To end the drought of BIIF Division I titles, the Waiakea’s boys soccer club had to endure 14 years and more than a few heartbreaking defeats.
The two-year wait for a second run is not that long, considering all the factors.
The original plan was to have David Urakami, the long-serving coach, retire last season. He was to leave the next coach with a large group of senior players.
However, the pandemic forced the cancellation of that campaign. Urakami was one of the longest-tenured league coaches and was given the opportunity to return for at least one season. He took the opportunity.
The majority of the Waiakea Warriors’ players will make their BIIF debuts. However, there are three juniors on the roster who played two years ago: Tevin Atwal, Tobias Johnson, and Sylis Conley-Ruth. The team carries 48 players.
Aziah Nelson, a forward, and Kaden Aguilar a fullback, are two of the team’s strengths. They are part of a strong sophomore class. They have been training with Gene Okamura through Rush Big Island, and have worked closely with him over the years.
Two junior exchange students from abroad are also present: Dani Castro Mediavilla, a center-middle from Spain, and Jonas von Bargen, a fullback from Germany.
Three players are competeing for the role of goalkeeper: junior Raiven Chinen, senior Kainalu Mattos and freshman Kawena Cales.
Waiakea will be welcoming Hilo Friday, a crucial early test for both the Wildcats and Waiakea.