No soccer rainouts here

LIHU’E — There was time to learn, and learning became fun when youngsters 13 years and older were given an opportunity to play against college players Saturday night.

“I love it,” University of Hawai’i Assistant Soccer Coach Joshua Fouts said after the workout. “You can do this when there’re not that many youngsters. The players have fun, and the students have fun.”

About a dozen Kaua’i students spent part of the Speed and Quickness Soccer Clinic playing four-a-side against UH players Koren Takeyama, Krisha Kai, Shawn Higa and Jessica Domingo at Kaua’i High School.

“We were prepared for the rain,” said coordinator Keali’i Aguiar. “If we were outside and the rain came, we’d have to scrub the clinic, so we moved it indoors.”

About 50 youngsters showed up for the clinic held at the Waimea High School gym, and about the same number showed up earlier at Kaua’i High for the early afternoon session.

But Saturday night was Waimea High School’s prom. Additionally, some of the Kaua’i players were off-island at the Kirk Banks tournament.

Kaua’i Soccer Association coach Karl Ubongen was one of those on O’ahu for the Olympic Development Program (ODP), but opted to return home after he said the inclement weather forced the cancellation of the tournament due to unplayable fields. Ubongen met up with Fouts after the session to discuss soccer.

That gave the students more personalized attention in the form of a contest that saw indoor goals set up at both ends of the gym and the Kaua’i athletes trying to score against their collegiate counterparts with Fouts doing the timekeeping chores.

In the audience, Leonard Peters, one of the clinic athletes, led the Kaua’i cheering section.

The evening wrapped up with the Kaua’i students having an opportunity to get autographs from the UH players as well as spend some time chatting.

Rich Miano, who heads up the clinics with Mel DeLaura, said the soccer clinic wrapped up their spring offerings for Kaua’i athletes. Miano said he’s looking forward to returning in June with the summer program of clinics.

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