Soccer signs 7

The Wahine soccer program recently lost unofficial mascot Sparky the Dog, who passed at the healthy old age of 16, but gained seven players for its 2019 signing class. / 2014 photo by Craig T. Kojima, Star-Advertiser

It was a productive signing day for Michele Nagamine and the Hawaii soccer team.

The Rainbow Wahine added seven players, including one local prospect, for the 2019 season. All were officially announced on the national signing day Wednesday.

It’s a defender-heavy class, at least going by their listed positions.

UH just lost seniors Raisa Strom-Okimoto (F/M) and Sarah Lau (M) from a 9-7-1 (4-4 Big West) season that saw the fifth-place Wahine narrowly miss out on their first Big West tournament.

The Wahine expect to retain everyone else, Nagamine said, to go with their new seven.

“They’re all incoming freshmen, and we’re very excited about them. Anytime you have a new signing class, a bunch of new recruits, the air is thick with excitement and anticipation,” Nagamine said. “And hasn’t changed with this class. This class has been in love with us for a very long time. They’ve seen us pretty much at our worst, and also at our best. And they have a good sense of who we are and where we’re trying to go as a program.”

They are:
Kelci Sumida, M, of Honolulu (Moanalua High)
Batya Bagulli, F/M, and Malia Faramarzi, M/D, of California
Lia “V” Jimenez, D, of Arizona
Grace Pekovich, M/D, of Idaho
Emily Cottrell, D, of Colorado
Loren House, D, of Georgia


Condolences to Nagamine and the program for the loss of Sparky the Dog, who recently passed at the ripe old age of 16. Sparky was one of the most talented dribblers to come through the program. He went peacefully, Nagamine said.


  1. cappie the dog November 15, 2018 5:22 am

    Would the owner dress Sparky the Dog in outfits?

    I think I’ve seen this dog at softball games.

    I love dogs.

    I am sorry to hear about his passing.

  2. Brian McInnis November 15, 2018 4:34 pm

    Sparky was Coach Nagamine’s dog. I don’t think I ever saw him in an outfit, though.

  3. cappie the dog November 15, 2018 11:02 pm

    Coach Nagamine, I had a borderline feral beagle that lived to see his sixteenth birthday. I got him when he was ten. He bit me in the face. You could hear him snarling outside around the house like he was schizophrenic. I felt like the dog whisperer when I realized he was safe for random people to pet.

    That first child; I was holding my breath. His tail wagged.

    People will say Sparky lived a long life.

    But I know what you’re going through.

    You wanted your dog to live forever.

  4. islandman November 16, 2018 7:38 am

    Is Taylor Caporus a walkon for soccer or not announced yet as a signee ? She was listed in the Hawaii Prep World as one of the signers at the signings on Wednesday.’
    Also, how about Maya Nakamura for UH Softball ?
    RIP Sparky, a good mascot.

  5. H-Man November 21, 2018 5:24 am

    Sorry late comment. Looks like all the teams are having a good – very good recruiting class this year, including soccer. Congrats to coach Nagamine and staff.

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