By Maiya Ezawa
MHS Boys Varsity Soccer Midfielder Senior Jamin Fonseca received the Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) Player of the Year (POY) award from the West Division. After four years of playing for MHS, two on the Junior Varsity team and two on the Varsity team, Fonseca has created a leadership role for himself while continuing to find support in the camaraderie of his teammates.
“Well first of all, I couldn’t (have been named POY) without my team. They were a huge help for that award. I definitely couldn’t have done it without them. I feel great that I got that award, it was really nice to get recognized like that,” said Fonseca.
OIA applauded Fonseca not only for his performance on the field, but for his character off the field as well. “I think a lot of times people think this award is because he scored the most goals, but it takes a team to score those goals. I believe (his) hard work, ‘never give up’ attitude, leadership skills and his love for God qualifies him for this honor,” expressed Angela Fonseca, Jamin Fonseca’s mother.
Although he was recognized as an individual, Jamin Fonseca accredits his teammates in part of his success and feel they should be recognized as well. “I mean I would say I have pretty good leadership, (but) again I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the team, we had teamwork. They made me perform better in the games and they really held me up,” stated Jamin Fonseca. “We have each other’s back 24/7 and if something happens, we’re always there for each other. We pick each other up if something goes wrong and it’s a really comfortable environment.”
Jamin Fonseca’s teammates also feel that the support goes both ways, and were proud, albeit unsurprised to hear of his recognition as POY in the West Division. “When (Jamin Fonseca) won, I was not even surprised. I knew he was bound to win that award from the start. I would have been surprised if someone else won that award. The team felt the same exact way as I did,” stated Jamin Fonseca’s close friend and teammate, Senior Rusty Kanoa Crowder. “Everyone on the team respects him due to the amount of work he puts in as a player. Our team does nothing but push each other to be at the top of their abilities.”
Jamin Fonseca has been playing soccer since he was a child, and the sport has been a large contender in his life for over a decade. “It was actually my choice (for him to join soccer) because I thought it was a great sport for him to learn how to play on a team- he had a hard time sharing and playing fair when he was younger. I never really thought about how far he would go, I just wanted him to be active and do something positive with his time, but he was so passionate about the game and always took the time to practice so I am not surprised how much he has grown as a player,” explained Angela Fonseca.
Looking back on all four years of being a high school athlete, Jamin Fonseca finds his fondest memories taking place during his current, and last, season. “I would say (the most exciting game was) this past year when we beat Kalani in the semi finals. I believe we were going into overtime and we were down and we scored two goals and we got the win within five minutes,” reflected Jamin Fonseca. “I scored one of the goals and then another goal came from (forward Sophomore Aiden) and then the first goal came from (left back Senior Kawika Zarko).”
In addition to being a noteworthy athlete, student, and friend, Jamin’s mother feels that his merits go beyond his identity as a high school student. “If I wanted people to know something on the personal level about Jamin, I would have to say it’s what a great heart he has. He is very thoughtful and very giving especially to those who have less then him. He realizes how blessed he is and that he has so much to be thankful for and never takes it for granted. He will stop to help an elderly person load groceries in their car and always lets the people he loves know he does,” stated Angela Fonseca.
From here on out, Jamin Fonseca is focused on preparing to continue his soccer career at the collegiate level. “I just want to keep doing what I’m doing, keep working hard, and work hard in college,” stated Jamin Fonseca. “I see him being very successful in life. He (has) got a can-do attitude. If he wants to play professionally, I believe he can achieve that goal. I would love seeing him play at that level,” elaborated Crowder.
With his years as a member of the MHS Varsity Boys Soccer Team coming to a close, Jamin Fonseca is spending his time deciding how to best apply the skills he learned in high school in his transition to college and adulthood.