Kaua’i JV girls learn to play and have fun

HANAPEPE — Goals by Shannon Pabo and Courtney Wilson capped a perfect season for the Kaua’i High School JV girls soccer team Saturday.

With the 2-0 win over Waimea, the Junior Red Raiders capped a 6-0 season under coach Kevin Devitt and Karl Ubongen who both got ice water baths in the post-game celebration.

One of Devitt’s goals as coach was to have the girls develop a passion for playing, and having fun.

“Friday practice was their favorite day,” Devitt said. “The girls were very eager to try new things and put what we learned to game situations. On Fridays, the players were allowed to play to scrimmage, and play a shooting game they labelled ‘Three Strikes,’ one of their more popular games.”

Devitt noted that this game was so popular, they wanted to play it the whole week.

“My goal with the Kaua’i High JV girls this year was to have the girls learn to play the game and not worry about winning,” Devitt added. “I know that sounds a bit odd from a coach, but I feel we are placing too much on winning, forgetting that it’s a game.”

Devitt noted that the competition within the junior varsity girls team was good, noting that “talented players were on all three teams.”

“Coach Dan Agan and Coach Gwen Tamura and their staffs did a great job, coaching with class and dignity,” Devitt said. “Coach Dan even took pictures and gave me a copy for our team. I can’t forget the officials who also did a great job on the field.”

As the members of the Kaua’i JV returned from thanking their fans and supporters following the Saturday game, Devitt noted that the challenge was to take players from different coaching styles and have them bring the best from their community teams. Using these skills, Devit and Ubongen, the Kaua’i JV assistant coach, would work with the players to form a style that would work for them.

“Karl and I enjoyed working with this bunch of kids,” Devitt said proudly as he watched the girls go through their post-game revelry.

“It’s cold,” he laughed as he tried to dry his drenched shirt in time for himself and Ubongen to help varsity coach Blanche Arakaki with their varsity matchup later in the afternoon.

Devitt said that by the end of the season, he and Ubongen both felt the girls had accomplished a lot in game awareness as well as learning to play at any position on the field due to their training environment.

He said that by the end of the season, the players that started the season sitting out had started to learn how to move the ball to get out of pressure as well as play on the attack.

Amidst the post-game celebration, one parent noted that this is the Red Raiders’ second 6-0 season.

Team members include Krystina Baptiste, Melissa Iida, Michelle Kato, Leeanna Carvalho, Jolene Lee Hornstine, Tima Appleby, Keila Curtis, Lauren Riley, Kailyn Kealoha, Nicole Fujimoto, Courtney Wilson, Gabrielle Dreir, Gizelle Alao, Destiny Banasihan, Aimee Palaroan, Shannon Pabo, Bryanna Prinzing, and Shari Souza.

Skye Shimabukuro started with the JV squad at the start of the season, but was moved up to play with the varsity team mid-way through the season.

Head coach is Kevin Devitt, Karl Ubongen is the assistant coach.

Ashlyn Ubongen is the team manager.

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