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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Moanalua's Butin was precocious and productive

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 •  ILH Boys: Adams, Wittig simply dominated
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 •  Other All-Stars

By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Even as a sophomore, Moanalua forward Vanessa Butin became the go-to player for the O'ahu Interscholastic Association Eastern Division champions this year.

Sophomore forward Vanessa Butin, left, and coach Nikki Dela Pena helped Moanalua win its first Eastern Division title. Dela Pena called Butin, who led the East with nine goals, "a playmaker."

Rebecca Breyer • The Honolulu Advertiser

Butin scored a division-high nine goals and was named Player of the Year.

"She's a playmaker, she's really aggressive, and when there's nothing going on offensively, she's able to create for us," Moanalua coach Nikki Dela Pena said.

Butin also is creative in the classroom, as a group she worked with last year won a regional award for "Project CHO51," which identified an effective method for recovering leaking oil from the USS Arizona without harming marine life, threatening the ecosystem, or causing further damage to the battleship.

Butin scored in 1-0 wins over Kailua and Kahuku in the final two games of the season to help Moanalua clinch the East.

She was joined by two teammates on the first team, defender Mari Nagamine and goalkeeper Amanda Fukushima, who both led a defense that allowed two goals in 10 games.

Castle's four first-team selections went to twins Ashley Kanda, a forward who scored seven goals, and midfielder Lauren Kanda, along with midfielder Lindsey Watanabe and defender Lovey Walker, a three-time first-team all-star and the only repeat selection from last year's first team.

Kailua midfielders Ariel Moniz and Hea Kane were also selected, along with Kahuku forward Kelly Pao, who tied for second in the league with eight goals, Kaiser defender Jolie Yoshino, and McKinley defender Chelsey Sato.

Dela Pena was chosen the Coach of the Year after leading the Menehune to their first division title after moving to the East in the 2000-01 season.

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