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Hawaii Football Now: Episode 19

By: Jarin Kobashigawa

Jordan Helle and Hunter Hughes welcome the New Year with an episode that summarizes the Rainbow Warrior’s 2021 season and all that they accomplished and endured. Staying on-brand with all the New Years’ festivities and activities, Helle and Hughes discuss some new years resolutions for the Hawaii Football Team for 2022. The last bit of drama for the 2021 UH Football Season will come with the State Senate hearing that will take place on Friday, January 7 at 2:30 pm. The hearing is available to listen to on ESPN 92.7 FM and 1420 AM at 2:30 PM HST.

Rainbow Warriors 2021 Summary

The Las Vegas win totals and pre-season polls had the Rainbow Warriors projected to finish with a .500 record, which in the end was 1 UH Football win away from being correct as the team finished 6-7. The Bows started their season 1-3, losing to a couple of tough teams like UCLA and OSU. But notably, the Bows won their first game at home in the empty Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex against Portland State University.

The Bows bounce back in their next four games to even their record at .500 with 2 wins against NM State, an upset win over Fresno State, and a loss against Nevada. With only 1,000 fans allowed into the complex, Hawaii won 48-34 against NM State. The defense shined against Fresno State, forcing six turnovers while the offense capitalized on those turnovers, scoring 17 unanswered points in the final quarter of the game to win 27-14.

The next three losses had UH thinking they would no longer be considered for a Bowl game but finishing off their season with two outstanding performances against Colorado State and Wyoming and by a stroke of luck, the EasyPost Hawaii Bowl was announced. But of course, the rollercoaster year continues and Bows end up pulling out of the game for health and safety reasons.

Capping off the year, the transfer portal announcements from over 12 different players and accusations of Head Coach Todd Graham surfaced and made national news. These events will be examined more closely in the upcoming State Senate Hearing on Friday, January 7th.

New Years Resolutions for UH Football

  • Above all, Hughes said repairing the relationship between the coaching staff and the community. Hughes would like to see this coaching staff interact more with alumni by inviting them to practices and activities.
  • Helle adds that another resolution which is for the program to tie in more of the history of this program into its fabric, one way is to create throwback jersies which are popular with fans. With the added complications of the transfer portal, players may be only staying in Hawaii for a few years so tying in the history of Hawaii Football should be an emphasis moving forward.
  • Hughes and Helle agree that finding the team’s identity moving forwards should also be a resolution. With players leaving, the team will be challenged to adapt their play style and leverage the guys that they still have.
  • Lastly, continuing build the connections with local high school athletes and encouraging them to stay home and become part of the UH Football Program.

Senate Hearing on Friday, Jan. 7th

Tomorrow, the State Senate will host an online hearing as a result of the criticism that UH Football Head Coach Todd Graham has recieved in the last month regarding accusations of verbal abuse towards players and coaches and more than 12 players and 2 coaches electing to leave the program. The two most notable were 2 of 3 captains of the team, Chevan Cordeiro and Darius Muasau. The Senate also plans to address budget and costs related to the coaching staff contracts.

The hearing is available to listen to on ESPN 92.7FM and 1420AM at 2:30 PM HST.