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International soccer champs at HPU

by Sophie Schmidt, assoc. Sports editor

HPU has two soccer teams, the Green and the White. Jimmi Hemmenbach is captain of the No. 1-ranked White that won the local league championship last December against Lanikai Tuesday.


The White Team also won the regular season.

The Green Team, under Captain Jason Jorgensen, came in third in both the regular season and the championship series.

Hemmenbach, who is a junior majoring in journalism, has played professionally in Sweden. He played first division for one year and second Division for eight years. When HPU offered him a scholarship, he seized the opportunity to come to Hawai‘i.

Today Hemmenbach practices three times a week with his team and plays a match against local teams every Sunday at Waipio, in O‘ahu’s central valley.

“ The team is very international,” Hemmenbach said “We have Swedish and Norwegian players and others from Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Spain, Poland, and Japan.”

Hemmenbach enjoys playing in Hawai‘i. “The local teams here are very nice to foreign players,” he said. “We fight a war on the field, but beyond that, we are all friendly and respected as well.”

Hemmenbach is sad that HPU’s soccer team can not play in the NCAA. He would like to compete against other colleges in the United States, but unfortunately, due to economic reasons, the other teams do not want to travel to Hawai‘i.

“ I really would [like to] play against other teams, because I am sure that we could do really well!”

The teams’ goal this year is to win the regular season. Hemmenbach is not sure if they can win the championship again, “because a lot of the players are leaving in the summer.” “However,” he said, “I am sure we can win the regular season.”

 

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