After racking up 240 yards against Punahou on Aug. 27, Kamehameha running back Noah Bartley is hungry for more.
The Warriors lost 33-28 to the Buffanblu that night and have not played since. On Friday, they’re scheduled to play four-time defending ILH and HHSAA Open Division champion Saint Louis, who beat Punahou 41-23 on Saturday.
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“I just feel the mentality is just do what we do, use what we’ve been practicing for this past year and a half, almost two years, that’s about it,” Bartley said when asked about the challenge of facing the Crusaders (1-1).
In a pre-pandemic year, the Warriors would have had roughly half a dozen games under their belt. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the team has dealt with numerous delays.
“Going on and off this past year, year and a half, the boys, we just really want to play,” Bartley said. “What held us together was us pushing each other in practice, on and off the field, just coming together and trying to stay together as one.
“I feel like it’s really important because we really don’t know when we’re gonna play, if we play or not, I just feel like everyone just goes into that mindset of ‘Win anyway.’ Everyone just wants to play so when we do get a chance, we go all out, try our hardest.”
Bartley certainly played like someone who took nothing for granted in last month’s matchup against the Buffanblu, running the ball 18 times for 116 yards and a touchdown while hauling six passes for 124 yards and an additional score. If Friday’s game proceeds as usual, he hopes to carry that same mentality and play like there’s no tomorrow. As the 2021 season has already proved, no games are promised.
“I didn’t really think about it too much, I just did what I was supposed to do: Just run the ball. I want to do it again but overall as a team, we just gotta keep going and working together.
“I think these past couple of years, just trying to stick to your craft, persevere through these hard times and just keep doing what you want to do. This past year and a half, we just kept going, kept working out in the offseason and stuff.”