Old-school hero back on Kadena boys strikers' bench
Published: April 22, 2011
Nothing like bringing back an old-fashioned, down-to-goodness hero from a bygone era to help his old team try to recapture its old glory.
Alex Mierzejewski, Kadena Class of 2007 who helped the Panthers capture their last Far East Division I Tournament title at sweeper in 2004, was back on the Kadena bench on Thursday, helping head coach Tom McKinney direct the defense.
It almost paid off, as Kubasaki – the Panthers’ arch-rival – beat the Panthers 3-2 to sweep the Okinawa Activities Council season series 3-0.
Mierzejewski, son of longtime DODDS Pacific coach and administrator Bill Mierzejewski, is home on summer break from Brigham Young-Hawaii, where he now plays.
“I knew he was out there,” said McKinney, who’s been the Panthers’ head coach since 2005. “He knows Kadena soccer and its expectations and I knew he was coming home, so I invited him out to work on defense.”
Surely, Mierzejewski would love to back on the pitch rather than on the bench, if one of his comments was any indicator. “It feels different, but it’s all right,” he said.
Mierzejewski, who will be a junior next year, is getting married on July 29 in Denver.