Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Mello-Waiwaiole Sisters Leaving Mark on Mat for Ka’u

Leah, Keani, & Elena

Sisters Leah, Keani and Elena Mello-Waiwaiole have been working hard for the Kau wrestling team during the Big Island Interscholastic Federation season.

Keani is the defending BIIF champion in the 220 weight division, a title that she won last year as a freshman.

“My father, Donald Mello, talks about wrestling and teaches us the moves in the living room of our house,” Keani said.  “He graduated from Pahoa in 1992 where he was on the wrestling team and my mom, Stephanie Waiwaiole, was the team statistician.”

The Mello-Waiwaiole family has become well known in the wrestling community where all three sisters, including an up and coming eighth grader continue the ohana tradition.

“I like wrestling and I like to win,” Keani said. 

This past Saturday the Trojan grapplers were on the mat at Hilo High trying to hold their own during East Side competition.

Keani wasted no time in her first two matches of the day pinning Hilo’s Kawehi Housman during the first period and later making fast work out of Viking Sharon Manaarpac for another early round pin.

“She was too small,” Keani said after her second win of the day.  “They, meet officials, mixed the 175 weight division with the 220 so that we could have some matches.”

Keani’s strength and size was no match for her opposition as she quickly overpowed her opponents for quick victories.

Sisters Elena, 125 pounds, and Leah, 140, weren’t as fortunate as they were on the receiving end of pins.

“I still need to work on my moves and how to get off my back,” Leah said after dropping a match to Hilo’s Hillary Luna.

Elena, an experienced senior, quickly learned what she is lacking in the contact sport.

“I should have been faster and I need to be able to think faster,” Elena said.  “I still need to learn to wrestle smarter and after each match I need to move my focus to my next opponent.”

Despite the loss Elena still maintains a winning season record of 8-5 and has high hopes of making the top three during the BIIF championships and a ticket to the state championships.

“Me and my sisters are not shame and people know us in Kau as the girls that hunt,” Elena said.

The youngest of the Mello-Waiwaiole sisters, Leah, had a lot of praise for her families sport.

“I like wrestling because of my dad and because I can put all of my anger into this sport,” Leah said.  “I know I still need to work on my moves and how to get off my back.”

Trojan coach Kevin Rence has been out in Kau teaching wrestling, something that he learned growing up in Michigan during his high school days on the mat.

“I’m having fun and we’re starting to build a program out in Kau,” Rence said.  “It would be great if we could get a female coach to help teach the moves to these girls as I will usually demonstrate the technique on our only boy wrestler beforehand.”

Rence also needs to contend with outdated wrestling mats, made in the 1950’s, which are too small and difficult at times to work on, according to the coach.

“One of my biggest challenges is to try and raise money so that we can take some of these girls to states next month as I know we’ll have one or two qualifying,” he said.

Pat & Patrick Enos

On the boys side of the mat it was the Enos brothers from Waiakea showing their stuff.

Pat and Patrick Enos has become a workhorse dynamo for the Warriors as Patrick, a senior, competes in the 152 divisions and Pat, a sophomore, at 145.

According to Pat Enos he is one of only a few wrestlers in the BIIF that has gone undefeated during the regular season including matches that he had in the higher weight class.

“I still need to work on my conditioning,” Pat said.  “I have high goals of winning both the BIIF and state championships at 145 and then making the Hawaii team that goes to Nationals.”

During his first match of the day Pat Enos took on Pahoa standout Jake Torres and managed to get him in a Zealand move whereby he flipped the Dagger, using his hips for a second round victory.

Patrick, who sat out last season with a broken collar bone, is close to finishing his first full season with the Warriors.

“My coach told me that I have a really good chance of winning BIIF’s and at doing well during the state championships,” Patrick said.

“My only losses this season has come from Hilo’s Jens Beets and I know that I have to beat him if I’m going to win the BIIF title at 152,” he said. “I still need to work on my escapes and on my take down reversals.”

At Hilo gym Beets and Enos matched up again with the same outcome.  Enos lead on points during the second period before Beets pinned him with just three seconds remaining.

“I need to practice harder and I need to go in with a game plan,” Patrick said of his loss to Beets.

The BIIF wrestling regular season concludes this Saturday with all schools meeting at Keaau starting at 10 am.  The BIIF championships will be held on Feb 5 at Konawaena.

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January 25, 2011 - Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , ,

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