LIHU’E — Playoff soccer games were taking place elsewhere, but for over 600 youngsters, there was the Soccer Fest.
Karl Ubongen, commissioner for AYSO Region 940, explained that for AYSO soccer players in divisions Under 6 through Under 10, the season came to an end last week with their final scheduled games.
“We have the bouncers set up,” Ubongen said. “And, for many of these teams, they have their individual award banquets and picnics, so we figured they might as well all do it together.”
Tents dotted the fenceline of the North Vidinha fields like they did during the normal AYSO soccer season, but instead of the colorful uniformed players chasing down balls, there was the squeals of delight as youngsters enjoyed the water feature and bouncers provided by Ken Carvalho.
Ubongen went on to explain that due to the different formats between the East and West regions of AYSO, the annual Wil Veeck tournament that pits teams from each region against each other will not be taking place this year.
He pointed out that in Region 940, the teams work on a seven-a-side format while Region 941 has nine-a-side.
Bob French, the AYSO Region 940 Safety Officer as well as the Town Manager for Koloa, was busy grinding out a non-stop supply of shaved ice for all the players, but looked up briefly from his task. “This is fun work,” he said. “The youngsters deserve this after working so hard.”
AYSO Region 940 covers the area from Lihu’e west through Kekaha and Ubongen estimates that about 800 youngsters participated in all age groups.
- Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or email@example.com