For the fourth consecutive year, head coach Nick Rolovich led the University of Hawai’i football team out to the Schofield Barracks for a day centered around team building and appreciation of the United States Army.
“I hope this experience sticks with them for the rest of their lives,” said Rolovich. “This is about bringing our team together, whether it’s the leadership course, or assembling weapons, the simulated firing range; all these things are experiences to help bond these guys together. We have to have the strength as a unit to move forward and move on to the next play.”
Throughout the morning and the afternoon, the student-athletes were presented with personal account stories from several members of the Tropic Lightning Division. A common message from both Rolovich and Maj. Gen. Ron Clark, the 25th ID commanding general, relayed to the entire team was many of the men and women they were meeting, would be the same age as them.
“It made us think and value what we have has football players,” said quarterback Cole McDonald. “We enjoyed everything today, but we appreciate these young men and women, who are my age, and what they’re doing every day for their country and for us.”
The day started with a heartfelt story from Col. (Ret.) Dave Brostron in front of the World War II statue on campus. Broston explained the heroics of his son being killed in battle against the Taliban. How his son and fellow comrades banded together, defending other fallen soldiers during a hectic battle. Relaying to the team, “no matter how tough the circumstances may be, you have to work together as a team to make a difference.”
As the morning continued, the Rainbow Warriors traveled out to the Barracks where they broke into offensive and defensive squads. The defense started with the leadership and teamwork course, while the offense was ushered to the weapons facility. Both respective camps were met with various challenges but gained respect after completing all the exercises.
“This partnership is to strengthen the bond between UH Athletics and the U.S. Army,” said Rolovich. “In return, we hope to raise the whole island up. I’m very appreciative of this day and all these guys.”