For the Love of the Game


JilleaneMarie Gonzales, Gr. 9

The Honoka’a Highschool Division I soccer team is making their way through the season. Unfortunately, the girls soccer season was cancelled due to a set back; not having enough of players for a full team. It was disappointing, however, this did not affect the girls’ love for the game. Consequently, Coach Josh, the girls’ assistant coach, invited female athletes, Mikayla Pesta, Carolee Hanks, Alise Nakano and Kristine Domingo to play on the boys team. 

When playing soccer, the players and the ball are in motion at all times. Both girls and boys have been practicing their best to fulfill their goal…playing in the BIIFS. One of the female players on the boys team, Mikayla Pesta, has been featured in the local news paper, along with Kana’i Carvalho after their win against Christian Liberty. Mikayla scored the first point of the first game of the season for the Dragons. I had the chance to interview her.

DP: You were playing soccer before COVID. What made you join?

MP: To be honest, it was kind of the first choice for me to join moving up here to the Big Island from O’ahu.  I wanted to try something new.

DP: How has Covid and its restrictions affected you and your team?

MP: Covid and the restrictions affected my team and I in the most negative ways but yet the most positive. Covid took away the most fun part of soccer which is versing the other teams and being able to get that challenge. It affected us in a positive way because it opened all of us to new ways of learning, new drills and more time to work on ourselves. 

DP: Which strengths do you believe you have that make you a great athlete?

MP: Good communication, leadership and mindset

DP: What are you working to improve?

MP: endurance

DP: Why are you so passionate about playing sports?

MP:I am so passionate about sports because it provides a version of my life that keeps me healthy and allows me to escape reality. For the time I am there playing or practicing, it provides character and life into my LIFE.

DP: How do you balance school and sports?

MP: Simple, do the work provided in class, in class, on time and whatever time I have left I will work on homework. If not, then I will simply do it after practice.

DP: Best advice you’ve received?

MP: ”Today, I’m going to do what others aren’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t”.