As parents we need to teach our children, but we should also be open to learn from them as well.
For 40 year old, Kelly Sohriakoff, her interest in running began when her daughter, Jade, joined the Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s cross country team four years ago.
“My two younger daughters started Kindergarten and first grade on the same year Jade joined the cross country team and I would do short runs while they were all in school,” Sohriakoff said.
Schriakoff grew up in Hilo and her forms of exercise were on the dance floor.
“I took up dancing Hula with Johnny Lum Ho from grade school up until my senior year in high school, she said. I took ballet as well and I’d go to the gym a lot after school and on with weeks during my high school years. My dad was a police officer and I’d workout with him in the gym, but I never played any organized high school sports.”
Born and raised in Hilo, Sohriakoff is a 1989 graduate of Waiakea High School and moved away from the Big Island shortly thereafter.
“My husband and I moved back to the Big Island nine years ago as our dream was to raise our family here,” Schriakoff said.
The Sohriakoff family currently resides in Waimea as both commute to opposite sides of the island to work.
“My husband, Mike Sohriakoff Jr. commutes to Hilo to work as he is a Fire Rescue Specialist at the Waiakea Fire Station,” she said. “He is also the assistant wrestling coach to Gary Jarvill at HPA.”
Kelly Sohriakoff has been a flight attendant with Hawaiian Airlines for the past 20 years where her primary route is to the West Coast, Japan and to Korea.
“Flying sure takes a toll on my body,” Sohriakooff said. “No matter how long I’ve been doing it, it’s the jetlag that I never get used to. When I come home from a long, back of the clock flight, one good night of sleep will usually put me back on track.”
As Sohriakoff began to approach age 40 she started setting her sight on running her first marathon, a distance of 26.2 miles.
“I promised myself last year, that on the year that I turn 40, which was 2011, I would complete the Hilo Half Marathon and the Honolulu Marathon,” she said. “I was pleased with my time of 2 hours 6 minutes for the Hilo Half run and also pleased with my time of 4:44 for the Honolulu Marathon.”
Sohriakoff not only set her sights on running her first marathon, but wanted to finish it less than 5 hours.
“My training for the marathon was to continue with cross training three times weekly and to do three runs a week with one of them being a long run,” she said.
Sohriakoff also added in several hill repeat workouts and in the last two months of her training added in some sprint sessions on the HPA track for good measure.
Sohriakoff minimized the effects of flying by packing healthy meals from home for her long flights of 5 to 10 hours.
“You have to be very disciplined to continue to eat healthy while traveling,” Sohriakooff said. “I made it a point of packing those healthy meals from home so that I could continue to eat healthy where ever I may be.”
At home Sohriakoff will stay away from carbohydrates, sugars, dairy, beans and legumes with no refined foods.
“I pretty much stay as much paleo as possible,” Sohriakoof said. “I eat veggies/fruits, eggs, nuts, fish, chicken, other meats and drink lots of water.”
Having what she describes as a sweet tooth Sohriakoff will bake what she craves.
“Any sweets that I crave I’ll bake myself,” she said. “I’ll bake simple cookies from coconut or almond flour, eggs, coconut oil and a little agave nectar.”
Sohriakoff’s interest in running, which stemmed from her daughters involvement in cross country four years ago has now blossomed into a passion.
“I’ve done a few 5K’s and 10K’s within the past few years and I loved the Hilo Half Marathon which is such a beautiful and scenic run,” she said. “What I’m most excited about is the Portland Hood to Coast Relay in August 2012, of which I am the team Captain.”
Portland’s Hood to Coast Relay is the world’s longest relay run and starts at Mount Hood and ends 200 miles later in a town called Seaside.
“Out of 2,500 teams that entered our team was one of the 1,050 entries chosen,” Sohriakoff said. Twelve of us, from 3 different areas will travel to Oregon in August for this exciting event.”
With her new found love for running Sohriakoff hopes to continue with her early morning runs in Waimea, usually starting at 5 or 5:30 am.
“Yes, I start in the dark, with headlamps, and to me starting in the early morning gives me a ton of energy to last me the entire day,” she said. “If my day ends up on the West Coast or even in another country, it is the energy that I surely need a lot of!”
Sohriakoff used that passion that daughter Jade has for running and has transformed it into her own lifestyle change.
So it’s true, we can all learn something from our children.
And someday should you happen to see a lifelong learner jogging the streets of East Hawaii remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”
To be large, strong and fast are key components in being the best there is on the mat. The Big Island Interscholastic Federation wrestling season is about to unfold and with it comes the best of them all in the heavyweight division.
Kamehameha’s Akoakoa Paleka-Kennedy stands 6’ 2”, weighs 285 pounds and during last season produced an unblemished record.
Paleka-Kennedy ended the 2010 season with a perfect 15-0 record on the mat and comes into this season as the heavy favorite to defend his BIIF and State crowns.
“I’m kinda excited for this upcoming wrestling season,” Paleka-Kennedy said. “I will give it my all and don’t hold back.”
The state champion stayed in shape during the off season by heading to the Kamehameha campus every morning to work out with his weight lifting conditioning coach, Kimo Weaver.
“I worked out every morning, Monday through Friday, from 6 to 7 am with Coach Weaver,” Paleka-Kennedy said. “I’m hoping to repeat as the BIIF and State Champion because I’ve improved my mental preparation and in the execution phase of wrestling.”
As the high school wrestling season is gearing up to take to the mat Kamehameha has bragging rights to the Big Islands only two returning state champions in both the smallest and largest weight divisions.
They say that good things come in small packages and nothing could be more accurate when talking about the Warrior’s Megan Aina who measures in at 5 feet even and weighs 98 pounds.
The petite Warrior is a bundle of dynamite when it comes to taking on all challengers on the mat. The senior comes in as the three time BIIF champion and was the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state champion during the 2010.
During her sophomore year Aina became the first BIIF girl to win a state individual championship in three years as a competitor in the smallest weight division.
Aina is not new to the state mat as she has slowly progress from a sixth place medal her freshman season to winning the state championship as a sophomore and finished fifth place as a junior last year.
Now in her senior year Aina hopes to return to repeat as BIIF champion and make it back to center stage at the state championships.
“I’d like to win my fourth BIIF title,” Aina said. “I’m not sure if I’m going to stay at 98 or move up to 105 and will make up my mind during the season.”
The Kamehameha girls return as the BIIF team champions which has veteran coach Marlon Miller smiling.
“We have a slew of seniors and juniors this year and as coaches we are very proud of all the accomplishments that our girls have shown on and off the mat,” Miller said.
Behind Kamehameha’s wrestling dynasty is an even further bright future. Besides Aina the Warriors bring to the mat the experience of Alexia Osburn and Kawehi Lopez.
“The class of 2015 has given our wrestling girls a tremendous boost in numbers and as coaches we hope that they will stay together and carry the future of the program with them,” Miller said.
Miller believes that the upcoming BIIF season will be extremely competitive for his girls as other schools have stepped up in their pre season conditioning.
“I believe this season will be one of the strongest for the girls as I’ve noticed how diligent all the schools were in their off season training,” he said. “In keeping in touch over the summer with Kealakehe’s Head Coach Mike Ciotti, I know that the West Side is ready.”
Kamehameha has already set personal goals for each of their wrestlers, according to Miller.
“The coaching staff wants to get our young athletes to believe that they can wrestle beyond high school,” Miller said. “Our only two seniors last year find themselves still wrestling. Rustee Johansen wrestles for Pacific University in Oregon and Justin Hirae attends Iowa State and is trying for a spot on the Cyclones.”
Kamehameha boys coach Brendan Courtot has 17 boys on the roster with six returning seniors.
“We have two champions in Nalu Souza at 120 and AkoakoaPaleka-Kennedy at 285,” Courtot said. “We have one BIIF runner-up in CJ Matuyama at 171 and three third place finishers, Kamalu Wright, 114, Charlie Aina, 130, and Kema Chin, 251.”
The Warrior boy’s team goals are to improve their showing at the state finals in which they placed sixth last season, according to Courtot.
“Our most improved wrestler last season was freshman Kalae Trask-Sharp as the kid worked hard, learned from his mistakes and improved all year long,” Courtot said.
Waiakea boys are the defending boy’s team champions and Coach Stanley Haraguchi has a lot of work ahead as the public school Warriors are caught in a rebuilding season.
“We lost a lot of boys to graduation,” Haraguchi said. “We are what we are as this sport comes with a lot of work and the kids will get out of it what they put into it.”
One of the bright spots for Waiakea comes with returning BIIF champion Pat Enos.
Waiakea girls return two time BIIF champion Tracy Poch at 155 as Coach Preston Sato tries to build the numbers of Warrior participants.
Kau returns defending BIIF champion Kiani Mello-Waiawaiole in the 220 division with Coach Greg Rush having high hopes for the Trojan program.
“We’ve got four girls and three boys,” Rush said. “Our key returnee is Kiani and her goal is the State Championship. We also have two of her younger sisters at 175 and 130.”
Rush is assisted by his wife Hettie along with Dylan Rush as a volunteer coach.
“We guarantee big improvement among the wrestlers and a tougher attitude on the mat,” he said.
Coach Dan Whetstone at Honokaa is not as fortunate as some of the other schools since they return no BIIF champions and bring to the mat a lot of new faces.
“I really can’t predict yet who will be our best wrestlers this year,” Whetstone said. “Maybe after a couple of preseason events I will have a better idea.”
At Hawaii Preparatory Academy Coach Gary Jarvill has high hopes for his two seniors, Shannon Samura at 140 and Troy Choi at 215.
“We have 20 boys and 15 girls this season with no BIIF champions,” Jarvill said.
Hilo’s coach Alex Kalawe has 25 wrestlers on the matt this season, with over half being first time wrestlers.
“We have three returning BIIF runner-ups in Jacob Murphy a senior who will wrestle at 140 this year,” Kalawe said. “On the girls side our runner-ups are Sha Pagan, a sophomore at 108 and Lahi Kanakanui, another sophomore, at 140.”
Kalawe considers this a rebuilding season for the Vikings as many of his wrestlers are still in the learning stages of the sport.
Pahoa coach Elvis Lum has 30 plus athletes coming out for wrestling this season which has the Dagger coach all smiles.
“Everything is up in the air right now as we are trying to figure out what we have,” Lum said. “Our most experienced wrestler and team captain is Jake Torres, a senior, who will either wrestle at the 145 or 152 class.”
Keaau is loaded with numbers as 50 boys and 10 girls have come out for the sport, according to head coach Charles Manning.
“We are really young,” Manning said. “Our BIIF returning champion is Cheyden Quiocho at 135.”
The Cougars are also coached by Elton Lum, who is the brother of Pahoa coach Elvis Lum.
Kealakehe coach Michael Ciotti is optimistic about his chances of competing for the boys and girls team crowns.
“We have 30 boys and 10 girls and they are all tough,” Ciotti said. “We worked hard during the off season and are prepared.”
The Waveriders return boys BIIF champion Robin Arllano at 114 along with girls league champion Destiny Maters also at 114.
As the BIIF wrestling season begins to unfold one of the key areas on the mat is getting qualified officials.
“One of the things that are always needed is trained officials to man our tables,” BIIF Wrestling Official Elton Suganuma said.
“Without good scorekeepers and timekeepers our matches are so much more difficult to manage. When you have to worry if your tables are getting the calls right as a referee, your focus is divided and that is never a good thing. We need interested people who are not affiliated with current teams to train to man our tables,” Suganuma said. “After all don’t our kids deserve the best we can give them?”
Several preseason tournaments are underway with most of the BIIF schools planning to participate at Kealakehe this weekend.
“We are looking forward to hosting the first all schools meet of the season,” Coach Ciotti said. “This first meet is an opportunity to see how we look and how everything is about to unfold.”
Twenty five weight class championship titles are up for grabs this Saturday when Konawaena host the Big Island Interscholastic Federation wrestling individual and team championships at the Colonel Ellison Onizuka Gymnasium.
Defending girls team champions Kamehameha are considered the heavy favorites to repeat as team champions, but Warriors coach Marlon Miller believes that their standings are overrated.
“Due to our intensity and rigorous demand that one must give in this sport I had a lot of girls drop out during the season, including several returnees,” Miller explained.
Miller believes that other coaches are saying that Kamehameha are the heavy favorites, which is a tactic, to draw attention away from them.
“This past weekend I noticed that Konawaena and Hawaii Preparatory Academy were filling more weight classes than we do,” Miller said. “After having a scrimmage dual meet with Hilo a couple of weeks ago I know they (Hilo) will be contending for the girl’s title also.”
Miller believes that all the private school Warrior girls have the confidence and ability to be State and BIIF champions.
“They all believe in themselves and their teammates,” he said. “If they didn’t I wouldn’t put them out there.”
Rustee-Ann Johansen and Megan Aina are the two returning BIIF champions for the Warriors girl’s team with Aina (a state champion at 98 pounds) going for her third league title.
HPA coach Gary Jarvill still sees Kamehameha as the team to beat for the girl’s crown.
“I am missing four weight classes for BIIF’s,” Jarvill said. “I only have two girls with any experience at all and my most successful girl, Kela Vargas, needs to wrestle Megan (Aina) who is the returning state champion.”
Jarvill believes that Kamehameha is on an easy road to winning another girl’s team title and the Ka Makani coach noted that Kona’s strength is in the weight classes from 120 to 140.
Dominate among the Kona ladies is defending champion Tanalei Louis, 125, who won the BIIF championships as a freshman last season. Louis may be one of the best in the state in her weight class and is considered a heavy favorite to repeat as BIIF champ.
Wildcat teammate Sage Aoki, 108, comes from a rich family tradition in wrestling champions and will also make a run at defending his BIIF title.
“Honokaa’s newest top wrestler is Harry Auweloa. He came to Honokaa this year from Maui, a junior with one year of experience, “said Dragon Coach Dan Whetstone. “He (Auweloa) took 1st place in 189′s in the preseason tournament at Waiakea and then placed first again in the same weight class at the Kealakehe tournament in early January.”
Whetstone believes that Auweloa will drop weight and compete in the 171 bracket as the favorite to win at the BIIF championships as he remains undefeated during the season.
Dragon teammate Geo Chavez-Pardini will be wrestling in only his second tournament of the year but should be the one to beat in 189′s and capture his fourth BIIF title.
“I’m switching some of these kids around as a strategic measure,” Whetstone said. “Geo could actually compete at 171, but we need him in the high weight division.”
Another one of Honokaa’s newcomers is first year senior Elvis Cardoza at the 145 division. Whetstone believes that Cardoza will contend for the BIIF title as he won won all of his matches this past Saturday at Keaau.
Wrestling fans should also watch for a repeat performance from Kau’s heavyweight defending champion, Keani Mello-Waiwaiole who has been dominate in the 220 division.
The main attraction on the girl’s side for Waiakea is Tracy Poch who took top honors at the Officials Wrestling Tournament on Oahu in December and is considered the heavy favorite to win the BIIF crown at 175. Poch is the BIIF champ at 155 last season.
While there is no clear favorite in the race for the boys team title most coaches agree that Kamehameha and Waiakea have a slight edge over the rest of the field.
Kamehameha returns a pair of title defenders in Justin Hirae, 114, and Nalu Souza at 120 while the public school Warriors showcases Tyler Yonemori and the Enos brothers, Pat and Patrick.
“I think it is impossible to pick, even on paper, who will win the boys team title,” Kamehameha boys coach Brendan Courtot said. “No one school has shown real dominance at any of the meets, but Kealakehe is the defending champ, so they have the target on their back.”
According to Courtot several Warriors have been undefeated during the regular season and include CJ Matsuyama, 171, and Akokoa Paleka-Kennedy in the heavy weight division. Despite the unblemished record Courtot feels that they are not well tested because of their missing several key match ups.
“We will be competitive at 114, 120, 125, 130, 135, 140, 152, 189 and 215 with our best chance to medal coming from our two defending champions (Hirae who will wrestle at 125 and Souza at 120) and two returners Charlie Aina, 130, and Kema Chin at 215,” Courtot said.
Action will get under way in Kona on Saturday at 10 am using three mats as the highly anticipated individual and team champions will not be crowned until later that evening.
KEAAU – Sometimes moving up a weight class can pay high dividends as it did when Keaau’s Treyven Ah Quin-Fely was called upon to wrestle in the heavyweight, 215 pound class.
Ah Quin-Fely was asked by his coach, Charles Manning, to move up from his normal 189 division in order to compete with the big boys.
“I weighed in at 183.6, but my coach asked me to wrestle in the next higher weight division,” Ah Quin-Fely said.
During first round action of Big Island Interscholastic Federation wrestling matches held at Cougar Gymnasium on Saturday Ah Quin-Fely took on Konawaena’s Keanu Malina-Serion in a clash of heavyweights.
Ah Quin-Fely wasted little time in the match getting a first round take down by shooting low and grabbing Malina-Serion’s upper thigh for a takedown.
“I got him on a high crotch move and used my strength to hold him down for the pin,” he said.
The Cougar, who has 8 wins and 2 losses on the season is in his second year of wrestling and list amongst other things his likeness for full contact sports as an attraction that brings him on the mat.
“I think my success has come because of my never give up attitude and my willingness to always learn something new,” he said.
Ah Quin-Fely’s size and strength played an important role in his victory on Saturday, and his desire to continue to improve showed on the mat.
“I like the idea that we go into full combat on the mat, but once we step off we become instant friends,” he said. “I’ve made so many friends during the season.”
Cougar teammate, Jove Asagra, was also on the mat, but without the success of some of his teammates.
The sophomore in his first year of wrestling admitted he still has a lot to learn in order to be on top.
“I still need to work my way up from the bottom,” Asagra said. “I have to work on escaping once I’ve been taken down which means I need to work harder.”
In his opening match Asagra was pinned in the 114 weight class by Kona’s Warren Buena Vista, but the Cougar put on a valiant effort in his attempt to get out of the Wildcat grasp.
“I was trying to face up and bridge, but his hold only made it tighter,” Asagra said of his loss. “I know that I have to work harder.”
Another Cougar, Jesse Huihui, wrestling at 140 pinned his opponent, Kona’s Fidel Meza, during the second period by using a combination of moves.
“I used the high crotch to get him on the mat, then got him in a half nelson to flip him over for the pin,” Huihui said.
The junior noted his desire to improve on his conditioning in order to last the entire three rounds during a close match.
“My conditioning could be better,” he said. “Everything in wrestling comes down to conditioning and if I want to be a BIIF champion I know that is the key.”
For the girls it was a pair of Hawaii Prep cross country harriers making a name for themselves on the mat.
Seniors Sam Neal and Kela Vargas are experienced runners who helped HPA to a BIIF title and a second place finish at the state championships, but both come to the mat lacking wrestling technique.
“Sam has been our most successful wrestler this season,” HPA coach Gary Jarvill said. “We have 11 girls on the roster, but only two of them are returnees.”
Despite her lack of experience Neal has only two losses on the season and both to the same girl, Kamehameha’s Megan Aina.
In her first match of the day Neal was again facing Aina in the 103 weight class and both girls were tied after the first round 3-3.
“I think I need to learn more skills and techniques,” Neal said after being pinned by Aina in the second round.
Neal has tried a variety of sports, including boxing, and adds an aggressive style of wrestling to her repertoire.
“I can be aggressive, but at times I don’t know what to do with it,” Neal said. “I think I need to work on things in advance in order to be better prepared.”
Ka Makani teammate Kela Vargas was also on the mat late in the day at 98 pounds and taking on the same opponent in defending BIIF and state champion, Megan Aina of Kamehameha with the same result as Neal.
“I’ve lost to Megan two times now as she’s good,” Vargas said. “I like wrestling the best as I know that it will only make me better.”
Vargas credits her years of running cross country as a benefit in wrestling.
“I have strong legs and I know I can use that to my advantage during drives and take downs,” she said.
The road to success for any girl wrestling in the lightweight division this season is through Megan Aina as the tough and seasoned Warrior has challenged all comers and has come out on top.
The BIIF season comes to a conclusion on Saturday when Konawaena plays host to the island championships.
It will be a season of rebuilding and mystery, according to several Big Island Interscholastic Federation wrestling coaches.
“I spoke with several of the coaches at our coaches meeting and it sounds like many teams, like us, graduated a lot of wrestlers last year and are in the rebuilding stages,” Honokaa coach Dan Whetstone said.
Whetstone believes that there are no clear favorites to win the boys BIIF team title and that Kamehameha has the inside track at winning the girls title.
“The only wrestlers I have returning that have a track record are Jessica Muskat and Geo Chavez-Pardini,” Whetstone said. “The only girl that Jessica lost to on the island last year has graduated, so she should be the girl to beat in her weight class and she should improve on her sixth place finish from last year’s state tournament.”
Chavez-Pardini suffered a knee injury while working out with a state all star team on Oahu over the summer and Whetstone says that it will be hard to predict what his recovery time table will be.
“We’re hopeful that Geo can regain his previous form by the time league championships roll around, if not sooner,” Whetstone said.
Kamehameha girls return as the BIIF team champions and are lead by senior Rustee Johansen.
Johansen is the BIIF champ at 130 pounds and is a Warrior team captain.
“I stayed in shape by working out during the summer and lifting weights,” Johansen said. “My goals are to have another successful year and to do better than my fifth place finish at states last year.”
Coach Marlon Miller returns as the Kamehameha girls coach and is looking at several returnees along with a host of new, young talent.
“I’ve been blessed with a great returning squad of young ladies,” Miller said.
Starting at the 98 pound class Kamehameha returns state champion and two time BIIF champ, Megan Aina. Aina, along with 11 other Warrior girls began the preseason by competing in the Punahou Girls Invitation on Nov 27 and was very impressive on the mat.
Aina, with teammate Jasmine Iuta, 175, won their weight classes with six other Warriors placing in the Punahou tournament which had over 230 girls competing.
“I still need to practice harder and work harder if I hope to defend for the state title,” a humble Aina said.
Iuta, just a sophomore, won both her matches at Punahou by pin and considered the tournament to be a good momentum builder going into the BIIF season.
“It was great experience for me to come and wrestle on Oahu,” Iuta said. “We did great as a team and we all benefited from the experience.”
“We did very well at Punahou as we had medalist in eight of the 11 weight classes,” Coach Miller said. “Punahou looks like the team to beat in the state and Molokai will be the sleeper this year.”
The Warriors have Kanoe Padaken, second in BIIF last season, and the Pohina sisters, Noelle and Pomai returning to the mat.
“Jasmine Iuta, Liana Soares and Sable Marie Young are three more of my returning sophomores that should secure the future of this girls program when I’m long gone,” Miller said.
Miller is also high on Alexia Osburn, saying that she will add to the Warriors strength on the mat.
“I have a total of seventeen girls this year and although that is a great number to have I do have a few weight classes that I am unable to fill,” he said.
Miller believes that this is the best girls recruiting class he has ever had and that they will make a strong bid to repeat as team champions.
On the boys side the Warriors are led by second year coach Brendon Coutot and feature three time BIIF champion, Justin Hirae.
Nalu Kekona-Souza and Akoakoa Paleka-Kennedy will anchor a talent squad along with Charlie Aina, Gavriel DeRego and Kema Chin.
“I expect a solid performance from our two other juniors, Jason Roland-Fernandez and CJ Matsuyama,” Miller said. “We have numerous first year wrestlers that have excelled beyond our expectations as coaches. The recruitment numbers aren’t quite what we would like them to be, but what we lack in quantity, we more than make up in enthusiasm and determination.”
Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Gary Jarvill returns three boys and three girls from last year’s squad.
“Shannon Samura, Troy Choi and Leila Wong all went to state last year and should do well again this season,” Jarvill said. “We will be rebuilding and starting from scratch this season with all of the other new wrestlers.”
Keaau Coach Charles Manning chose not to speculate on the Cougar chances this season, saying that it was too early to tell.
“I do not like to speculate this early in the season as to who will be the tops in weight classes as I feel that it is counterproductive,” Manning said. “As for team expectations we expect to work hard and improve all season long. I’m sure we will be represented well in the BIIF when championships are on the line.”
The Konawaena Wildcats graduated several key grapplers, but still managed to return some BIIF champions.
“Melissa Dumaguin, a senior, and Tanalei Louis, a sophomore, both return for us, including my son Sage Aoki,” Wildcat coach Mark Aoki said.
Dumaguin won the BIIF crown at 130, while Louis took the 125 division and Aoki battled to victory at 108.
“Some of our BIIF champions may be moving up in weight this season, but we’ll just have to wait to see where they’ll be at,” Aoki said. “Kona is in a rebuilding year as most of our team is made up of new kids. I think Kealakehe is in the same situation as us, but Kamehameha seems to have the edge for the girls.”
Kau has a returning sophomore, Keani Mello-Waiaiaole who won the heavyweight, 220 bracket, as a freshman last year.
“Keani will return for us along with two of her sisters and all three should do well,” Trojan coach Kevin Rence said.
Kealakehe, the defending boy’s team champion, is going through their own rebuilding year as the mighty ‘Riders have won seven league championships over a nine year period.
The secret to Kealakehe’s success has come in their ability to be competitive in most or all of the 14 weight classes.
“We have 25 boys out for wrestling this year and I’m hoping we can once again fill all the different weight divisions,” ‘Rider coach Mike Ciotti said.
Leading the way for Kealakehe is defending BIIF champion Tim Eckert in the 215 weight class.
“Tim’s returning for us along with sever boys that placed at the BIIF championships last year,” Ciotti said. “We’ve won four consecutive boys team titles and we should be competitive in going for our fifth in a row.”
Some coaches failed to return phone calls regarding the upcoming wrestling season which begins on Saturday, Dec. 11, at Waiakea.