Feature story on the 2007 Warrior team

About their 2007 season, Colt said:
“It was a memorable year.” (HA)

About the Heisman campaign he ran for Colt and the media attention their 12-0 regular season generated, UH sports media relations director Derek Inouchi said:
“There were many sleepless nights. But it was fun. I’d do it again.” (HA)

About their 2006 and 2007 seasons, JJ said:
“To be quite honest, I thought we might have had a better team (in 2006). I look at (2006 and 2007) as one long run.” (HA)

HA Note: “From the fourth week of 2006 through the 2007 regular season, the Warriors won 22 of 23 games.”

About what he told the players during their 2007 training camp, JJ said:
“Enjoy the journey and the camaraderie. When you look back, you’re going to remember the friendships and what it took to become a team. Those are the most important memories.” (HA)

About how their 2007 team had a close bond, Dan Kelly said:
“The whole experience was kind of surreal. It was the most closeness I’ve ever had with a team. There was a bond among the players.” (HA)

HA Note: “That was apparent on a chilly Reno night when Kelly kicked the winning 45-yard field goal with 11.7 seconds left — twice. On the first attempt, Nevada coach Chris Ault called timeout a nano-second before Kelly’s right shoe struck the football. He easily made the do-over.”

About the game-winning FG he made at Nevada, Kelly said:
“I was stressless. I knew if I missed, everyone would have my back. If I made it, we would all celebrate together. In that game, we had the lead and then we lost the lead. But we didn’t worry. When I had to make that kick, I knew I would make it. No doubt in my mind.” (HA)

About how he’s often asked about their 2007 season, Kelly said:
“I don’t remember the details of the games. But I can tell you story after story about things that happened on the bus or the plane or in the hotel. We had so much fun. I got to hang out with Colt and (defensive back) Ryan Mouton. A kicker usually doesn’t get to hang out with the stars. But that wasn’t the case with the team. Everyone was looked at as a peer. There was no segregation on the team by position or playing time. We were one team with one dream.” (HA)

About how they barely won at Louisiana Tech early in the season, UH director of security Manny Rezentes said:
“After the game the coaches said: ‘This is going to be a miracle season.’ ” (HA)

About how the team gained followers each week, Rezentes said:
“It kept getting bigger and bigger.” (HA)

HA Note: “During a road trip, an autograph seller filled his room with dozens of UH replica helmets. He waited in the lobby, begging for autographs. He did not want them personalized. After Brennan signed his 10th helmet, Rezentes stepped in, closing down the rags-to-eBay-riches scheme.”

About how people tried to make money off their team, Rezentes said:
“We had so many people trying to wiggle their way in.” (HA)

About how he tried to exclude the people trying to make a profit, Rezentes said:
“They said a lot of things, but I had a stone face.” (HA)

About how he refused to take a sick day despite how his hip problem made it painful to walk or stand (he had hip-replacement surgery after the season), George Lumpkin said:
“It was bad. It was two years of pain. It got increasingly worse as the days went by. But (that season) made it all worth it. … In the sports world, or any situation where you win or lose, you understand what it means to be rewarded for hard work. Those kids worked hard. They earned the reward.” (HA)

HA Note: “The NCAA limits a school to offering four tickets to each player. Terry Brennan’s guest list was 40 for the Boise State game between unbeaten WAC teams. With the help of ticket manager Walter Watanabe, Terry Brennan bought 36 tickets — at full price — in the blue section of Aloha Stadium’s South end zone.”

About needing 40 tickets for the BSU game when each player only has 4 tickets to give to family and friends, Terry Brennan said about the tickets he bought:
“Those are good seats because they face the (JumboTron).” (HA)

About how Colt was able to join their group after the game, Terry Brennan said:
“After the game, some of the police officers were nice enough to get (Colt) out of the stadium and take him to where we were tucked away in the parking lot.” (HA)

About how 2007 was Colt’s last season at UH, Terry said:
“We made a lot of friends, and we had a lot of fun. It was a great year, but it was sad, too, because we knew it would be coming to an end. But, no, we had no tears. We were really excited for all of the players, not just Colt. We weren’t just cheering for Colt. We cheered for Davone (Bess) and Ryan (Grice-Mullins) and all of the offensive linemen. And all of those coaches. We cheered for everyone.” (HA)

“It was a great experience. How many times are you going to go to Moscow, Idaho, or Monroe?” (HA)

About how their loss to UH in 2007 ended their 5 straight titles, BSU DB Kyle Wilson said:
“Everybody remembered when we walked off the field. The confetti, and the cheering, and the way they were holding up the trophy. That picture was ingrained in everybody’s head. That’s why we all worked so hard. Nobody wanted to experience that feeling again.” (HA)

About his favorite memories from the 2007 season, Colt said:
“I had a lot of great memories. The best moments were the last two weeks, the games against Boise and Washington. I had a lot of family and friends come over (from the Mainland). We had an absolute blast. And we won both games.” (HA)

HA Note: “Brennan, now with the Washington Redskins, has several boxes of videos and memorabilia from that season.”

About how he will be able to go back to think about their 2007 season after he is done with the NFL, Colt said:
“Right now I’m trying to focus on the NFL. When I walk away from the game, hopefully a long time from now, that’s when I’ll go back and watch all of that and think about all of the fun times.” (HA)

About inviting UH fans to watch the bowl selection ceremony at the Stan Sheriff Center, Rich Sheriff (manager of the 10,000 seat arena) said:
“I was thinking, maybe, 5,000 or 8,000 people. To get a sellout was amazing support from the entire state.” (HA)

About how UH celebrated their invitation to the Sugar Bowl in the arena named after his father (who was UH’s athletic director), Rich Sheriff said:
“My dad would have loved it. My dad loved the school, and he loved football. I don’t know if he thought we could get into a big game like the Sugar Bowl. But he would have been absolutely thrilled and amazed by the accomplishment.” (HA)

About how he cheered for UH even though that would mean that they wouldn’t be in the Hawaii Bowl, JD (who was in charge of the Hawaii Bowl in 2007) said:
“I was very happy they made it to a BCS bowl. It meant a lot for the school and the state.” (HA)

About attending the Sugar Bowl with his wife and two kids, JD said:
“It was one of the best experiences all around, with all of the excitement and electricity.” (HA)

About how UH’s belief defined their team, Mac said:
“Every team has its own personality. That team believed as much as any I’ve been associated with. They believed they would win games. They believed in each other. They believed their dream would come true.” (HA)

http://sports.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090819/SPORTS0201/908190331&template=UHsports

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