Sullivan helped Owls soar to new heights
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
During the regular season, Mid-Pacific senior forward Cody Sullivan scored a goal that made his coach go, "Wow."
"I can remember one goal in particular against Saint Louis, where he took his defender down the left flank, beat that guy, beat two other defenders, and ripped a shot that hit the far post and bounced across and went into the goal," Mid-Pacific coach Jayson Abe said. "Everybody was like, 'Wow.' "
Sullivan often made a lot out of a little, en route to helping the Owls capture their first Interscholastic League of Honolulu title and second State Division II title.
Sullivan was selected as The Advertiser State Player of the Year after a statewide vote of coaches and media.
Sullivan scored 13 in the ILH season, added two in the state tournament, and was named the ILH co-Offensive Player of the Year.
"A lot of it was he found ways to finish,"Abe said. "A majority of the goals were unassisted. He's so creative and he does so much off the dribble, so much of our offense was, 'Find Cody the ball and let him do his thing.' And he created a lot of opportunities."
Sullivan was one of three seniors on the Owls roster who played on the varsity since their freshman year, bringing a lot of leadership and experience to the team.
And, Abe said, Sullivan came early to practice and stayed late afterward to work on his shot.
"He does all the little things it takes to add up to becoming a great player," Abe said.
Up top, 'Iolani senior Nick Goo, the premier forward in the state the past couple of seasons, is the other first-team selection along with Sullivan.
Strong play in the midfield led to five first-team selections. Kamehameha senior Ryan Ho, Mililani senior Ryan Akiu, Punahou senior Cade Ito, Mid-Pacific senior Kennedy Spencer and 'Iolani junior Patrick Shimoko were the picks. All were the main playmakers for their squads and were depended upon for their creativity and ability to set up teammates.
Three seniors were picked as the first-team defenders. Punahou teammates Cody Sia, the state tournament's most outstanding player, and Jon Cloutier and 'Iolani's Jershon Baldomero all kept their teams organized from the back.
Punahou junior Charlie Yamamoto is the first-team goalkeeper after allowing one goal in three games in the state tournament.
Goo and Cloutier were repeat first-team selections, and Sia moved up from last year's second team.
Punahou coach David Trifonovitch was named the Coach of the Year after the Buffanblu won their first state title since 2007.