Kapaa’s Costa named KIF boys soccer POY

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island file

    Kapaa’s Kiran Costa (14) maintains the pressure as Island School’s AJ Galiza tries to keep his balance on a crossed ball in the first half of a KIF varsity boys soccer match at Island School in Puhi, in this Dec. 13 photo.

As voted for by the coaches, this year’s Kauai Interscholastic Federation boys soccer all-stars have been chosen. The list of all-stars was released by the league late Thursday.

Kapaa High School senior defender Kiran Costa was named KIF boys soccer Player of the Year.

“I was surprised looking at the competition that was coming out of Kauai and the players that we had on our team,” Costa said Friday. “I was very grateful and thankful that I got this award. Coming into the season, I wasn’t expecting to get this. It’s almost icing on the cake.”

Kapaa High School varsity boys soccer head coach Kevin Cram described Costa as his defense’s anchor.

“Our defense was probably the strength of the team, and he anchored that back there from the sweeper position. I felt like he did a job that allowed him and deserved that award,” Cram said.

Cram said its unusual that a defender won Player of the Year. Typically, the award is given to a player that scores goal or a player who often plays on the ball.

“He’s well-respected by all the boys. The way that he acts and just his manner and personality makes it easy for people to gravitate to him,” Cram said. “So, that in addition to his ability in the defense, we felt like that was a good combination we would like to see in our leaders.”

Costa added: “I never thought I’d get this recognition to be Player of the Year. I’m just thankful for all my coaches that helped me. Really, it goes to the shooters or the best ball-handlers, but they chose a defender. So, I’m grateful.”

Kapaa was 9-1-1 in the KIF regular season to win the school’s second straight league championship.

The Warrior boys went on to win the Division II state championship, going 3-0 at the 2019 The Queen’s Medical Center Boys Soccer Championships-Division II state tournament and defeated Saint Louis School of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, 1-0, in the final match.

Kapaa High varsity boys soccer head coach Kevin Cram was named Coach of the Year.

Kapaa has six all-star players this year. Kauai High School and Island School each have three.

2018-19 KIF Boys Soccer All-Stars

Forward: Logan Noice, Kauai, senior; Alae Miike, Island School, senior; Ryno Banasihan, Kapaa, senior

Midfielder: Caden Donner, Kapaa, senior; Ben Griep, Island School, senior; La‘akea Gonsalves, Kapaa, junior

Defense: Kiran Costa, Kapaa, senior; Keanu Brown, Kapaa, junior; Kyle Foss, Island School, sophomore; Micah Matsunaga, Kauai, senior

Goalkeeper: Chysen Lagunes-Rapozo, Kapaa, senior

Utility: Whitney Lugo, Kauai, senior

Player of the Year: Kiran Costa, Kapaa, senior

Coach of the Year: Kevin Cram, Kapaa

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Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or ncelario@thegardenisland.com.

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