On May 27-29, sixteen teams from eight Maui and Big Island clubs participated in the Hawaii Futsal State Championships, held at the Paneʻewa Covered Playcourts in Hilo. Big Island Futsal hosted the fifth annual event, and handed out three state titles to FA Maui and Hawaii Rush SC – Big Island. After 12 rounds of pool play, using a three-court system—32 matches total—FA Maui’s ’05 boys and ’05girls swept the 12-U division categories, while Hawaii Rush SC’s Big Island ’07 Nero team secured their island’s first championship title, in the 10-U boys division. Culture FC’s ’07 and ’05 boys, and Wolfpack’s ’05 girls, respectively captured the 10-U and 12-U boys, and 12-U girls, runner-up positions.
Hawaii Futsal President, Vernon Kapuaʻala, commented on the event by saying, “Big Island’s presence was definitely felt throughout the tournament. In years past, Maui, Oʻahu, and Kauaʻi teams and players have participated in our championships, and we usually host on our home-island—Maui. For Big Island to host this year’s competition, bring 11 teams, and earn a state title, is a tremendous accomplishment for the community and sport. The professionalism and hospitality of Hawaiʻi County’s staff was top notch. For these reasons and more, we look forward to returning in 2018.”
Big Island Futsal’s President, Rico Ferrari, added, “to have these kinds of opportunities here on the Big Island; to experience the escalated level of play; added to the warmth of our people; and rain or shine...we get to be indoor playing futsal—that's what it's all about! We’re excited, and we look forward to hosting every year.”
“After hearing about Hawaiʻi County, and what they’ve done with their parks, moving the state competition to the Big Island was a no-brainer. After seeing, and then experiencing it first-hand, there is no doubt in my mind that Hawaiʻi Island is the rightful host, ” Kapuaʻala remarked. During his tenure, former County of Hawaiʻi Mayor, Billy Kenoi, established five covered, multi-court facilities on the Big Island—in Panaʻewa, Hilo, Pāhoa, Waimea, and Pāhala.
Kapuaʻala was appointed State Commissioner of the sport in 2011, and held the organization’s first league and state tournament on Maui in 2012. Since then, over 1,000 players participate in Hawaii Futsal sanctioned leagues annually, on all four of the major Hawaiian Islands. As in years past, state title winners gain direct berth to U.S. Futsal’s National Championships in California. The 32nd annual, national event will be held in San Jose on July 13-16.
Head Coach of FA Maui’s ’05 boys, Patrick Merrill, said “we are appreciative for the host—Big Island Futsal. I was amazed by the greatness of Big Island’s people, and their beautiful facilities. This is an example of what should happen throughout the state. I was impressed by the level of play, and overall, we had a fantastic experience.”
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