David Urakami has no words to describe Waiakea boys soccer last season. If he did, they’d be of the four-letter variety, he said
In the end, Urakami just chalked up the Warriors’ 3-11 Big Island Interscholastic Federation campaign to “a learning experience.”
“A totally different team this season,” he said.
Actually, the team is much the same, it’s the desire, cohesiveness and experience that have all improved, said the coach.
One season after it played for the BIIF championship, the senior-less Warriors struggled all season long in 2013 and never came close to duplicating the success of Waiakea squads that reached the Hawaii High School Athletic Association tournament the previous two seasons.
“Everybody is back,” Urakami said, “and nobody wants a repeat.”
All 11 starters return, though there are two freshmen pushing for playing time on a roster that includes six seniors. The captains, seniors Hajime Hayano and Jamal Marshall, serve as two good pieces to build around in the midfield.
Urakami called Hayano “tenacious” and Marshall “smooth.” Hayano made first-team all-BIIF last season, while Marshall moves up to center midfield after being an honorable mention selection at fullback last season.
The rest of the team is rounding into form, Urakami said, and he was pleased with how many players stepped up during offseason workouts.
Two freshmen, Michael Scott and Max Adolf, are in the mix at forward.
Tyler Kerr will anchor the backline at sweeper, while goalkeeper Chris Wung enters his second season as starter. Both were honorable mention all-BIIF last season.
The coach needed only one word to describe the new field turf at Waiakea High: beautiful.
He said it’s taller than the turf at Kamehameha — the only other artificial surface in the BIIF — but Urakami noted that Waiakea’s field is smaller so it could be even more advantageous to quicker teams.
“We’re trying to work on making that a strength,” he said.
Waiakea opens its season today against Kohala in Kapaau, and the Warriors will debut on their new field Wednesday against Hilo.
East-Pac 1, Makua Lani 0
Sol Kislig took a second-half pass from Kapua Arsiga and scored to lift East-Pac to victory Friday in Kailua-Kona.
Goalkeeper Taylor Feato picked up the shutout as East-Pac evened its record at 1-1. The Lions fell to 0-2.