KIF Girls soccer garners state honors

  • Courtesy photo

    The Kauai High School soccer team poses after a soccer tournament. The Red Raiders finished second in the state after 2020 Queen’s Medical Center girls soccer championship Feb. 6-8 at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex.

The Kaua’i High School soccer team capped one of their most successful seasons in recent memory, with four players capturing All-Tournament honors.

The Red Raiders, who placed second at state after losing 4-1 to Hawaii Prep Academy in the championship game at the 2020 Queen’s Medical Center Hawaii High School state tournament, had goalkeeper Jaeda Planas, forward-midfielder Eryka Napaleon, defender Kaleonahe Bukoski and forward Jessica Hreljac receive the honors.

Kapaʻa’s Chenoa Frederick was also named to the All-Tournament team.

Kaua’i High School head coach Chance Bukoski stated the four players that won awards played a significant role in the Red Raiders’ banner season.

Napaleon, one of the team’s seniors, played a crucial role in the team’s success.

“She was one of the leaders on our team and came up big during the season, especially when she had that goal against Mid-Pacific and winning it for us,” Chance Bukoski said. “She’s been amazing, and she’s going to be very hard to replace next year. She has a bright future (moving forward).”

Sophomore Kaleonahe Bukoski, Jaeda Planas and Jessica Hreljac are all players set to return to the building blocks of success for future years.

Kaleonahe Bukoski provided athleticism for the Red Raiders.

“She is a top-quality defender, and I am excited to see the potential in a few years as she develops,” Chance Bukoski said.

The Red Raiders will have another three seasons with goalkeeper Jaeda Planas.

“When she came into the season, I was excited about her, and how she played in the state championship game was pretty unreal,” Chance Bukoski said. “She’s only a freshman, and it’s scary to think the potential she has for the next three years from now.”

Hreljac is another critical player for the Red Raiders’ team.

“She’s been coming into her own and stepped up to the plate to become one of our starting forwards,” Chance Bukoski said. “I am excited about her future, and she is only a junior.”

Chance Bukoski felt these players were part of the nucleus that allowed the Red Raiders to have one of their most successful soccer seasons in school history in which they finished with a record of 13-1, and an 11-0 record in the Kaua’i Interscholastic Federation tournament.

The success of the team was indicative of the entire team, in which Bukoski said had no real standout performers on a team that was solid all across the board.

“Our success was a real team effort overall, all of our girls stepped up, and our coaches were all on the same page,” Chance Bukoski said. “That is how we became quite successful. It is a credit to the parents, taking them to soccer practices, and my assistant coaches making sure everyone was on the same page, along with the teachers, the staff and the athletic department. It takes a whole village to raise a child, and everyone supported us.”

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Jason Blasco, sports reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or jblasco@thegardenisland.com.

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