AniaseSoltren with parents and Jody Valente

Aniase Soltren (r), outstanding athlete of the year, with her parents and Jody Valente of Kalapaki Joe’s — and a $1,000 award check. Photo by Robin Jumper.

Kauai High School Teams, Top-Notch Athletes and Athletic Directors Honored

In a private ceremony, Aston Hotels & Resorts and KONG Radio Group will present the 3rd Annual Kaua`i Coaches Sports Appreciation event tonight.  Kaua`i coaches, athletic directors and athletes will be honored for their contributions to their community.  The event will take place in the Kuhio Lounge at the Aston Aloha Beach Hotel on the Wailua River  at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13.

Awards will include the Kalapaki Joe’s Student Athlete of the Year and the Grove Farm Team of the Week.  The Team of the Week Award is chosen from votes tabulated over the course of the year on Grove Farm will present checks to each of the four high school’s athletic directors for their respective teams while Jody Valente of Kalapaki Joe’s will honor the Student Athlete of the Year Award winner as well as the two runner-ups.

The competition for the Kalapaki Joe’s Student Athlete of the Year was a close race throughout 2011/2012 school year.  After tallying all the online votes, Aniase Soltren, a Kaua`i High School softball pitcher was the winner for 2012 and will receive $1,000 from Kalapaki Joe’s.  Second place goes to John Das, Kapa`a High School football player, and third place goes to Keoni Ana, who played football for Waimea High School.

Aniase Soltren played for the Kaua`i High School Red Raiders and pitched a no hitter in March of 2012, the first one in decades.  She is best known for her hard work, tough mental capacity and generous spirit both on and off the field.

“As a coach of many years, I have watched Aniase play four years of softball,” says Coach Shelly Samiano.  “She is very humble, coachable, always eager to learn, and willing to do everything to make herself better than she is now. She works really hard and practices until she gets it right.  She always goes the extra mile until she is satisfied that her job is well done.”

Her parents are thankful to Kalapaki Joe’s for this extraordinary honor.  Soltren’s father Luis says, “In honoring our daughter you are honoring us as parents and we thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts.  This award has shown my daughter what it is to believe in one’s self, and that with the love of family and the help of good people. everything is possible and dreams can come true.”

John Das played football under coach Kelii Morgado at Kapa`a High School.  Morgado states, “John was the 2011 KIF offensive player of the year because of his play-making ability, his vision and explosive running, his accurate passing, and his ability to lead the Kapa’a Warriors through an adversity-filled season to a football championship.  The tightly contested season was filled with many close games. John’s ability to stay calm and focus on one play at a time had a stabilizing effect on the team and was a large component of our team’s success.  John is a special young man, and I am proud to have worked with him and his teammates in bringing such a memorable year to the Kapa’a community.”

Keoni Ana was an outstanding student athlete playing for the Waimea High School Football team under coach Kealii Aguiar.  He was well respected by both his coaches and peers due to his hard-nose work ethic.  Says Aguiar, “Keoni was an integral part of our team this past year. The success he had this past season as an All KIF Football award recipient was a direct result of all the hours of hard work on the field, in the weight room and in film session. We are proud to have had the privilege of coaching a fine young man in Keoni Ana.”

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