WAILUKU - For the first time since the University of Hawaii played an in-season game at War Memorial Stadium on Sept. 8, 2001, against Montana, the Warriors may have a presence on Maui in 6 1/2 weeks.
Assistant athletic director in charge of facilities and operations Teri Wilhelm Chang confirmed to The Maui News on Wednesday that she may be able to announce as soon as today that the team will play a spring scrimmage at War Memorial on April 11. An autograph session would follow.
''Right now we are in the very beginning stages of planning,'' Chang said via phone on Wednesday. ''I'm talking to people over at the Parks and Recreation Department on Maui. We would fly our team in before having a scrimmage and autograph session. It would be a one-day trip.''
The event would be part of the Warriors' spring practice and the team would still hold its Green-White game at Aloha Stadium as the end to spring drills.
Chang said that UH has reserved the April 11 date at War Memorial Stadium and the details are close to being finalized. Chang, a Baldwin High School graduate who was born and raised on Maui, coordinated the Montana game at War Memorial.
''Nothing is really settled in quite yet, but that is our preliminary plan and we are talking,'' she said. ''We have the date reserved, but everything else has to be finalized. Hopefully it will be very soon. I would like to have something in place by (today).''
Chang said the idea is to spread Hawaii's only Division I football team as far as possible across the state. Maui is second only to Oahu in pay-per-view television customers for UH sports.
''I think this is definitely an effort of aloha, so we can extend ourselves out to the outer islands,'' she said. ''We are Hawaii's team. The women's basketball team went to the Big Island this season and we had another team go to Kauai. We haven't been to Maui in a while and we want to reach out. It is definitely a goodwill trip, coming over on a visit. Hopefully everything works out and we can get there. Our coaches are excited and so are our players.''
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org