LAHAINA - Lahainaluna High School girls soccer coach Dave Rockett is a man who prefers to look to the future and, most definitely, leave the past behind.
This being the case, it is no surprise that Coach Rockett - starting his 14th year at the helm of the Lady Luna program - has little interest in discussing the 2010-11 season - a campaign marred by injuries and roster deductions that left the team in skeleton shape by season's end.
With a squad that includes ten underclassmen this year, Rockett - who is assisted by his daughter, Deidre Ruiz-Rockett, a former Lady Luna standout - is caught in limbo land in assessing the team's prospects as they kicked off the current Maui Interscholastic League season.
The Lady Lunas soccer team includes (from left): front — Shaina Saribay, Anna Tillman, Alana Stecker, Zoe Miller, Maile Altier, Raybeka Sinenci, Rhyn Lendio, Shawncey Sumibcay, Beverly Joy and Siera Olvera; back row — Junna Gazmen, Holland Vanhemert (holding Nuala Ruiz-Rockett, the coach’s granddaughter), Avery LaClergue, Coach David Rockett, Leilani Miranda, Bridget Joy, Casey Vanderlaan, Casey Egan and Amanda Murphy.
"We're a very young and inexperienced team this year; we'll learn a lot about where we are this week with our games against King Kekaulike and Maui High. Those games will be important gauges as to where we stand in this league," he said last week.
Whatever success the team has this year will hinge on the development of those sophomores and freshmen, and, to a further extent, the leadership of the seniors and juniors, said Coach Dave.
"They've all shown a positive attitude and have a great potential for growth. There has been good team bonding thus far," he said.
That senior leadership core includes Leilani Miranda, Casey Egan, Casey Vanderlaan, Avery LaClergue and Amanda Murphy. The junior returnees are Junna Gazmen and Bridget Joy.
The sophomores on the roster are returnees Anna Tillman, Siera Olvera, Maile Altier and Zoe Miller, and the freshmen are Raybeka Sinenci, Rhyn Lendio, Shawncey Arcangel, Shaina Saribay, Alana Stecker and Beverly Joy. The team manager is Holland Vanhemert.
The Lady Lunas are in the Division I bracket of the MIL that includes Baldwin, Maui High, King Keakaulike, Kamehameha Maui and Lahainaluna.
All will play a 14-game MIL schedule that will include match-ups against the MIL D-II schools: Hana, Saint Anthony and Seabury Hall. The top two teams in each division will advance to the state playoffs in early February on Oahu.
Lahainaluna will play eight home games under the lights at home on their new Matrix field turf facility - a venue that Coach Rockett calls "a great facility that could be the best in the state."
He also sent out the program's gratitude to the families, the community and to the school administration for their support.
"Thanks also to First Hawaiian Bank, Leilani's on the Beach, the Fran and Warren Hinton Foundation and the Shirley and Jean Smith Foundation for their generous support of the team," he said.
"I like this team, I like the girls. They all seem to be having a good time out here, and I'm having a good time as well. We're not worried about standings at this point. (The Lady Lunas were 2-1 at press time.)
"We'll just do our coaching and see what happens. We're trying to get the youth development program going as well - that's big for us," he concluded.