Wrestlers from around the BIIF have perfect day at Kealakehe Invite
Pahoa walked into the Kealakehe Gym with only half their team, but left with enormous respect and pride after leaving a great impression of things to come.
The Big Island Interscholastic Federation opened their wrestling season with an all schools meet on the West Side of the island and tiny Pahoa gaining the attention of other coaches and schools.
“We only brought half our team,” Dagger Coach Ryan Smith said. “Some of our wrestlers are first year and most were able to get three matches in today.”
Smith had a lot to be proud of as the Daggers were impressive on the mat.
Pahoa seniors Jake Torres in the 152 weight division and McShane Bannister in the 160 division left Kealakehe undefeated, winning all three of their matches by pin.
I was trying out new stuff and trying to be more aggressive,” Torres said. “I need to still learn to be more controlling in my matches, but it was fun today.”
Torres won his first match by using a superman stretch, his second with a cradle and his third match he used a half nelson for the pin.
Dagger teammate McShane Bannister is a lanky six footer who likes using his lower body to his advantage.
“I use my legs as it helps me out, but I still need to work on riding my opponents too high,” Bannister said. My first two matches I got the quick pin, but my third match I struggled as I think I was too relaxed.”
Kamehameha girls coach Marlon Miller was the first to recognize the efforts Pahoa brought to the mat.
“Pahoa did outstanding today,” Coach Miller said. “I was impressed with their talent and this was just a showing of what’s to come.”
Kealakehe senior and defending BIIF champion, Robin Arellano had an easy time defeating three Konawaena opponents in the 114 division.
Arellano won all of his matches by first round pins, but says he is still in the learning phase of his game.
“I still have a lot to learn,” Arellano said. “I need to work on pressuring the guys I wrestle and in the timing of my moves.”
Arellano was successful by using a cross face cradle in his first two matches and then using a reverse cradle in his final match to start the season with an unblemished record.
Perfection continued when Laupahoehoe’s Aaron Kvenile took the mat in the 160 division.
Kvenile used a cow catcher/hip toss to win all three of his matches by pin in quick fashion.
“I moved up from 145 last season to 160 now,” Kvenile said. “This being my senior year I want to give it my all and do the best that I can.”
Knevile won his first match in 24 seconds, second match in 34 seconds and his final match in 33 seconds to join the perfect group in the early season.
“I need to work on my bottom game, according to my coach,” Knevile said.
Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Cannon Grecko Hiranaka had a banner day winning in the 145 weight division all three of his matches. The first and third by pin and his second match by a 17-6 score with his best moves being the one on one and half nelson.
“I have hopes of being the BIIF champ and placing at states this year,” the confident sophomore said. “I’ve been working really hard by running in the mornings and going as hard as I can during practice.”
“I came into my matches pretty confident,” Grecko Hiranaka said. “I still need to work on my set ups for take downs.”
For the girls it was Waiakea’s Tanalei Louis in the 125 division with a perfect 3-0 winning two matches by pin and the other on points.
“Today was an eye opener for me because I guess I wasn’t too confident and I felt rusty,” Louis said.
Louis is the two time defending BIIF champion and finished third in the state in her freshman season and second last year as a sophomore. Louis medals came as a competitor for Konawaena before transferring to Waiakea this season.
“Today I worked on the basics and what I need to work on is my confidence in taking shots,” Louis said. “My goal this season is to become a three time BIIF champ and to win the state championship.”
Kamehameha’s Alexia-Marie Osburn, the defending BIIF champion at 140, was bumped up to 155.
“My coaches wanted me to be tested in harder competition,” Osburn said. “My conditioning is not where it should be and I was really tired by the end of my first match.”
Osburn was taking to the limit during her first match, winning in a tough battle over Waverider Allison Felix in the final seconds.
“I managed to do a stand up escape to win by a score of 8-7,” Osburn said. “I won my final match with a half nelson pin as my exploding in the stand up position worked well.”
Kamehameha had several wrestlers with perfect records according to Coach Brendon Courtot.
“We had six girls and six boys that had either perfect 2-0 or 3-0 records at the Kealakehe Invite,” Courtot said.
Perfect Kamehameha Girls
Noelle Kamalii Pohina 125lbs, Alexia-Marie Osburn 155lbs. Jasmine K. Iuta 175 lbs. Weline Tong 175lbs, Megan Aina 103lbs. Kanoe Padaken 114lbs
Perfect Kamehameha Boys
Jason Roland 152lbs. Charlie Aina 130lbs, Nalu Souza 125lbs, CJ Matsuyama 171lbs. Troy Gibson 140lbs, Kema Chin 215lbs
Kealakehe’s Coach Michael Ciotti hosted the tournament and had high praise from a variety of schools.
“I liked the Pahoa kids, as they put in a great effort,” Ciotti said. “It was good to see Kohala on the mat and I think the Kau girls were pretty dominating, while the Waiakea boys looked tough.”
Ciotti also believes that the season opener provided an opportunity for the wrestler to get used to the format and the way the referees make calls.
“A lot of the young wrestlers were nervous and needed to get their butterflies out,” Ciotti said.
There were more than 100 boys from around the BIIF participating at the Waverider gym along with 60 girls, according to Ciotti.
Waiakea will host the next all schools BIIF wrestling meet this Saturday at Warrior gym starting at 10 am.
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