Division I Transfer Took 7-Year Journey to CUH


Meredith Robinson

27-year-old Kelton Cheney leads the team in goals this year for Chaminade.

Kelton Cheney is an unconventional senior forward on the Chaminade men’s soccer team.

Cheney, coming out of high school in State College, Pennsylvania, committed to playing collegiate soccer at Division I Penn State University in 2012. He played in 13 matches, starting one, as a freshman. The Pennsylvania native transferred out of Penn State to Western Texas College to focus more on his academics.

In his one year in Texas, he never got comfortable there, so he went back to Pennsylvania to work.

In 2015, former Chaminade men’s soccer head coach Jayson Abe recruited over Cheney to play for the Silverswords. From there he began his long-awaited journey to come play soccer in Hawaii.

After a long back and forth decision between focusing on his future or playing collegiate soccer, in 2016, Cheney made his way over to the islands. But first, he attended Kapiolani Community College for two-and-a-half years to ensure he could have the correct credits to be eligible to play soccer for the Swords.

In 2019, he was now officially a Chaminade Student.

“You know I wasn’t really thinking about playing soccer all that much, and I was just focused on working and going to school,” said Cheney, who is now 27 years old. “Our former head coach [Abe] at the time contacted me if I was still interested to play, and I was just in awe that I got another chance to play soccer again.”

Though he was not in collegiate soccer those seven years, Cheney still was able to retain his NCAA eligibility to play at Chaminade for his junior and now senior year.

He has started in eight of the nine games played for the Silverswords this season and leads the team in goals with four this year.

“It’s pretty crazy to think at my age I am just playing with some other players who just came out of high school, but I just so thankful for the opportunity to play the sport I grew up loving as a kid,” said Cheney. “I thank my teammates and my coaches for believing in me and giving me great guidance in becoming a better person on and off the field.”

Cheney is not the only veteran on this year’s team, as 26-year-old senior forward Colin Roemer also took a long break from collegiate soccer for other personal reasons. Both will be leaving the program after this school year.

Ever since recruiting Cheney, Abe mentioned how he has brought tremendous experience and leadership to the team. During the season, Shimomoto said that Cheney’s overall positivity has the team always on the right mindset after loses, and really admires him for stepping up and becoming a true leader for the team.

“He brings valuable leadership to our team, and just his character around the guys and the life lessons he teaches on and off the field to our players is what really just makes him the rock of our team,” said Shimomoto, the second-year head coach for Chaminade men’s soccer. “I think his mentality and experience overall has really given our guys such growth, and we are all truly grateful for having him on our team this year.”

Cheney was honored All Academic-PacWest during the 2019 season.

Chaminade ended its Senior Day Monday with a 6-1 loss to Point Loma as it fell to 2-7 for the season and 0-5 in PacWest play. This game will be the final time Cheney and five other players on the men’s soccer team will play on Saint Louis Field for the Swords. The team still has five more games this season, all on the road.

“You know we have had a very tough season and it’s not one that we’d hoped for,” said Cheney, the only player in CUH men’s soccer history to have a multi-goal performance. “I just hope that whatever advice I was able to give to the guys on my team, and the experiences I have endured as a person helps grow the future of this team. I am just truly grateful for the opportunity Coach Paul has given me to play here at Chaminade.”

For Cheney, this will be his final year playing for the Swords, as he is looking forward to potentially staying on the islands for his future. Also looks to maybe come back and help out the Swords next season as an assistant head coach.