ALL-STATE GIRLS SOCCER
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kamehameha's Markee Nobriga and Michelle Nagamine are the Star-Bulletin's player and coach of the year.
Kamehameha gets its reward
THERE will be no other coaches quite like Michelle Nagamine, nor many players like Markee Nobriga.
There just won't, not when there is a bond of eight years, through club seasons and mainland tournaments.
Of course, there was more than Nagamine and Nobriga as Kamehameha surged to its first state championship since 1996.
Meleana Shim, Caycie Gusman and Kylee Ann Ah Choy joined Nobriga in the Star-Bulletin All-State girls soccer selections today. Gusman torched defenses for 14 goals, while Shim's versatility landed her most outstanding player honors at the state tourney.
Nobriga, however, anchored the toughest, most physical defense in the state. Kamehameha went 14-2, including an Interscholastic League of Honolulu championship and the league's sole berth in the state tourney.
That alone was somewhat gratifying after the Warriors barely missed the title last year.
"Last year, we probably held back a little," Nobriga recalled. "We only had three seniors. This year, we were telling our younger players to push forward when they think they can't."
For Nagamine, who completed her 14th season at the helm, it was a make-or-break year to start. Despite her accomplishments, she had serious doubts about her ability to lead the program after a long titleless decade.
"We'd have fun every year, have no drama, but we couldn't close the door," said Nagamine, who steered the Warriors to state crowns in '95 and '96. "I thought, maybe it was me. Maybe it's time to let someone else help the program get better. I kind of looked at the season as do or die," she conceded.
A good talk with her staff did the trick.
"My assistants helped me to realize that if I'd stepped down, it would be hypocritical, saying to the kids that winning is everything," she said.
Nagamine's style has its roots, but she adopted some new methods, like speed ladders before practices and games.
"That helped a lot," Nobriga said of the drills that were learned from the speed and quickness clinic held by Rich Miano and Mel deLaura at UH.
In addition, versatile players like Nobriga were maximized.
"We moved certain people around for certain games. I got moved around to mark up against certain forwards," said Nobriga, who is genuinely amused at the coincidence of her first name and her on-field responsibility.
Also, Nagamine and her staff employed multiple defenses effectively, using a "flat-back 4," according to Nobriga.
"Instead of zone marking, we used advance marking," she said.
In the end, however, it was honest, timely communication that lifted the Warriors to a higher level.
"It's like a roller coaster. We've had our ups and downs," Nobriga said of her coach. "It's fun, though. She's more like a friend than a coach. Practice was really tough and tense early in the season, and the team was more playful.
"So we had meetings and wrote essays, and then we each read them out aloud. We wanted practice to be not so serious," said Nobriga.
"I thought this year would be the year that we'd pull through. This team has no cliques, no negativity," she said.
But after this season, Kamehameha will have one less marquee star, one less dominant defender.
"She's a leader for us on and off the field," Nagamine said. "She has such good athleticism, but she works very hard and has taken every opportunity to get better."
King Kekaulike, Sr.
Kylee ANN Ah Choy
||Laura Franke, Kealakehe, Sr.
||Maris van der Lee, Baldwin, Jr.
||Rachel Taira, Kauai, Sr.
||Lauren Maeshiro, Pearl City, Sr.
||Keisha Shishido, Baldwin, So.
||Jamie Hirai, Konawaena, Sr.
||Tricia Miura, Pearl City, So.
||Lizzy Carlson, Punahou, Sr.
||Nicole Lee Akiu, Kamehameha, Jr.
||Alyssa Chun Kamehameha, Sr.
||Nestle Yamaguchi Pearl City, Jr.
||Marissa Minor, Konawaena, Jr.
Vanessa Butin, Moanalua
Ashley Kanda, Castle
Cayla Kitabayashi, Waimea
Cherise Lee, Kailua
KaŒala Leong, Kapaa
Cheney Lopez, Kapolei
Sophie Merrifield, Punahou
Ashley Nied, Punahou
Rachael Okura, Hilo
Miya Quinn, Mid-Pacific
Skye Shimabukuro, Kauai
Amber Spencer, Kamehameha-Hawaii
Charnelle Terawaki, Hawaii Prep
Ashley Medcalf, Pac-Five
Marisa Schoen, Punahou
Nicole Ha, Iolani
Jaecie Kato, Aiea
Cheyanne Alejado, Kapolei
Aileen Salazar, Radford
Tanya Nojiri, Moanalua
Rachel Domingo, Roosevelt
Brianne Huddy, Kahuku
Mahina Costales, Kamehameha-Hawaii
Megan Pautler, Hawaii Prep
Chelsea Anglin, Kalaheo
Kehau Hagiwara, Waiakea
Allison Haines, Roosevelt
Kirra Hicks, Konawaena
Michelle Kam, Aiea
Courtney Kimhan, Kailua
Elizabeth Lonokapu, Kamehameha-Hawaii
Stevie Palacol, Kealakehe
Britt Sanford, Punahou
Chelsie Sato, McKinley
Michelle Shiroma, Aiea
Deysha Victorine ,Kamehameha
Alysse Grace, Kealakehe
Ashley Park, Mid-Pacific
K.C. Gaitos, Kauai
Raynani Camara Kalani
Alexisann Crowell, Waianae
Selections were made by the Star-Bulletin after
consulting with coaches statewide.