HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - While the 2018 Rainbow Warrior football team is full of young and talented players, 18 seniors will say goodbye to Aloha Stadium in what could potentially be their last game in Halawa.
Playing for a postseason bowl is obviously on the minds of the players, coaching staff and fans, but head coach Nick Rolovich also wants this Saturday’s regular season home finale against UNLV to be memorable for this senior class because it’s had to deal with so much over the years.
“The guys that stayed, a lot of them had the experience in 2016, had a miserable experience last year and continue to fight through and have brought this team back to a place where we all think it should be as far as record-wise,” Rolovich said. “I think they deserve some credit for fighting through last year’s deal and not letting that happen again and preparing spring and summer to move it forward in a positive direction.”
One of the players that Rolovich is talking about is defensive lineman Zeno Choi who earned his way onto the team as a walk-on to a scholarship and then later captain. Choi, who admitted he never watched the Warriors growing up, is looking forward to putting on a show for his home state one final time.
“Growing up not really watching or really knowing UH football, or not knowing football at all, it was kind of an eye-opener for me and my family,” Choi said. “Running out of the tunnel, hearing my name called is something I’ve dreamt would never happen. But seeing how much the state loves football and how we are like the professional team for the islands.
“It really amazes me how much respect and care we have for the islands and we play for the state. I just do my very best to represent the name on my back and the team on my chest. Nothing but love for the fans and friends in the stands. And we’re just going to continue doing our thing.”
Of the 18 graduating seniors on the team, just one is a starter on offense. Wide receiver Marcus Armstrong-Brown has made plays all-season long for Hawaii and wants to make sure he makes a few more against the Rebels to make sure that this Saturday won’t be the last time he plays at Aloha Stadium in his collegiate career.
“My family is going to be there. It’s senior night,” Armstrong-Brown said. ”Just the journey that I’ve made personally just to get to this point and this team putting ourselves in this position, I mean, it is what you dream about. We just got to make sure we keep our hats on tight and go to work. This team is just as dangerous as any other team in the league, and we can’t take them for granted.”
Hawaii takes on UNLV this Saturday at Aloha Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. HT.