Ready to fly: ‘Bows hold final home practices before season-opener in Amherst

Not even a partial solar eclipse could break the University of Hawaii football team’s focus.

Game week kicked off Monday with an early morning practice on lower campus.

The ‘Bows are just five days away from kickoff against University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

With the team scheduled to travel Tuesday, Monday’s practice was the toughest workout of the week as the team flipped through the playbook, locked in on packages, and targeted technique.

Head coach Nick Rolovich says he’s pleased with his players’ progress.

“I think the boys are feeling it. They’ve waited a long time to play football together against somebody else,” Rolovich said. “It’s been since Christmas Eve and I also think doing spring (training camp) early, they were ready to get back to fall camp and get going, so I had a vision of how I wanted them to be physically. Mentally, I had good confidence in not only the coaches but our leaders to have us ready to play mentally.”

“I think everyone wants it bad. We come out here hitting against your own teammates and beating them up,” said sophomore defensive back Keala Santiago. “I think taking care of each other is what we try to do. Take care of each other and play hard at the same time, but I know that everyone is hungry to see someone else so they can let it all out.”

“It’s so exciting. I can’t even put it into words. A lot of times I came throughout camp where a guy would be coming across the middle and I’d be all like, ‘Ahh! Nah, that’s my teammate. I can’t do that to him,'” said junior defensive back Daniel Lewis Jr. “Practice safe and practice smart, so no more practice. It’s all full out go and I get to really let loose. I’ve got a year of stuff just built in and I’m ready to unleash on those guys, so watch out UMass.”

The ‘Bows will hold a morning workout Tuesday before catching an afternoon flight.

Kickoff is set for Aug. 26 at noon HST in Amherst. The game will air on Spectrum Sports 257 and 1257 (HD) and on ESPN 1420.

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