LHS girls soccer team is back with core group of leaders
LAHAINA – After a season of turmoil two years ago and no team taking the field in 2016, the Lahainaluna High School girls soccer team faced a mountain of a challenge entering the current campaign. But if there is anybody from the West Side community that can right the ship, it is the Lady Lunas’ first-year coach, Sky Delaney.
A coach, board member and referee in the West Maui AYSO program for the past 21 years, Delaney thus brings a wealth of knowledge to his new position at Lahainaluna.
He is dedicated, focused and passionate about youth soccer and will certainly bring a positive attitude to the program.
“After the off year, we are in transition from the previous coaches and, back in September, we needed to assess the situation and see if there was a chance to keep it going,” explained Coach Sky from the school’s elite Sue D. Cooley athletic facility last week.
“We found that we have a core group of leaders that can recognize successes on the field and use that to keep going. This way, we as coaches have something to build on.”
That core group of leaders is led by senior captain Meygan Patch and junior team captains Kyanna Torres Kaiwi and Mihana Ho, along with senior returnees Kianna Vera, Traci Gallardo and Sasha Miranda, as well as junior Kristina Mau. Rounding out the roster are first-year players Makena Cowan, Kailee Badua, Sandra Esparza, Anelah Pua Nahooikaika, Trinity Scanlan, Kalea Acevedo Silva, Isabella Theobald, Chiarra Clark, Nerida Negrete and Courtney Morgan.
Delaney also recognized assistant coaches Christopher Baum and Nathan Mau for their efforts in stabilizing the program toward the focus required to keep it going.
“They have been integral in the successes that we have on the field and help reduce the distractions to keep things moving forward. And the trainers – Jon (Conrad) and Helen (Hetzel) – have been a big help in keeping things positive for the team,” added Coach Sky.
“Our athletic director, Scott Soldwisch, has been a compass for the team and has gone out of his way to help this team learn the process of high school soccer,” he continued to say. “Annie and James Hayes and Steven Okada also have been instrumental in leading the U-14 program before the girls come up to the high school team.”
Perhaps most important of all, Delaney recognized the parents of the student athletes in the success of the team.
“Good communication is essential and a key component in the success of the team. Family values and team values coincide, as our captains are leaders by example and have a great relationship with their teammates,” Delaney said.
On the field, Coach Sky and staff are teaching balance of mid-field play and steady defense. They emphasize the value of every possession and how to play off the ball.
“With the commitment they have shown so far, the skills and understanding needed for success has improved,” he concluded.