When he was the head coach of the Mililani boys soccer team, Jeff Yamamoto made a difference in the lives of many Trojans athletes.
Although he retired from the position more than a year ago, Yamamoto’s influence in the OIA soccer world continues. Next winter, for the first time the league will have a junior varsity boys soccer season.
“This has been an ongoing project,” OIA soccer coordinator Greg Van Cantfort, the Kalani AD, said Tuesday. “Jeff Yamamoto, each year, continually put in a proposal for JV boys soccer. And every year, it got shot down for various reasons.
“We used to joke around that he submitted the same (exact) proposal every year and just changed the date at the top.”
Gender equity concerns was one reason JV soccer did not become a reality previously. Adding boys participation without girls participation (the OIA already runs JV girls soccer) goes against Title IX.
Van Cantfort said the problem was alleviated when the numbers were crunched and it was realized that many OIA boys programs were carrying large numbers on their varsity squads. Now, for many schools, creating a JV team will just mean dividing the full squad into two.
“It did not create an imbalance like we thought it would,” Van Cantfort said.
There are still details to be ironed out, like scheduling more games during the winter season, but it’s not an obstacle the league can’t overcome. Van Cantfort knows. He’s the one who will be doing the scheduling.