Kohala Wrestlers making a impact on the mat during BIIF season
Cowboys were riding tall when they took to the mat in the Waiakea Gym on Saturday.
Kohala brought only three boys to compete in the all schools Big Island Interscholastic Federation wrestling meet and all three made an instant impact winning key matches in the two day tournament.
“With our lack of facilities we only get to spend five hours of practice time on the mat each week when we should be working out for ten hours,” Cowboy Coach Travis Obrey said. “We only brought three boys to Waiakea today and all three did a great job for us.”
Leading the way on the mat for Kohala was a real Cowboy, Harry “Cowboy” Auweloa.
My nickname on the team is “Cowboy” because I’m a rancher who grew up on a ranch,” Auweloa said.
This season Auweloa is a perfect 10 – 0 and at Waiakea he continued his domination in the 160 pound weight class by winning three matches, all by pin.
“Cowboy’s” strength comes with his take downs, speed and his upper body.
“I still need to work on my trying to get off the bottom,” he said. “I need to do a better job getting out and up onto my feet. In this sport it’s all up to me as once I’m on the mat I have no one to depend upon.”
Kohala senior Kevin Cadaos wrestled in the 189 division and came away with a 2-2 mark winning his first match by a head and arm technique and the other in a cradle move.
“The cradle is my favorite move because it is the easiest to get someone down to the ground,” Cadaos said. “It’s during my standing position that I still need lots of work.”
According to Cadaos the best part of wrestling is the feeling he gets when the referee raises his hand to signify a victory.
Kohala junior Rael Victorino had a 2-2 day in just his first season as a wrestler.
“I’m still learning this sport and I have a lot more to learn,” Victorino said.
Victorino in the 145 weight class won both his matches by pin and lost both his matches on points.
“The more matches I get the better I become,” the newbie wrestler said. “I like the challenge this sport provides and I want to learn more to improve.”
Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Cannon Greco Hiranaka continued his winning ways by going 3-0 over the weekend to bring his season record to a perfect 9-0 in the 145 division.
“Two of my three wins came by pin,” Hiranaka said, “and the other win came on an 11-9 decision.”
Laupahoehoe’s Aaron Kvenild finished 2-1 with his only loss coming at the hands of Kohala’s ‘Cowboy.’
“I took second place in the 160 weight class today,” Kvenild said. “I’m getting in good conditioning which is going to help me through the long season.”
For the girls it was Hilo’s Kainoe Lee weighing in two pounds heavier than her normal 155 division to be bumped up to the 175 class.
Despite the 20 pound difference Lee won all three of her matches, two by pin and the other on points.
“I need to work on my cardio,” Lee said. “The match I won on points I should have won by pin but I just ran out of gas.”
Lee found herself struggling in her first match and she admits that she lacks the endurance if a match goes the distance.
“I like using the single leg approach in getting my opponents off their feet,” Lee said. “I like my coach and I like my team, but I need to be in control of my matches to be a better wrestler.”
Pahoa’s first year wrestler, Jadeen Brown had a long match against Konawaena’s Breeann Fujina winning in the third period by pin.
“I came out for wrestling because I liked watching it on TV,” Brown said. “I like this much better because there are no punches and it comes down to strength.”
Brown and Fujina competed in the heavyweight division of 220 and Brown used her strength in the final seconds to finish the match.
“I put her in a half and then lunged and pressed all my weight on her for the pin,” Brown said. “I’m still learning a few moves and used them today in my matches. I enjoyed all the cheering from the audience and my family was here to watch.”
One of the most experienced ladies to take to the mat was Waiakea’s Tanalei Louis in the 130 division. Louis is the state runner up and the BIIF defending champion in the 125 division.
“I was 5-0 at Waiakea and I’m 8-0 on the season,” Louis said. “I won four of my matches today by pin and the fifth was by a 9-0 score.”
Louis, already a talented wrestler, keeps improving with the season as her confidence begins to build.
“I’ve been doing a lot of training and drills this past week and during my matches I was taking more shots,” Louis said. “I still need to work on my technique as I feel I am still a bit rusty.”
Louis bumped up a weight class for the Waiakea Tournament, but insists that she will defend her BIIF title at 125.
“I’m just looking to get more matches and have good competition, but 125 is where I will be when the BIIF and State championships happen,” she said.
Waiakea Coach Stan Haraguchi and his crew did an outstanding job hosting the Warrior two day tournament.
The BIIF wrestling season takes a break during the holidays and will return to the mat with an all schools meet at Konawaena on January 7.
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