Aug. 21, 2002
by Dennis Anderson, staff writer
The Honolulu Advertiser
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Keith DeVey of Kula and St. Anthony High was not recruited by a major college soccer team. So he walked on at Santa Clara University, one of the premier programs in the West.
On Monday, he made a Pele-like goal in the final scrimmage of tryout camp and made the roster. "I think that did it," he said.
Santa Clara is the defending West Coast Conference champion, has won or shared eight WCC titles and has played in the NCAA Division I men's championship game three times.
The last male from Hawai'i to play for Santa Clara was Peter Matsuda of Punahou in 1986.
Undaunted by history or the pedigrees of the 20 scholarship players in camp, DeVey arrived "very physically prepared," assistant coach Eric Yamamoto said.
"Keith did extremely well," Yamamoto said, in the most challenging of a series of tests to measure physical fitness - a killer drill affectionately called the "yo-yo intermittent beep test." It requires the player to run at increasingly faster paces until he can run no more. DeVey outlasted almost everyone.
Yamamoto acknowledged that DeVey's bicycle kick - the spectacular aerial move made famous by Pele - from 18 yards on Monday "was the goal" of the six-day, 11-practice tryouts. But he said it was the freshman's "performance over the entire tryouts that won him the spot."
Placing in the top five of the 40 candidates in a number of physical tests was "the No. 1 reason" DeVey was picked, the coach said.
He has "tremendous potential," Yamamoto said.
Although DeVey was co-Player of the Year in the Maui Interscholastic League last year, had been chosen on Hawai'i's Olympic Development team for three years and was his team's leading scorer at the 2001 USA Cup in Minnesota, he drew interest only from small colleges.
So he picked Santa Clara for academics (he likes the video production program there). DeVey was St. Anthony's valedictorian with a grade-point average of 4.2, taking college-level courses in calculus, history and English.
He sent tapes to the soccer coaches and was invited to the tryout camp.