Waipahu Lady Marauders Kicking Up To Division I Soccer

Elaina Paredes

Waipahu High girls soccer’s elevation to the high-rent district for the sport also will bring a promotion to Division I next season.

Head coach Elaina Paredes will count on her team’s work ethic to carry it through in the new division – just as it has the past two seasons in DII. “We just have to work a little harder,” she said.

Under Paredes, Waipahu has been to the DII state tournament each of the last two seasons and captured the program’s first-ever OIA (DII) title last February.

She attributes the turnaround in large part to an increased level of talent in the community. “The program has really blossomed in the past two years. The population we get for soccer here often only started playing it when they got to high school. Lately, we’ve been getting players who have played soccer since they were 8.”

As she enters her eighth season as the head girls coach after a stint as head boys coach at the school, Paredes recently took some time to visit with MidWeek‘s West Oahu Islander.

What is your earliest sports-related memory? I remember watching Soccer Made in Germany every Sunday with my dad. That’s when I really caught the bug for soccer – by watching the German Soccer League.

Who has had the biggest impact on your life? I’m going to start crying now. Definitely, my parents (Ely and Helen Malaki). They’ve taught me a lot about perseverance. My folks always told me I could do anything in life, and I believed them. I tell my daughter (Kylena) every day the same thing.

Who is your mentor as far as coaching goes? I played soccer and softball in college at University of Puget Sound, and my softball coach (Robin Hamilton) had a profound impact on me because of the impact she had on all of us. She wasn’t afraid to put herself out there and be emotional. That’s how I am with my own girls.

What’s the most challenging aspect of coaching? Time. Trying to fit in everything you want to teach the girls in the amount of time we have. It’s about managing our time as a program.

When you have free time away from the soccer field, how do you spend it? I spend it with my daughter. We love to go fishing and hiking and do a lot of non-soccer activities. My husband (Kyle) and I also ride mountain bikes together when we can.

What film could you watch over and over again? The entire series of Lord of the Rings.

What one thing couldn’t you live without? I couldn’t live without my tennis shoes. I love to go hiking and walking and being outdoors.

You are stuck on an island and can have only one food. What would it be? Homemade squid luau. I could live off of that.

Who is your favorite musical artist? Babyface. My cousin saw him in concert on Valentine’s Day, and he sounded even better in person (than on record).

What is your favorite spot on the Island? Royal Summit (above Newtown). There’s a hiking trail there, and it is very peaceful. It’s my place of refuge.

Who would be your choice for a celebrity date on a Saturday night? Edward Cullen of the Twilight Saga series because of his old-fashioned gentleman ways, despite the fact that he is a vampire.