HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Green Valley Resort and Casino in Henderson, Nevada played host to the Mountain West Conference’s Media Day where expectations for each team in attendance remained high ahead of fall training camp.
While the conference’s preseason polls were released this morning, not all the coaches let the poll dictate their respective futures. In fact, Rainbow Warrior football head coach Nick Rolovich decided to put his team’s destiny in his own hands - and in the hands of Lady Fortune.
In years past, Rolovich brought in Brittney Spears and Elvis Pressley impersonators to spice up the atmosphere of the media summit. This year, Rolovich hired a Las Vegas fortune teller where coaches, players and any of the resort’s guests could take turns looking into their future.
"It's hard to find a good impersonator all the time,” Rolovich said. “You don't want to just do something to do it … So I said the polls are coming out, so let's see where she puts us."
To predict the future, sometimes it’s best to reflect on the past first. Looking back at quarterback Cole McDonald’s 2018 campaign for the ‘Bows, it’s difficult for Rolovich and the signal-caller himself to feel confident about what’s to come.
“You know the expectation; it’s there. And it’s obviously there wherever you go,” McDonald said. “Pressure makes diamonds and you know, I feel like our team -- and Hawaii as a whole -- I feel like we're ready for that.”
This season could also prove to be a banner year for defensive lineman Kaimana Padello, who earned 2nd-team all-conference last season.
"This season, the goal is Mountain West Conference Championship,” Padello said. “This year, I really feel like the guys have bought in. I feel like they believe we can win. I'm excited for the team. Honestly this is the best feeling I've had being around the University of Hawaii."
Today was also the first time the team addressed the media since the sudden passing of linebacker Scheyanne Sanitoa. Today, his teammates remembered him both in their hearts and on their sleeves.
“When you think of Scheyanne you think of full out effort,” Rolovich said. “He would be out there running as hard as he could for his brothers. And that should be the mentality for our kickoff team and I think that’s a great way to celebrate him.”