HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For the Rainbow Warriors, the light at the end of the long tunnel that is fall camp is close in sight. On Monday morning, Hawaii football held one of their last practices before they get on a plane and head nearly 5,000 miles east to take on UMass in their season opener. With just five days left until kick-off, head coach Nick Rolovich says he can see the heightened sense of urgency surrounding his squad.
"I think the boys are feeling it," said Rolovich of his squad following Monday's practice. "They've waited a long time to play football together against somebody else. It's been since Christmas Eve. "
With Hawaii heading to the postseason last season for the first time in six years, the off-season was actually shorter for Hawaii than it has been in recent years. But, according to the players it's that taste of success that's got them hungrier than ever to prove themselves once again. So, even in the final, long days of fall camp, the team is more locked-in and focused than they have been all summer.
"We had a lot of mental checks," said senior safety and team captain, Daniel Lewis Jr. about Monday morning's "mental Monday" practice, when the 'Bows focused on execution and correcting mistakes. "Guys were on it. I was really proud of how they handled it. We're definitely excited - really excited, to be back into this game week situation."
Another reason the 'Bows say they're so excited, has to do with the level of confidence and readiness the team as a whole has felt throughout camp. Since day one, Rolovich has praised his squad for their off-season preparations. Now, Hawaii's football players say they're leaving the 808 ready to rifle the Minutemen.
"After today, I'm - I think we're ready to go," added Lewis. "The way the defense handled all things [the scout team] threw at us today from all the different personnel, different calls they threw at us. They threw a lot of things at us and we handled it very well. So, the defense - they're ready."
"This team is in a place where it's never been before," said junior wide receiver, Dylan Collie. "The leaders are in the right places, the young guys are stepping up... Just to be able to have them and know that if something does happen we'll be able to rely on them and rely on all 63 guys that are traveling."
The Rainbow Warriors will have one more practice in Manoa before they leave for the east coast on Tuesday afternoon.