Chargers' Dela Cruz drew a crowd
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Leila Wai
Called "one of the more outstanding forwards in our league," by an opposing coach and "special" by his own, Pearl City senior forward Cameron Dela Cruz was named the O'ahu Interscholastic Association Red West Boys Player of the Year in a vote by league coaches.
"He was their one guy we had to make sure we had someone on the whole time, because he could hurt us the most," 'Aiea coach Jon Shirafuji said. "He has good speed and a strong right leg."
Dela Cruz was second in scoring in the OIA Red West with seven goals, notching scores against all but one opponent.
"He's quick and explosive off the ball," Pearl City coach Randy Shinn said. "Most teams already knew what he was capable of, so they had two or three guys on him. He was pretty much the central part of our attack."
Shinn made sure to point out Dela Cruz's coachability.
"He has a very good work ethic and he's always giving 100 percent," Shinn said. "To have a player like that on your team, it's very special."
Mililani, the OIA Red West champ, placed the most on the first team with four: forwards Colin Lund and Ryan Wert, and midfielders Cory Nakagawa and Michael Anduha. Lund led the division in goals with eight, and Wert and Anduha each added four.
Chargers Chase Pacupac and Cheuk Ho, both defenders, join Dela Cruz on the first team.
Leilehua defender RJ Ten Broeke and goalkeeper Daniel Duarte also made the first team.
Kapolei midfielder Justin Malvar, who scored a team-high five goals; Waialua midfielder Kainoa Rosa, who scored four, and 'Aiea defender Mason Puckett round out the first team.
Shirafuji was named the OIA Red West Coach of the Year after leading Na Ali'i to their second straight runner-up position.
Reach Leila Wai at email@example.com.