Surfrider Graham Voted Co-Player Of The Year In OIA Soccer
Kailua High senior Naia Graham proved to be “instant offense” this past soccer season, tallying 13 goals to lead the OIA East. His efforts were duly noticed by East coaches, who recently voted him Co-Player of the Year (a league award he shares with Kaiser High’s Christian Longnecker).
Graham’s 13 goals placed him second overall in the state in scoring behind Punahou’s Antonio Espinoza (17). Kailua finished 4-6 on the season.
Graham provided a hat-trick on three occasions for Kailua, producing three-goal efforts against McKinley, Kahuku and Farrington. He also made Kailua’s only goal in regulation in its riveting Jan. 11 road win at Kaiser, a game the Surfriders eventually won in a shoot-out.
He also made the East’s First Team last season as a midfielder.
Teammates Max Irons and Trevor Tam made the Second Team as defenders, and Honorable Mentions went to Dustin Imanaka, Colin Kubota and Ripley Quebral.
* Midfielder Jonah Felipe and defender Keaka Farleigh made the OIA First Team from Kalaheo, which finished 8-5 overall. Felipe scored 11 goals, rating him second in scoring in the OIA Red. Tyler Williams made the Second Team as an attacker.
Receiving Honorable Mention were Mustangs Jack Bell, Jimmy Davis and Chandler Roth.
Kalaheo’s John Nakagawa shared Coach of the Year honors with Francis Pena of Roosevelt. It was the second year in a row Nakagawa was chosen Coach of the Year by his peers.
* Attacker Jake Samsel was named to the First Team from Kahuku.
The Red Raiders won five of their last six games en route to an 8-5 overall mark. They posted a 2-1 win over Campbell in the first round of the OIA post-season tournament. Losses to West powers Mililani and Pearl City ended their bid for a state tournament berth.
Gabriel Pinheiro-Alves was picked for the Second Team from Kahuku as an attacker, while teammates Josh Christansen, Peter Hyatt, Koichi Koko Lee and Braxton Medeiros earned Honorable Mention.
* Despite a series of heartbreaking losses that included four defeats by a single goal, Castle still posted a winning season at 6-5. Seven of its 11 games were decided by one goal. The Knights had three players named to the First Team in attacker Ikaika Urasaki, midfielder Royce Nagatoshi and defender Payton Chang. Urasaki’s nine goals ranked fourth overall in the OIA Red.
Receiving Honorable Mention from Castle were Derek Chinen, Dakotah Graham and Connor Meers.