as the offensive line coach/run game coordinator at Missouri Valley College.
“I thought our transition was overwhelmingly positive,” head coach Vance Winter said. “We didn’t know how it was going to go in terms of installing an entire system in the spring, and Coach White was hired in March. It was hectic and fast. Our guys did a great job in learning the system.”
Within their new offensive scheme, the Bulldogs’ priority was to put the football in the hands of Quinabo, their 6-foot, 180-pound returning senior. The Wailuku native caught 18 passes for a team-leading 253 yards during his junior campaign in 2011. His best game was against then No. 6-ranked Morningside when he hauled in six catches for 100 yards, proving he had the skills to be the team’s No. 1 weapon in 2012.
“Colten had an outstanding spring and was really able to show his talents in the new offensive system,” Winter said. “We expect Colten to be a major focal point of our offensive improvement this fall.”
Sophomore quarterback Von Thomas was the other half of the Bulldogs’ passing attack.
“He’s really good and our team is lucky to have him,” Quinabo said of the Miami, Fla., native who started all 11 games and took nearly every snap. He completed the 2012 campaign 165-for-331 passing for 1,840 yards, 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He also led the team in rushing with 460 yards and six touchdowns.
“I pretty much knew we were going to make changes because our option quarterback from the year before had left,” Quinabo said. “I knew this other guy (Thomas) was a great athlete . . . and with the new OC we ran a lot of play-action, more textbook plays and it opened up our passing game.”
The highlight of the 2012 season came on Oct. 13 when Concordia upset then No. 11 Northwestern, 17-16, in front of a large homecoming crowd at Bulldog Stadium. The Red Raiders lost only two games during the regular season and enter the NAIA Football Championship Series at No. 12 in the coaches’ poll.
“I was happy and grateful for all the passes that came my way,” said Quinabo, who plans to graduate next semester with a Sports Management degree. “It’s a blessing . . . i wish I could have gotten first-team honors. I thought I was the best receiver in our conference, but my numbers didn’t show that so I wasn’t the best receiver, but I was among the top guys so it was good. That’s as much as i could ask for.”
After one of the program’s most successful campaigns in recent seasons, Concordia football received seven combined first and second team selections on the GPAC all-conference squads — the most for the program since having eight in 2007.
“Coming into the season I told myself I had to be the No. 1 guy for our team.
“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. We came in with high expectations and it didn’t play out like we had hoped, we lost a lot of close games. I got hurt during the second game of the season on the second play of the game. The first two throws were to me and on the second one I fell on my back and was out for a second. I guess when I went up for the pass my ribs were exposed when I was hit, bruised my ribs and I couldn’t breathe. So I was out for the rest of the game and I missed the next game — we lost both those games.”
Quinabo saved his best for Morningside, again, hauling in a team-high 146 yards receiving, including 72 on one catch. He also had a team-high nine receptions against Nebraska Wesleyan on Oct. 20 and finished the season with a 12.1 average per catch.
Quinabo said he is happy he’s been able to find a home away from home.
“The school has great facilities and the teachers help you so much. If you’re serious about wanting to play big ball, than you should come to our school. There are great teachers here who will help you and the athletics are good. Everyone is like brothers here and there are a lot of nice people.
“A lot of the students here are athletes. We have a great basketball center, an indoor track, an all-turf field. We have a general weight room and then there’s the football weight room. Things are looking up around here.
“I remember when I left I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but honestly, I knew deep down that coming here was the right decision. Since I’ve been here I have met so much great people and it’s been a great experience. I’ve grown so much and I’m about to get my degree — it’s crazy.”
Former MIL Football Players Currently Playing in College
NCAA Div. I / Div. II / Div. III / NAIA
University of Hawaii (3-9 overall, 1-7 MWC)
* Jordan Pu’u-Robinson (BHS) DL, Jr., 6-4, 260
Played in two games, started one. Finished with three tackles
Oregon University (12-1 overall, 8-1 Pac 12)
* Keloni Kamalani (KMS) LB, So., 5-11, 215
Kamalani suffered an injury right before the start of the season and has not played.
University of Nevada Las Vegas (2-11 overall, 2-6 MWC)
Played and started in all 13 games. Finished with a team-high 120 tackles, 44 more than the next best defender on the team.
Oregon State University (9-3 overall, 6-3 Pac 12)
Played in 12 games, had four tackles, including a sack for minus 4 yards.
Utah State University (10-2 overall, 6-0 WAC)
* Elvis Kamana-Matagi (KKH) DL, So-RS, 6-1, 288
Kamana-Matagi has played in 11 games and has two tackles.
Weber State (2-9 overall, 2-6 Big Sky)
* Chase Nakamura (BHS) WR, Jr., 6-3, 200
Nakamura played in five games, had nine catches for 107 yards (11.9 avg.) and a long of 39 yards.
University of Arkansas (4-8 overall, 2-6 SEC)
* Mitchell Loewen (LHS) LB, Fr-RS, 6-4, 265
Played in five games and had one tackle.
Utah University (5-7 overall, 3-6 Pac 12)
* Tevita Malafu (BHS) LB, Fr.-RS, 6-1, 215
Eastern Michigan University (2-10 overall, 1-7 MAC)
* Bryan Pali (KSM) LB, Sr. 6-0, 209
Started all nine games at linebacker. Finished fourth on the team with 83 total tackles, including 17 against Ball State in the season opener. The team’s top tackler, Blake Poole, played in 12 games and finished with 89 tackles.
Rockey Mountain College, Mont. (6-5 overall, 5-5 Frontier Conference)
Southern University, La. (4-7 overall, 3-6 SWAC)
* Corry Roy (KKH) LB, Sr., 6-0, 215
Whitworth University (7-3 overall, 3-3 NWC)
* Kekoa Turbeville (KSM) WR, Jr., 6-1, 188
Turbeville played in all 10 games, had four catches for 42 yards.
LaVerne University (4-5 overall, 4-3 SCIAC)
* Kaiea Medeiros (KMS) OL, Sr., 6-4, 260
Played in eight games, started twice.
* Jordan Nauka (KSM), DB, Fr., 5-9, 180
Valley City State University, ND. (7-3 overall, 4-1 AII)
Pacific University (3-6 overall, 2-4 NWC)
* Cameron Yip (KSM) Jr., WR, 5-9, 165
Yip started four games and played in every game, had 10 catches for 80 yards
* Chase Rogers (LHS), So., DB, 5-9, 165
Rogers played in every game, had 13 total tackles.
* Jason Manning (LHS) Jr., DL , 6-2, 215
Manning played in two games, had two tackles
Menlo College (4-6 overall)
Trevor Collier, So., OL, 6-3 225
Junior College Football
Santa Rosa (3-7 overall, 1-4 NorCal)
Played in seven games and had 32 tackles, 3 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and two interceptions.
* Paula Toa (LHS) LB, So, 6-3, 220
Played in nine games and had 39 total tackles. Three sacks for minus-33 yards.
* Micah Arcangel (LHS) DB, Fr., 5-9, 175
Played in one game and had one tackle.
Feather River Junior College, Calif. (3-7 overall, 0-3 Mid-Empire)
Played in five games, had 52 carries for 182 yards and two touchdowns
* BJ Wilhelm-Ioane (BHS) LB, Fr., 6-2, 245
Played in three games, had 11 tackles
* Jameson Kahalekai-Bermoy (BHS) OL, Fr., 5-10, 235
Played in three games ad had two tackles.
* Jordan Kahalekai-Bermoy (SAS/STL) RB, Fr., 5-10, 220
Played in five games, had one carry for 1 yard. Also had three tackles.
* Daena Sato (BHS), DB, Fr., 5-9, 180
Mesa Community College, Ariz. (6-5 overall, 5-3 ACCAC)
Players Who Had Red-Shirt Season
* CeeJay Santos (BHS), So., Hawaii
* Tau Lotulelei (MHS), Fr., UNLV
* Jon Kaeo Marciel (BHS), So., Feather River
* Feleti Taufa (LHS), Fr., Hawaii
Players Who Had Grey-Shirt Season
* Emelio Maave (KKH), Fr., Santa Rosa