Stefanov shows off
Iovo Stefanov was one of five Hawaii soccer players who attended the United States Adult Soccer Association Region IV National Select Team Camp in Seattle last June.
The other players were Robert Camerrer, Jordan Inouye, Carol Hatcher and Mahie Atay. Two Hawaii coaches, Josh Fouts and Michelle Nagamine, also participated in the camp.
Stefanov, who is from Sofia, Bulgaria, was in a pool of about 70 players from 10 Western states. He enjoyed the camp and felt he performed well.
He did earn a tryout with the A-League Seattle Sounders in February based on his performance at the camp, but was in for a surprise when he returned to Hawaii.
"As soon as we came back to Hawaii I found out I was selected to represent Region IV at the US Soccer Festival conducted in Houston," said Stefanov. "It was the first time that a player representing the state of Hawaii was ever selected.
"I had two great weeks in Houston. We played the other three regions and the youth national team of Honduras. It was the highest level of soccer I've seen and played, probably higher than Tahiti and France when I was down there (Tahiti) playing for AS Pirae."
A number of Major League Soccer and A-League scouts watched the action in Houston, but Stefanov said the Region IV team didn't do well so he hasn't heard anything from the scouts.
"It was a great experience and will help a great deal when I go to MLS and A-League tryouts," said Stefanov. He played four years for the Hawaii Pacific Sea Warriors and has a degree in finance and computer information systems and a master's in finance from HPU.
What he wants next is an invitation to MLS tryout camps in January.
Bethel (Ind.) College freshman Lisa Franke was named the NCCAA National Student-Athlete of the Week as well as the Mid-Central Collegiate Conference Player of the Week for Sept. 1-7.
The Pilot striker from Kailua-Kona (Kealakehe HS) scored two goals against conference rival Goshen on Sept. 2 and tallied all three goals in the 3-1 win at Judson on Sept. 6
Franke has eight goals and has one assist in the Pilot's 3-1 start. She has scored the opening goal in each match.
"Lisa has been a great addition for us this season," said Bethel coach Pete Morey. "She is a threat every time she touches the ball because she is such a clinical finisher."
Kapaa's Colby Ayonon, a junior midfielder, has two goals and an assist for the nationally ranked Linfield Wildcats.
Cherish Kaaa (University) is in her third season as an assistant coach for the Linfield women's team.
Kurt Kagawa, a senior striker from Mililani, has two goals including a game winner and two assists to help the Whitworth Pirates get off to a 4-1 start.
Amber Waddle is a co-captain of the Vanguard U. (Costa Mesa, Calif.) Lions women's team. The senior midfielder is from Makua Lani Christian school on the Big Island.
Jolie Nitta, a midfielder from Mililani, transferred from Azusa Pacific to Hawaii and will take a year off, then decide whether to continue her college career.
See the Columnists section for some past articles.
Just for Kicks runs every other Sunday in the Star-Bulletin.
Al Chase can be reached at email@example.com