Kapaa’s Schmick named POY

The Kauai Interscholastic Federation have named this year’s boys volleyball all stars.

League all stars were voted for by the coaches. The list of standout players was released Saturday.

Kapaa High School senior outside hitter Carson Schmick was named Player of the Year.

“It means a lot, but it wouldn’t have been possible without my team,” Schmick said Saturday. “It’s such a team sport. They helped me, pushed me, to be a better player. I really couldn’t have done it without them.”

Kapaa was this year’s KIF champion and runner-up at the New City Nissan Boys Volleyball Championships – Division II state tournament.

Schmick said though he’s appreciative of the accolade, he would have rather won a state championship.

“I was happy to hear the news that I was Player of the Year,” he said. “I texted (Kapaa varsity head coach Kapule Kaona) after. I told him, ‘I would have rather had a state title with my team than win Player of the Year.’ Of course, I’m very excited to receive this award. Yet, there’s still something hanging over my head that I and my team could have worked harder to take home a title.”

Kaona said Schmick was the pick this year because of his leadership qualities, in addition to his physical attributes.

“What he was able to do to work on himself inside, that was the biggest change for me,” Kaona said. “That’s something that we set out from the beginning of the year, and that was something from a coach and player relationship wanted to work on. Being a better leader — leading others and getting other to rally around you as a captain.

“For me as a coach, in addition to all his statistics, his player ability and skills and how much he was a mainstay for us, the biggest thing was seeing him grow as a person,” Kaona continued. “For what he’s done — not only himself and his team — but for also what he’s done for this program.”

Five others from Kapaa were named as an all star.

Warriors senior outside hitter Kurt Napoleon, senior middle blockers Saxsen Shiira and Kaohu Gutierrez-Kelly, senior setter Jayson Hawthorne and sophomore libero Pomaikalani Rabago-Kaiwi were named on the list.

“I think it’s well-deserved for these young men,” Kaona said. “They’re all individually skilled in their own right, and they’ve all worked on their own time, individually and collectively as a group. I think getting the nod as an all star has to do with the work they put in in the offseason.”

Kaona was also named Coach of the Year. Kapaa was a perfect 12-0 in the KIF regular season en route to winning back-to-back league titles.

“It means a lot. In the KIF, we have fairly young coaches. I’m probably one of the most senior, being I’ve only coached for four or five years,” Kaona said. “I’m very honored and humbled to receive this award from my peers.”

Kauai High has one all star this year. Red Raiders senior Tyron Libarios-Moses was named as an outside hitter.

Kauai High varsity head coach Enoch A’ana said Libarios-Moses was deserving of all star status because of his versatility on the court.

“Tyron was a big asset to the team. He’s so versatile as far as being able to play any position,” A’ana said. “I thought that he just played his heart out. There was many times where, I think, the team called on him for his experience and his leadership to help get them where they need to be.”

Kauai High was 7-5 this past KIF season, going 3-3 in the second round.

Waimea has one all star. Menehune senior Carl Mecham was also recognized as a standout outside hitter in the league.

“Carl, his play speaks for itself,” said Waimea varsity head coach Alton Shimatsu. “He’s an outstanding athlete. His skill level is one of the top in the KIF, I think. He always leaves his best in the game, and it shows every game. A lot of his play stands out. He shows why he’s an all star.”

Waimea was 5-7 overall in the KIF and also was 3-3 in the second round.

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