WAIMEA — It’s a long way from Waimea to Boulder, Colo., and Jordon Dizon is not ready to go back just yet to his second home.
The Colorado University starting inside linebacker just finished off his sophomore season and according to his estimation, last year was the best ever.
“I just learned a lot last season. It was a learning experience, but at the same time, I established myself out there too,” Dizon said.
Despite all of his glory days at Waimea High School and a highly decorated first season as a Buff, Dizon happily declared last season as the best football he’s ever played in his life.
The Buffs finished off the 2005-06 season sputtering with three straight losses, which included a 70-3 stomping to Texas, the national champions.
“I was cheering for both teams, but I don’t really care for Vince Young (Texas quarterback). It turned out to be a great game though,” Dizon said.
Dizon also noted that Young doesn’t only look like he’s hard to tackle, because he actually is.
“Yeah, they humiliated us and I was ashamed to be a Buff. Even after the game at a restaurant, a guy said that even he could’ve done better in that game if he suited up for us,” Dizon said.
But despite the downfall of last season, the Buffs managed to land one of the most promising coaches in the land, by signing up Dan Hawkins, who made the move from Boise State.
“He met with us and talked about his philosophy. He seems to be a really nice person and with his good record at Boise State, I think we should be fine,” Dizon said.
However, Dizon was probably more relieved than anything when Hawkins decided to keep linebacker coach Brian Cabral, who has a special relationship with not only Dizon, but other Buffs from Hawai’i as well.
“I’m really glad they kept Coach Cabral. He’s been really helpful for all of us. It was also tough to lose Coach (Gary) Barnett. He was like a father to us and I really looked up to him,” Dizon said.
Along the way through his sophomore season, Dizon also became popular with the area newspapers, who often quoted Dizon because of his colorful attitude.
And Dizon found his favorite restaurant on the Mainland, and it’s only about 15 minutes away in Denver.
“There’s this place that has all the local food, like kalua pig, lau lau, plate lunches, and all the Oriental kinds of stuff I like too,” Dizon said.
The Waimea High School standout athlete also thanks local food for giving him the extra weight he needs to slam down opposing quarterbacks. As of Friday, Dizon said he weighed in at around 230 pounds.
Dizon’s main goal of intercepting a pass is still in the air and he figures to attain that milestone next season. Then his mom, Darla Abbatiello, a decorated Kaua’i police officer, will possibly buy him a car.
Abbatiello mentioned during his freshman year that if he intercepts a pass and runs it into the endzone, she’ll buy him a brand new ride.
But for now, Dizon will enjoy the ride that has been all but boring. And with two years of big-time college football to go for the Kaua’i boy, the sky’s limit, especially if it means grabbing that INT from the chilly Colorado air.
- Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or email@example.com.