Inside the locker room

By Steve Uyehara – bio | email

(HawaiiNewsNow) - Before they hit the field, the Warriors will take some time to focus, plan things out, calm their nerves and then raise their emotions to fever pitch before the big battle.

Where do they do that? The locker room. We took a look behind the scenes at the stadium with a former Warrior that is very familiar with USC.

The last time Hawaii played USC, a running back by the name of Reggie Bush ran into a safety by the name of Leonard Peters. Bush later went on to say that Peters was one of the greatest players he'd ever face. Joining us now is Leonard Peters. Thanks for joining us. Okay so we're in the locker room. This is hallowed ground for you. What's the emotion like for you pre-game on game day?

"Walking off the bus, I always tried to be the last one off the bus so I could see everybody walking towards the stadium to the locker room," said Peters. "You can see by the way people walk who had the swagger and who was just kinda like, 'oh we're going to play USC today.' But as we get in here, some guys are going over their notes, seeing if we can get some of those last-minute answers to questions they may have had on the bus. Some guys listen to Metallica and rock music. But I liked to listen to reggae just to calm myself down before the game."

We're talking about USC. We're talking big name. We're talking BCS. How do you not become intimidated at this point?

"I honestly can say you're going to have guys that are going to be intimidated that need that speech before the game," said Peters. "That go-out-and-get-'um, do-all-you-can, the swear words and stuff like that. But I wasn't that type of player. As soon as I heard the crowd, the crowd is what I needed. The louder the crowd was, the harder I played for Hawaii."

This is where coach goes over the game plan, right? Everybody kinda gathers around and takes note of that?

"So as soon as we get in, we put our stuff around, put whatever we need in our lockers, go through our things, try to get taped a little bit before we go pre-game," said Peters. "If coach had any last-minute adjustments or things he wanted to go over, he would call the offense or defense up, go over the chalkboard and say what we would change or what we would keep."

You said you were saving your energy pre-game, but this is the moment. This is when you need to get pumped up right?

"Coach Mel Delaura would stand here, and the defense is the one that they would read the names, and they would say it over the intercom and we would come running out the tunnel," said Peters. "My hair was up until my name was called. At that time I felt like Superman putting his cape on. My hair was like my cape. All the emotions, all the practices, all the waking up early in the morning to drive down. All that blood sweat and tears we put in, I tried to put it into myself then. As soon I hit the tunnel, I was game on."