Falcon Boys’ ‘Afterglow’ In Soccer Earns OIA Recognition

The afterglow from the Kalani boys soccer team’s extraordinary 2012-13 season shows no signs of letting up. Indeed, when the OIA announced its All-Conference teams last week, the Falcons had reason to celebrate once more with a league-best four players earning post-season honors.

In addition to Player of the Year selection Leo Klink, Falcon teammates Shawn Donnelly (goal-keeper), Cory Oshiro (defender) and Kazuto Moribe (defender) all were named First Team All-Stars in the OIA East. All-Conference selections are chosen in a vote of league coaches at season’s end.

Kalani finished its season 15-1-1, defeating Punahou on penalty kicks Feb. 9 to win the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I Boys Soccer state championship. The win marked the school’s first state title in boys soccer. An upset loss to Campbell in the quarter-finals of the OIA tournament is all that kept Kalani from an unbeaten season. The Falcons also were tied by rival Kaiser.

As was the case last year, when he was named Hawaii’s Gatorade Player of the Year, Klink was the team’s catalyst this winter, tallying 26 goals. He scored twice in regulation time in the state title game.

The Falcons’ post-season run also was made possible in large part because of their defensive play, led by Donnelly, Oshiro and Moribe. Kaiser and Punahou were the only two opponents to score two goals versus the Falcons. Kalani limited every other opponent to a goal or less.

Mid-fielder Scott Manago also was named to the East’s Second Team from Kalani, while teammates Jarrett Hayama and Noa Maxilom received Honorable Mention.

Kaiser, which finished 7-7-1, had a pair of players named to the East’s First Team in mid-fielder Thomas Buntenban-Leong and defender Kai Kinoshita. Cougar mid-fielder Mario Manrique was picked for the Second Team. Kaiser teammates Mike Austin, Jake Niro and Micah Mokulehua made Honorable Mention.

Kaimuki had seven players earn Honorable Mention: Ryan Swinehart, Alex Jun, Devin Rogers, Alex Li, Luis Ortiz, Jason Wu and Mark Edrada.

In girls soccer, Kaiser had a three First Team All-East picks: mid-fielder Noelle Mercado, defender Callie Akazawa and Player of the Year attacker Courtney Okazaki. Cougar teammates mid-fielder Jaylin Swartz and goalie Corina Edington both were named to the East’s Second Team, while Keara Ortega and Amanda Okihara received Honorable Mention. Kaiser’s Adolph Samuels was chosen Coach of the Year by his peers.

Tonisha Baybayan made the Second Team from Kalani as a defender. The Falcons also had Honorable Mentions in Jana Kakugawa and Lauren Cook.

Skyar Gray, Yim Pham, Kyla Kawahara and Vicki Huynh made Honorable Mention from Kaimuki.