Penn State freshman never got cold feet
By Dennis Anderson
Advertiser Staff Writer
Kenji Treschuk has conceded to wearing shoes instead of slippers, but that is the only concession he is making to the autumn weather of Happy Valley.
Penn State photo
Despite 33-degree temperatures, Kenji Treschuk is happy with his college choice.
Penn State photo
At practice yesterday in University Park, Pa. (an area called Happy Valley) it was 45 degrees with showers; cold showers. A low of 33 is forecast for tonight.
"This school is incredible," said Treschuk, who enrolled at a community college after graduating from Moanalua High in 2000. "There is no way I would not come because of the weather."
Penn State coach Barry Gorman met Treschuk when Gorman was in Honolulu early this year to teach a National Soccer Coaches Association course on coaching. He was impressed with Treschuk and offered to help him choose a college, but "I didn't think a guy from Hawai'i would venture all the way to Central Pennsylvania."
But after evaluating schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Florida and California, Treschuk phoned Gorman and said he was interested in Penn State. When he arrived for his visit in March, Treschuk immediately got a preview of the weather. "It was really cold. Then it started raining, and in 30 minutes the rain turned into sleet and then into snow," Treschuk recalled.
Undeterred, Treschuk enrolled at Penn State in August.ÊÊ
He surprised himself by winning a starting spot with his play during a 20-minute "tryout" in an exhibition game in Canada. "I guess I was solid," Treschuk said. "I had dreamed of starting, but I didn't know it would come true."
With Treschuk starting all 11 games, Penn State is 7-3-1 and ranked fourth in the Mid-Atlantic Region in the coaches' poll.
"When you're standing in front of 3,000 to 5,000 people at Indiana or South Carolina, looking at the flag as the national anthem is played, it's nice to hear your name being called, saying you are from Honolulu," Treschuk said.
While Treschuk plays left back, a new position for him, coach Gorman sees him going to midfield eventually, after a couple of All-Americans graduate.
"He has had good training and has a passion for the game," Gorman said. "Technically he's pretty clean and tactically he listens and is willing to learn.
"He's tenacious getting after the ball, adept at defending and good going forward with the ball. We like defenders who play coming out of the back instead of just clearing," Gorman said.
Treschuk could be a trail blazer. "Hawai'i may be a rich recruiting ground," Gorman said. "I saw some other good players while I was there."