When the University of Hawaii football team opened training camp on Friday, it was a welcome change from a year ago when team activities were virtual and holding a season was in doubt.
After officially kicking off their 2020 season on Oct. 24, the Rainbow Warriors were one of the few teams in the country that didn’t have a game cancelled due to COVID-19. A New Mexico Bowl victory over Houston closed the season and pushed the ‘Bows to a mark above .500 at 5-4 in head coach Todd Graham’s debut season.
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Heading into Year 2 of the Graham era, the ‘Bows are far more familiar and understanding of what is expected of them. Although it’s a much more comfortable situation to be in, Graham hopes it doesn’t come with complacency.
“I think the key to our progression is our best players stepping out of their comfort zone,” Graham said. “Sometimes you got to have somebody to chase. Who is Calvin Turner chasing? Well, I tell him, you’re chasing the best, you’re chasing to be the MVP of the league. You’re chasing the undefeated champions of this league.
“Those guys set the standard and sometimes we’re just satisfied with those guys being good or great, so that’s really our motto and what we talked about. We talk about TTH (Tougher Than Hell, Graham’s motto) and we talk about our culture, character, smart, disciplined, tough. We talk about service, coming out here and serving. Our best players have to come out here and serve. That means they got to work the hardest.”
After the team was given Sunday off, fall camp resumes on Monday at the UH-Manoa campus.