CSU vs. Hawaii: Final DaySeptember 24, 2007
By Senior kicker Nick Ellis
|Senior Nick Ellis|
Below is the fourth and final entry sent in by senior kicker Nick Ellis about the football team's trip to paradise to play the University of Hawaii.
Final Entry, Monday 24th
Coach Kelly said it the best when he stated that as time passes you will meet different people, your teammates will come and go and friends will fade as time passes. But this one trip to Hawaii is something we will all share in common for the rest of our lives. When we come in contact with our teammates years down the road, we will say, “you remember that trip to Hawaii?” It is so true! This trip was more than a football game, I can say this now because the game is over. The trip was business pre-Saturday, because we did come to Hawaii to beat Hawaii. The trip has turned into something spectacular. Whether it is on the football field or on the field of life, this trip brought us closer together and formed bonds that will be in our hearts forever. The coaches did a great job arranging the hotel accommodations and our visits to places like Pearl Harbor and Diamond Head Park. This was a first-class adventure that offered many different things to many different players. I can’t help but think about how many of us would never be able to afford a trip like this, and here we are in Hawaii playing in Aloha Stadium. It is an opportunity that no player takes for granted.
I must take this time to talk about something that is personal and sometimes goes without notice. This trip would never have been possible without good leadership in our coaches and good players that helped jump-start the program. I have been a Buccaneer since 2003, when things did not go so well. I have seen the program go from “CSU who?” to a school that has won a championship, and a program that gave 19th-ranked Hawaii a scare. This trip has been in the making since people like Travis Mays and Darren Swiggett poured their hearts into it. Then players like Collin Drafts, Maurice Price, and our fallen teammate Eddie Gadson, came and took the program to a whole new level. It is great to be a part of this wonderful and exciting journey. But it doesn’t stop here, with our coaching staff, head coach Jay Mills, talented players and talented recruits to come, you will see CSU become bigger than can ever be imagined. Coach (Steve) Barrows and Coach (Darrell) Perkins, in 2005, spoke to us about being fully committed and BELIEVING in this program and now belief in this program has spread like a wild fire. The program was built by talented players and great coaches and should continue to go farther.
Thanks to all of those who made this trip possible, you have no idea what this has done for our program and our university. It is a great time to be a BUCCANEER!
Aloha & Go BUCS!
This morning we got up for morning meetings at nine and brunch at ten. After our meal we walked to a park about two blocks away for a brief walk through. The park was beautiful; there was huge mountain in the background where you could see the ridges of the volcanic rock. The ocean was right beside us as we practiced. It was fun to walk as a team down the streets of Waikiki and see people looking at us, and asking us questions. After our walk through we had time to get back to the room and take showers and get dressed for pre-game meal. If I haven’t said it before, let me take a chance to comment on the food. The food in Hawaii is like no other. The fruits are ripe and everything has a tropical kick. The pre-game meal was the best roast beef and chicken I have ever had. As with everything, Hawaii offers new experiences and new taste. After the meal we boarded the buses to head to Aloha Stadium. The game, I am sure, will get covered by different forms of media in Charleston, but let me be the first to say…the score doesn’t reflect the game. We definitely scared them in the first half. We competed with a top ranked D-I team, for the entire half. After that, however, you can read in the papers. After the game we have a little free time. So as of right now, we are headed out to see Waikiki. ALOHA!
Today we woke up at 7:15 for an early morning practice at Aloha Stadium. But before practice we had breakfast, I know usually breakfast is not that big of a deal, but in Hawaii it is. The fruit we had tasted like it had just been picked. It was the freshest watermelon, cantaloupe, and strawberries I have ever eaten. The muffins were excellent as well. Our practice got off to a rocky start, but after a quick team talk lead by CJ Hirschman, Sidney Bryant and Dennis “Wally” Justiniani it soon became a focused and successful practice. After the practice we headed back to the hotel to get ready for our trip to Pearl Harbor. Once we arrived back to the hotel we had about an hour to go swimming in the Pacific. It was beautiful, and the water was so clear. There is something indescribable about walking down a row of palm trees and ending up in crystal clear water with mountains in the background.
Our trip to Pearl Harbor was a great experience for the team. It brought us to a place where so many men and women lost their lives so that we could continue to live in freedom, let alone play the game of football. The team paid tribute to the fallen, and got a new perspective of that “day of infamy”. It was a great experience and one that we will share for the rest of our lives. After the Pearl Harbor tour, we went to an authentic Luau. The pig was cooked in the ground, and was ceremonially brought to the tables for eating. It was great food and great fun. During our Luau we had some interesting times. A few of our players showed their hula moves and danced with many of the beautiful hula girls. Jaques Bazille and Phillip Ashley showed their moves and starred in the show’s dancing competitions. It was an exciting time and a time where we grew closer as a team. The ocean was right beside us, with the moon high in the sky and a nice breeze. It was a great night for an authentic Luau and a fun experience with the team.
Tomorrow we prepare to BEAT HAWAII!!!!
- Nick Ellis
Senior kicker Nick Ellis has agreed to give CSU fans an inside look at the football team's trip to paradise to play the University of Hawaii. Updates will be posted daily on CSUSPORTS.COM.
We left rainy Charleston at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday headed for Atlanta and finally to Honolulu, Hawaii. The take off from Charleston International was one of the most enjoyable parts of the day’s travel, because a good many members of the team had never flown. The take off was a little bumpy and guys were giving the first time fliers a hard time. There was a sigh of relief as we reached our cruising altitude. We landed in Atlanta, and then caught a direct flight to Hawaii. The flight to Honolulu was 9 hours, non-stop. While on the flight we enjoyed the relaxing time to converse and catch up on some much needed sleep. When we touched down in Honolulu it was an odd feeling, because our internal clocks said it was eight o’clock at night, but Hawaiian time it was only two o’clock. We went straight to Aloha Stadium for a short practice and after that we arrived at our hotel. The Marriott Resort on Waikiki Beach is breath taking. Located in the middle of everything, and right next to the ocean it offers a lot to travelers. We had a quick position meeting and then had about an hour to get out and enjoy what Waikiki has to offer. Finally we settled in for bed check at 10:30 and caught up on some more much need Z’s. It was a fun day to travel as a team and answer questions when people asked who we were and who we were playing. But when we got to Hawaii, everyone knew we were playing “their” team. It has been exhausting, but a lot of fun.