WAILUA — Typical Wailua sprinkles could do little to dampen the excitement demonstrated by the KSC – Blazing Angels.
The Angels were practicing in the mist that dampened their jerseys, but not their spirit, as they prepare to embark as one of the 10 Kaua’i teams that will be competing at the 12th Annual Mililani 7-A-Side tournament over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Tracy Bauman, one of the players’ mothers, noted that despite her lowly job of “looking for the slippery and yucky stuff on the practice field,” coach Lynn Minei is “awesome.”
Bauman explained that last week, Minei was complaining of a stomach ache, and when it became unbearable, went to the hospital.
“They couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her,” Bauman said. “That was Tuesday. And, she came to practice on Wednesday.”
“On Thursday, they took out her appendix, and she was back in school,” Bauman said. “How awesome is that?”
Minei is a teacher at the Kapa’a Middle School, and despite having her appendix taken out, has been back at her job as well as working with her husband Richard in preparing the girls for the upcoming tournament.
Kevin Gusman, the coach for the GU13 Po’okela that was also practicing in the sprinkles, said this is the largest amount of teams Kaua’i has entered into the tournament, and although not represented in all the gender groups, will have a team in each of the age brackets. He noted that this tournament will have a field of 117 teams playing.
Honolulu Storm SC ’96, Hawai’i Rush Nike, Westside Girlz, and Riggers ’95 White are the Angels’ opponents in the tournament.
Team members include Cassie Wilson, Harmony Graziano, Joni Hashizume, Kai’imi Moniz, Haylei Sheldon, Alanna Bauman, Cassidy Yatsko, Krista Bolton, Bella Voorhies, Kawailehua Hamberg, Kaylee Silva, and Kulia Blalock.
“We have a great group of parents,” Bauman said as the girls adjourned themselves to the shelter of the pavilion.
“See that lady? She’s making blue and yellow ribbons for our rental cars,” Bauman pointed out.
As for Minei, she quietly talked to the girls about what to do on the field from the shelter of the pavilion, noting that the only remains of her appendicitis is, “I have a hard time laughing.”