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Hurricanes Look To New Season With New Soccer Coaches

It didn’t take Kapolei boys soccer teams long to make an impact on the OIA.

In just 12 short years, the Hurricanes have established themselves as one of the state’s premier programs under coach Bryce Kaneshiro with three semi- final appearances in the Division I state tournament in the last four years, in addition to winning the OIA title in 2007 and 2011.

Kaneshiro recently was promoted to athletic director at Waialua High and had to give up coaching at Kapolei. But the program remains in good hands, as his longtime assistants Ryan Lau, Neal Sakaue and Mark Ishii will collaborate to lead the team.

The staff has been intact since the very first season.

“We’re excited,” said Lau. “There’s nothing new as far as how we do things. The only difference is that Bryce was there during the school day — to oversee things on the administrative end — and that’s the only adjustment the kids will have to make.” The trio all work outside the building during the day, but aiding what should be a smooth transition is the fact that the team returns a veteran from last year’s OIA runner-up team.

The Hurricanes already have begun conditioning for the 2012-13 season, and practice officially starts during the first week of November.

“Our philosophy and the way we want to play won’t change,” Lau said.

Kapolei’s public unveiling is set for Nov. 15-17, when it hosts the third annual Oahu Interleague Soccer Showcase, which is akin to a preview of the 2013 state tournament. In addition to the Hurricanes, the tournament also will feature Mililani and Kalani from the OIA and ILH powers Iolani, Kamehameha and Punahou.

Among the key returnees are four-year varsity players Dylan Orian (attacker) and Brandon Begonia (defender), a First Team All-Conference selection last season. Georgia trans- fer Maxwell Wren also joined in the off-season and has ties to Kapolei. His older brothers, Chris and William, played for Kapolei and currently are competing for Whitworth College and University of Maryland-Baltimore County, respectively.

Kapolei also returns its leading scorer from last year, Keo Ponce, as well as junior defender Clarence Wong.

Lau also praised his incoming freshmen class, which is highlighted by Nike Rush Soccer Club product Shandon Hopeau.