The day started with an Ha’a performance from soldiers at the Schofield Barracks Saturday morning. They were welcoming the University of Hawaii football team who was on site for the day; combining football and the military.
It’s the fourth straight year the Rainbow Warriors have come out to the Barracks in the summer. The ‘Bows took part in all kinds of activities including team obstacle courses and a simulated gun range.
People often compare sports to the military simply because of the some of the characteristics they both require. For some members of the UH team, this experience will be one they can draw on when they’re grinding in the middle of the season.
“We were told a story this morning about seven fallen warriors that went to UH and were in the ROTC,” recounted Rainbow Warriors redshirt junior quarterback Cole McDonald. “It’s a powerful message to draw strength from your friends. We had a great group of guys. The people in the military taught that warrior ethos: never leave a fallen comrade, always place the mission first, never accept defeat, and never quit. Just to take those key values and implement them in our every day lives as normal citizens. Football on the grand scale is nowhere as big as fighting for our country but a lot of the same characteristics are involved. We can apply them to our game, the weight room, on the field in practice, whatever we can. I feel like it’s going to be a good takeaway.”
The team split into small groups and participated in specific obstacle course challenges.
“Everybody has to get to the other side of the obstacle course,” said Rainbow Warriors senior defensive back Kalen Hicks. “The challenge was some of our teammates had to be quiet and they chose leaders among the group. So they focused on the leadership aspect of what we do. Everybody had their own part and role to contribute to get across the course that we all had to finish. Yeah it definitely ties together. Communication, all this stuff, it’s a big part of what we do throughout the season.”
“All those things, the experiences bond our guys,” said Rainbow Warriors head coach Nick Rolovich. “And when times get tough, I don’t know when it’s going to be, but it’s going to happen, probably will happen in the first game pretty early. We got to have the strength as a unit to move forward and move on to the next play.”
“The first casualties of Pearl Harbor, the attack on Pearl Harbor, happened here at Schofield Barracks,” stated Major General Ron Clark, the commanding officer of the 25th infantry division. “So to connect to that history, to be a part of the island of Oahu and the Hawaiian State is really important to us. So to be able to connect through the UH football team is really important and you saw that through the Ha’a this morning.”
Many Warriors players gaining a new respect for the U.S. military and what they do here in Hawai’i.
The football regular season opener for the ‘Bows is on August 24th at home versus Arizona.