Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Kamehameha Girls look dominate at WHS Invite

Tough Kamehameha girls wrestling team

Kamehameha girls left little doubt on who is the team to beat in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation wrestling tournament held at Waiakea this past Friday and Saturday.

The Warrior girls captured six out of eight weight divisions during the two day, double elimination tournament to give notice to the rest of the league on their ability to defend their BIIF team title.

Kamehameha’s state champion Megan Aina got things started by winning the 108 pound division with an avalanche of Warrior’s claiming individual honors.

Kanoe Padakin, 120; Kawehi Lopez; 125; Rustee Johansen, 130; Sable-Marie Young, 155; and Jasmine Iuta, 175; continued the Warrior onslaught with Waiakea’s Tracy Poch, 220; and Konawaena’s Tanalei Louis, 140; being the only road block in preventing Kamehameha from a clean sweep.

“We still need to go back to the drawing board and work on some stuff,” Kamehameha girls coach Marlon Miller said.

“We should never be content with where we are at and we should always continue working to become better,” Miller said.  “Everybody in this gym from every school will get better during the season and we need to keep working at improving.”

Miller also had high praise for host Waiakea in running the two day tournament saying that Stan Haraguchi and Greg Yonemori did an excellent job in kicking off the season.

Eleven BIIF schools competed in the tournament that featured 38 girls and 107 boys vying for bragging rights in their respective age divisions.

In the girls 155 class championship match it was Kamehameha’s Sable-Marie Young getting sweet revenge against Hilo’s Kainoelani Lee.

Young failed to make the BIIF championship meet when she was defeated by Lee last season, but she turned the tables around this year.

“Today was kinda like pay back,” Young said of her pin.  “It makes me feel like I’m going to be really good this season.  I love this sport and the drive we need to push ourselves to be good.  Our coaches teach us well and the excitement we get from the crowd makes it worthwhile.”

Kamehameha’s Kawehi Lopez made the transition from canoe paddler to wrestler this season and picked up a win during the 125 title match against teammate Noelle Pohina.

“My friend recruited me into wrestling and I’m glad I gave it a try as it has increased my confidence and given me something to get excited about,” Lopez said. 

“I wasn’t so nervous going against my own teammate in the finals because we train together during practice,” she said.  “I played volleyball this year and I think the paddling and volleyball has helped me with wrestling.”

Nalu Souza gains advantage on Sage Aoki

For the boys it was a matchup between two BIIF champions when Kona’s Sage Aoki went against Kamehameha’s Nalu Souza in the 125 weight division.

Aoki, who is the defending league champion at 108 and Souza the champ at 120 were both bumped into the higher weight division.

“I weighed in at 120.4 on Friday, but I hope to wrestle at 120 and defend my title,” Souza said.

“I like going against Sage because he’s a state placer and I’m only going to get better by wrestling the best,” he said. 

Souza out pointed Aoki, 15 to 12, for the victory in what was a close match throughout the three 2-minute periods.

“I was concerned during the match when he (Aoki) shot into my legs as I’ve never let anyone shoot on me before,” Souza said.  “I need to stay on top and pressure him to move him out of his comfort zone.”

Souza pulled the match out when he used a ‘gramby roll’ and then moved into Aoki using a half-nelson.

“This tournament was pretty important for me to see where everyone is at,” Souza said.  “I plan to get back down to 120 and defend at that weight class during the season.”

Allin Franco

Kealakehe’s Allin Franco pulled out a close win over Keaau’s Jesse Huihui in the 140 division.

Franco led 6-4 after the first period, but Huihui was able to tie the score at 6 during the first 15 seconds of the second period, before Franco put the match away winning 10 to 6.

“Jesse is a really good and really fast wrestler and I knew that I needed to keep up with his intensity,” Franco said.

“I still need to work on my technique and strength and maintain my conditioning,” he said.  “I think the difference in this match came down to conditioning as we were both tired going into the third period.”

Franco believes that he can win the BIIF title this year and has set his sights on winning a state title.

At the 135 weight class it was Keaau’s Cheyden Quiocho going against Waiakea’s Keoni Rice in the championship bracket.

“He (Rice) was trying to get me into a head and arm move and I countered with a half which flipped him on his back and I went straight down for the pin,” Quiocho said of his third period victory.

“I still need to work on my moves and my conditioning as I’m not pleased with my second place finish at BIIF’s last year,” he said. 

Quiocho was the BIIF runner up at 125 last year and put on 10 pounds to be bumped up two weight classes.

“I feel comfortable at this weight and I’m still hungry and motivated to do well,” Quiocho said.

Kamehameha’s boys coach, Brendan Courtot believes that Kealakehe is the team to beat for the BIIF title since they have dominated the league during the past decade.

“We will be competitive in 10 of 13 weight classes this year as we have a very young team, but they are very aggressive,” Courtot said.

The Warriors return two BIIF champions in Nalu Souza and Justin Hirae.

December 16, 2010 - Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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