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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Going on a Crusade

Kealakehe's Trevino commits to Valparaiso
by Joe Ferraro
West Hawaii Today
Sunday, November 14, 2010 7:56 AM HST
The phone conversation lasted about 15 minutes, and Dominick Trevino couldn't wipe the huge grin off his face.

Valparaiso University, a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) school located 50 miles from downtown Chicago, gave Trevino two pretty big reasons to keep smiling: A financial aid package that covers almost all of his college tuition and room and board, and a spot on the football team as a quarterback.

"As soon as I hung up the phone, I was smiling for another two minutes, but I stopped because I was too tired,'' said Trevino, who announced his verbal commitment to play football at the Northwest Indiana college Saturday.

The Kealakehe senior notified Valparaiso of his decision last Sunday but did not want to disclose the information until the end of the football season. Oahu Interscholastic Association school Waianae knocked the Waveriders out of the Division I First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships Friday with a 34-16 win on Oahu.

Trevino said students pay approximately $36,000 per year to attend Valparaiso. The financial aid package Crusaders assistant coach Trevor Jaskiw presented to him covers approximately 86 percent of that amount.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Trevino said he strongly considered all of the Ivy League schools -- Brown, Cornell, Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Columbia and Dartmouth -- that expressed interest in him. However, none of the schools made an offer, and the one Valparaiso gave him was too good to pass up.

"That's a lot better than what I can get from a lot of other schools,'' Trevino said.

On top of that, he gets an opportunity to play the position he likes the most: Quarterback.In three seasons on Kealakehe's varsity football team, Trevino played quarterback, tight end and defensive end. He also spent time as a long snapper.

According to Trevino, Valparaiso recruited two quarterbacks this season and Jaskiw told Trevino he was the Crusaders' top choice.

NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from commenting on recruits before they sign a National Letter of Intent. For high school football players, National Signing Day -- the first day recruits can sign a letter of intent -- will take place on Feb. 2.

Trevino sent game film of his junior and senior seasons to Valparaiso, where Crusaders coach Dale Carlson and associate head coach Bob Muckian liked what they saw.

"(Jaskiw) told me on more than one occasion that they watched my film, and they really liked it,'' Trevino said. "They said I was able to deliver the ball and make the right throws when I had to make them."

Trevino, who holds a 3.9 GPA at Kealakehe, said Valparaiso's educational programs also factored into his decision. He hasn't declared a major but has considered math and biology.

Trevino will join a Valparaiso team that plays in the 10-team Pioneer League, competing against schools located as far west as San Diego and as far east as Jacksonville.

The Crusaders capped an 0-11 season Saturday with a 37-15 loss at Morehead State. Opponents outscored Valparaiso 514-100, and the team mustered just 13 offensive touchdowns.

Valparaiso lists eight quarterbacks on its roster -- only one is a senior -- and five received playing time. Trevino said the topic of redshirting didn't surface when he spoke with Jaskiw, but he's confident he can contribute immediately.

"I would rather play as a true freshman because I'm a competitor,'' Trevino said. "I just want to get in the game as early and as often as I can."

Trevino said the opportunity to play for Valparaiso is a "blessing," and he thanked his parents, Paul and Earlynn, and Pacific Island Athletic Alliance director Doris Sullivan for their efforts in providing exposure to college coaches.

He also praised Pete Ewing, a Kealakekua youth baseball coach who spent hours of time in the summer working on quarterback mechanics and footwork with Trevino at Old Kona Airport Park, and his Waverider teammates -- especially the offensive line of Zy Hewlen, Gabby Padillio, Kekai Obrey, Brennan Ellis and Nainoa Marks.

"Without them, I would be just another kid in a jersey,'' Trevino said of his linemen.

This season, Trevino played quarterback in nine games for the Waveriders, who finished 10-2 and won their fifth Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division I championship in seven years. He completed 43 of 90 passes for 666 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. Trevino compiled most of those statistics in Kealakehe's first five games.

Waveriders coach Gary Clark raved about Trevino's ability as a blocker, and he utilized the senior more as a tight end after the team's 18-9 win at Keaau on Sept. 11. In Kealakehe's regular-season finale, a 51-20 road victory over Hilo on Oct. 16, Trevino completed 8 of 16 passes for 170 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. But he didn't see time at quarterback in the postseason, instead playing at tight end and defensive end.

As a junior, Trevino led the BIIF in completion percentage, going 71-of-130 for 920 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions for a Waveriders team that went 5-5 overall. A season earlier, he received limited playing time on a 12-0 Kealakehe team that won a BIIF championship but later lost the title for using an ineligible player.

When asked to reflect on his time at Kealakehe, Trevino beamed about leaving the school as a BIIF champion.

"We didn't want to be remembered as the kids who couldn't bring it back,'' Trevino said. "Things didn't go our way on Oahu, but we had a great season."

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