Soccer team grounded as travel costs rise

They were supposed to participate in three off-island tournaments for the summer.

Now, there’s just one on the schedule for the Girls 14 and Under Ha‘aheo Kaua‘i soccer team, thanks to more expensive travel costs.

Players, coaches and parents were on hand Thursday in front of the Wal-Mart store with a shipment of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, a final fundraiser before the team leaves for its tournament appearance on O‘ahu.

“Originally, we were going to do three tournaments back-to-back,” said Ha‘aheo coach Bobbie Rapozo. “But with everything going up … we’re just going to do one, the Aloha International.”

Rapozo said this is the first time Ha‘aheo Kaua‘i will be participating in the tournament hosted by the Leahi Soccer Club.

“Teams in this tournament come from all over the country and state,” Rapozo said. “This is a good chance for the girls to get some experience.”

In addition to her Ha‘aheo Kaua‘i team, which finished second in the 2008 Kaua‘i Soccer Association spring season, Rapozo said she will have three guest players for this tournament.

Kawehi Louis Diamond, Teesha Tani and Kyren Ishikawa, all of whom played for coach Kevin Devitt in the Garden Island Football Club, will join the pinkshirts on the field.

“Kevin is in Europe with some kids right now,” Rapozo said. “Otherwise, he might have a team going, too.”

As for the doughnut fundraiser, the supplies dwinded as the Wal-Mart parking lot filled.

Rapozo said there will be more trips planned and more fundraisers to help defray the ever rising costs of the off-island trips.

“If we don’t do things like this, the kids can’t go anywhere,” Rapozo said.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com

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