The Rice Owls wrapped up their final practice at Rice Stadium and for the graduating seniors, there was a mix of traditional and non-traditional elements to their final workout on their home turf.
The senior class, who have produced three consecutive bowl trips for the first time in school history in addition to the school's first outright conference title since 1957, were greeted by the sounds of Hawaiian music filling the air during warmups, setting the tone for the team's flight on Friday to Honolulu to begin final preparations for their Christmas Eve matchup with Fresno State in the Hawai'i Bowl.
Head coach David Bailiff and his staff sported lies and Hawaiian shirts to enhance the theme of the nearly two-hour workout.
After the conclusion of practice, the proceedings returned to a more traditional form as the members of the senior class made one last lap around the field before selecting the underclassmen, and in one case, the Rice coaches, both former and current as well as members of the staff to carry them off the field to end their final workout.
Offensive tackle Ian Gray (6-8, 345) may have set an unofficial record by requiring six teammates to help him make his ceremonial final trip off the field. Safety Malcolm Hill threw a change up into the usual requests, selecting position coach Larry Hoefer in addition to defensive line coach Michael Slater, graduate assistant Eli Wicklund, head trainer Scott McGonagle and former Owls offensive coordinator John Reagan who has stopped in to practice to visit with Bailiff.
The Owls will embark from Houston on Friday for their trip to Honolulu and will return to the practice field on Saturday for the first of three workouts at Aloha Stadium in advance of Wednesday's bowl matchup.