The Mighty Warriors: Boys soccer clinches MIL title


Photo by Kainoa Deguilmo

Micah Alo smiles as Daryn Nakagawa and Keola Paredes dump water on Coach Kyle Herendeen to celebrate their final win at War Memorial Stadium February 6, 2014. The Warriors defeated the Lunas and ended their season as league champions with two ties and no losses.

The Warriors clinched the MIL title with a 3-0 win over the Lunas Friday night. Micah Alo, Nainoa Silva and Paytin Ayau scored. The Warriors will advance to the playoffs.

“I’m proud of my guys,”Coach Kyle Herendeen said. “It was expected of us, and we accomplished that.”

The Warriors won the Maui Interscholastic League championship under Coach Herendeen in his first year as head coach. They went to the state tournament in second place last year and as champs in the year before.

“It feels really good,” Herendeen said. “The whole coaching staff works really hard, and the boys respond very well,” he added. “It was definitely a team effort, and I’m proud.”

The Warriors will prepare for their first playoff game of the year.

In the meantime, the Warriors will be training hard and preparing for their first state opponent in two weeks.

“I can’t give away our secrets,” Herendeen said, “But we’ll definitely need all the support from Maui we can get.”

Under the new Hawai’i High School Athletic Association format, their quarterfinal game will be played at home, which means in front of a home crowd. It is one of the benefits of the new format.

Richard Renaud, a defender, helped the Warriors hold the Lunas scoreless in the second half.

“The game was fun,” he said. “We locked it in early and held it down in the second half.”

It was a big moment for the boys, who to improve on last year’s championship performance. Last year, the Warriors defeated Mililani in the first round and Kealakehe in the second round before being knocked into the third-place game by a loss to ‘Iolani. There, they beat hometown rivals the Baldwin Bears to come out third in the state.

The Warriors have their minds set.

Renaud still understands how little things affect the game. “All we know is that we gotta win it,” he said.

Sam Aki, the Lahainaluna head coach was proud of his boy’s efforts.

“Both teams played hard,” he said. “Hats off to the Warriors for winning the MIL.”