The countdown to kickoff for the Rainbow Warrior football team is down to 11 days as Hawaii opens its 2019 season next Saturday against the University of Arizona at Aloha Stadium.
Head coach Nick Rolovich enters his fourth season at the helm of the Warrior program with high expectations with more than 20 starters returning from the 2018 campaign.
One of those players is starting quarterback Cole McDonald who enters his second season under-center for the Warriors. Following a redshirt sophomore season that saw the California native throw for 3,875 yards and 36 touchdowns, McDonald is on the watch lists for the Davey O’Brien and Maxwell Awards heading into this fall.
However, preseason accolades mean nothing if McDonald doesn’t perform for his team.
“It’s a not a lot pressure necessarily, but a lot of expectations to live up to. But for me personally those are last year’s numbers. Those are last year’s stats,” McDonald said. “That’s all from last year’s standings. For me moving forward and the team moving forward, we’re not looking at any awards; we’re not looking at any trophies. The only thing we’re focused on is that Mountain West and winning football games. The guys around us, we’re pushing each other to get better and it’s showing on the field. It showed last year and we want to show it again this year.
“Leaders are going to lead regardless of the platform that you’re given. You make your own platform as a leader whether you’re a third-string or a first-string guy. Leaders are going to stand out and leaders are going to lead, and coming into this year, we just want to represent Hawaii and everything that we’ve been working towards this year – just to see the fruits of our labor.”
Kickoff between the Warriors and Wildcats is set for 4:30 p.m. HT at Aloha Stadium.