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Young Lady Luna soccer team loaded with talent

By Staff | Jan 16, 2014

The Lady Luna soccer team includes (from left): front — Kiana Vera, Kelsey Shultz, Beverly Joy, Maya Ryan, Aliya Ramirez, Maile Altier, Jessica Miske, Anna Tillman and Keila Stecker; back row — Coach Earl Thompson, Shaina Saribay, Mikino Kumagai, Siera Olvera, Jordin Galarita, Kayci Thompson, Sasha Miranda, Tavi Viela, Luz Valdez, Raybeka Sinenci, Bridgette Cuaresma and Coach Jeremy Delos Reyes.

LAHAINA – After gaining a rap sheet at Lahainaluna High School as the unofficial leader in visits to then-Principal Henry “Bruno” Ariyoshi’s office during his four years there some 20 years ago, Jeremy Delos Reyes admits that he was a “kolohe kid” of the era.

Today, Delos Reyes, at 38, still has that sly grin and spicy vocabulary that prompted ejection from various classrooms on campus during his high school “daze,” but he is now on the other side of the face-off as the wood shop teacher at Lahainaluna and as the first-year coach of the Lady Lunas soccer team.

As a mentor in the wood shop – rated as the top facility in the state – Delos Reyes has gained a following in leading the practical arts program to award-winning efforts.

“I gained a refuge in this class as a student of Mr. Bob Sakado, who provided me with direction for a sound education at a time when I was kind of scattered. I was kolohe (rascal), and he helped me channel my energy in the right direction,” he said.

Delos Reyes also learned to focus his tempestuous nature into soccer, having participated in the sport from age eight. He played in all the youth leagues on Maui – MYSA, HYSA, AYSO – and at Lahainaluna, along with a stint in college in the Mainland.

He continued his involvement by coaching the same youth league teams and bided his time with his longtime soccer buddy Sam Aki, the current Luna boys coach.

“Sam and I have spent a lot of time together with soccer, and we always thought about working together up here at Lahainaluna with these kids,” Delos Reyes explained last week from his office in the wood shop. “And, when the opening came up for this year, I was ready to give it a go.”

Along with assistant coach Earl Thompson, Delos Reyes has inherited a relatively young team that finished with a 4-10 record last year behind Division I opponents Kamehameha Maui, King Kekaulike, Maui High and Baldwin. The roster includes five seniors, six juniors, 11 sophomores and six freshmen.

“We’ve got some very talented players that have tremendous individual skills,” said Coach Jeremy. “What we’re trying to do is create a mindset for these girls to think of being successful. We want to build motivation and determination in them.”

He noted that the leaders of the team are co-captains Maile Altier, a senior, and sophomore Jessica Miske. Also showing promise with outstanding drive is freshman goalkeeper Aliya Ramirez. The roster lists 12 returnees from the 2013 team.

“Our first concern is to establish discipline,” Delos Reyes explained. “Then we want to improve the conditioning, build team unity and chemistry – basically match Coach Sam’s theories. In the big picture, we want to help the players to become good people, maintain good academic records and look to college opportunities.”