Waiakea Wrestling Coaches trying to fly under the Radar
Stealth was the key word at Waiakea as the Big Island Interscholastic Federation wrestling season continued on Saturday, with the public school Warriors trying to avoid detection of their talented team.
“We’re trying to fly under the radar and not let the other schools know what we have,” Warrior coach Preston Sato said.Waiakea is the defending boy’s team champion in BIIF wrestling, but are attempting to disguise what they might have as the season heads into its final weeks.
“We continue the coaching philosophy of our former coach, Patrick Marquart, who believed in discipline and the entire program is modeled after him.” Sato said,Marquart coached the Warriors from 1996 to 2001 according to Sato and Coach Sato along with assistant coach, Nick Galloway, wrestled for the legendary Warrior coach.Galloway, a 2003 and Sato, a 2001 graduate of Waiakea have both returned to continue as mentors.
“Coach Marquart always helped us become better wrestlers and as a result become better people in life,” Galloway said. “He had a great program which we try to emulate today.”Haraguichi
“We carry 16 boys and 7 girls and defending the league title will be a lot tougher this season, Coach Stan Haraguchi said. “It will come down to who wants it more, who works the hardest and who has the fewest injuries.”MaglintiLeading the Warrior boys is senior Jordan Maglinti at 152 pounds who won his opening match against a Pahoa opponent by a score of 11-1.“I haven’t lost a match this season as I go for just the basic moves of double leg and half nelson,” Maglinti said. “I’m not a great wrestler, I’m just okay and all these other kids work hard too.”Despite his undefeated BIIF season Maglinti, a senior, believes that he needs to work harder at practice to be able to contend for the league championship.“I just want to wrestle as hard as I can and if I win or lose it doesn’t matter, as long as I tried my best,” he said. Ikehara
Also flying under the radar for Waiakea is Alan Ikehara a tenth grader in his first year of wrestling.
Ikehara, 140, won his opening match against a Hawaii Preparatory Academy opponent by putting him in a half then pressing his weight down to get the second round pin.
“I took him down in the first period then put him in a reverse leading into the half,” Ikehara said. “My double leg take down works well, but I still need to work on the single leg.”
Ikehara, a surfer, goes into every match with a positive attitude as his dad; a former high school wrestler encouraged him to enter the sport.
“I go onto the mat to try to win every match and I always try to do the best that I can,” he said,
Keoni Rice, at 135, adds to the Waiakea firepower and remains undefeated in league competition.
“I’m 7-0 and today I bumped up to 140 for better competition,” Rice said. “I try to take advantage of my opponent’s weaknesses and faults.”
Rice, a junior, ran cross country during the off season and believes the transition to wrestling has helped.
“Cross country has helped me stay in shape and develop more stamina,” he said. “Wrestling also helped my running because of the high intensity of the sport.”
For the Warrior girls there is no hiding Tanalei Louis who comes in as the state runner up at 125 pounds and is undefeated in BIIF competition.
Louis faced stiff opposition in Kamehameha’s Noelle Pohina and used a barbed wire move to secure the pin in the second period to move her league record to 15-0. The two combatants had faced each other last season for the BIIF championships with Louis again coming out on top.
“Everything is going as planned at this point in the season,” Louis said. “Noelle probably gave me my toughest match so far this season.”
Louis has never been in serious trouble this season as she has fluctuated between 125 and 130 pound weight divisions.
“My dad helps me a lot in my wrestling as he wrestled for Hilo High when he was in high school,” Louis said. “My dad is my biggest supporter and I appreciate his always being there for me.”
Waiakea Teammate Skye Matsuura, 120, dropped a close match to Kamehameha’s Phoebe Oda by a score of 10 to 4. The loss dropped the sophomore to a 3-4 season record
“My mom made me come out for wrestling as she is a black belt in judo,” Matsuura said. “I’m glad I joined as I like it now as it is a good sport.”
Matsuura believes she still needs to work on building muscle and getting in better shape.
“I need to work on my cardio and my staying in position before matches,” Matsuura said. “My stand up works good as I fight for hand control.”
Waiakea hosted the day long all schools meet which showcased some of the best wrestlers on the island
“It’s very difficult to coach and host a wrestling tournament,” Coach Stan Haraguichi said. “Fortunately I have a good staff and great kids.”
BIIF action continues on Saturday with a East meet at Hilo and the West meet at HPA. Both venues begin at 10 am.
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