The Maui News 2019-20 MIL Boys Soccer All-Stars
Devlin helped keep King Kekaulike atop league
The King Kekaulike High School boys soccer team sees excellence every single day on the practice field.
Na Alii share the school’s artificial turf football field for practice with the girls soccer program.
Both teams are riding Maui Interscholastic League title streaks, but the boys find themselves one behind the girls’ string of three straight league crowns.
Hunter Devlin is on a mission to help the Kekaulike boys stay on the heels of their schoolmates, who came home from the state tournament with silver medals last month.
“All the time I will be talking to the girls, like, ‘Are you guys going to win, are you guys going to win this weekend? What are you going to do? How many goals do you have this season?’ “ Devlin said. “We just talk back to each other. They’ve been blowing out teams in the MIL, so they’re always challenging us. Telling us, ‘Well, we’re doing this, what are you guys doing?’ “
Devlin is the choice of the league’s coaches as The Maui News MIL Player of the Year. The junior midfielder scored three times, but more importantly dished out nine assists for Na Alii this season.
“It feels good, I came into this year, that’s what I was going for,” Devlin said. “I mean, I wanted that Player of the Year, so it feels good to get it, for sure.”
It was perhaps when Devlin was missing that his prowess was most noticeable for Kekaulike. He received a red card in the final MIL match of the season and had to sit out Na Alii’s 4-0 loss to Kalani in the state quarterfinals.
That is clearly a huge motivating factor for Devlin going into his senior season wearing black and teal.
“We have a lot of juniors this year — 13 I believe,” Devlin said. “So, next year is going to be a lot of seniors, very top-heavy. So, we’re going to be an experienced team and, I mean, we’re quality. So, I think next year we want to go beyond just winning the MIL.
“I think next year, just talking to my team and the coaches, we want to win the state title. Like, that’s our goal. … We’ve been playing together for a long time and we love it.”
Devlin is joined on the MIL first team by Kekaulike teammates Connor Prados (forward), Nicholas Strand (defender) and Franco Melgar Martich (goalkeeper); Kamehameha Maui’s Sam Ostermiller (forward), Kayden Medeiros (midfielder), Dylan Nakagawa (midfielder), Teva Pimentel (defender) and Ikua Kamaka (defender); Baldwin’s Kobi Kuge (defender) and Kekoa Kiesling (utility); and Maui High’s Conner Kong (midfielder).
Devlin knows how tough the red card infraction was on his team at a key time. Prados also missed the match, with an injury.
“It was rough, you know,” he said. “It was my first red ever, so it was hard just sitting there watching my team and not being able to do anything. Watching them, like, struggle at times, not being able to help in any way. All I could do was sit there and help from the side, so it was very difficult.”
The drive now is crystal clear.
“Well, next year is my last year, so I have to give everything,” Devlin said of the offseason preparation. “I have got to make sure I don’t do what I did this year, make sure I don’t get a red card and affect my team in that way. I have got to be there and I have got to push everybody. And just really try to get to our goal.”
King Kekaulike co-head coaches Barry McKay and Tye Perdido are the choices of their peers as MIL co-Coaches of the Year.
“He definitely meant everything,” McKay said of Devlin. “We pushed him from the beginning of the season and he definitely didn’t disappoint. He lived up to our expectations, out there making plays, and keeping the team focused. And, yeah, I’m real proud of that kid.”
Devlin went out of his way to thank his mother Lena Devlin and club coach Carl Musto.
“I would like to thank my mom and Carl Musto for helping me be the player and person I am today,” Hunter Devlin said.
That kind of maturity does not surprise McKay. Upon his return, Devlin scored twice in the first 30 minutes of a 4-3 state consolation-round loss to Kaiser.
“We have a bunch of juniors moving up and he’ll definitely be one of the top dogs, again,” McKay said. “Without (Devlin) at states — and then Connor Prados was injured, so he didn’t play that game — we were sitting ducks out there. It was unfortunate.
“I believe that result will drive the whole team.”
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com.
Jenson Nakasone, Kamehameha Maui, Forward, Freshman
Kai Merrill, Seabury Hall, Forward, Freshman
Skyler Wong, Baldwin, Midfielder, Senior
Kainoa Carpenter, Kamehameha Maui, Midfielder, Sophomore
David Sanchez, Lahainalua, Midfielder, Senior
Hugh Ward, King Kekaulike, Midfielder, Sophomore
Tidus Paet-Vegas, Kamehameha Maui, Defender, Freshman
Kyle Cummings, Baldwin, Defender, Senior
Jason Geffe, Maui High, Defender, Junior
Ty Miller, King Kekaulike, Defender, Senior
Gabriel Arcas, Kamehameha Maui, Goalkeeper, Senior
Kalei Chin, Seabury Hall, Utility, Senior
Baldwin–Kyle Cummings, Tanner Kiesling. Kamehameha Maui–Hao Awai, Trenton Kiesel, Edward Hudcovic, Mason Heu, Brayden Joaquin. King Kekaulike–Owen Riecke, Tristin Asio, Mauri Andaya, Thor Ventura, James Jarman. Lahainaluna–Ikaika Galarita, Brian Sanchez. Maui High–Hunter Shields, Elijah Cadorna, Kaeden Sconfienza, Kobie Pagan. Seabury Hall–Duke Romanchak, Blayde Omura, Oliver Emdee, Timo Grupenhoff.