Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Aina Lead Kamehameha girls in threepeat while Waiakea gains second team title

Aina, Pohina, Iuta, Osburn,Miller

KEAAU –  Kamehameha girls and Waiakea boys came away with team titles at the Big Island Interscholastic Federation individual and team wrestling championships, held Saturday at Paiea Gym on the Keaau campus of Kamehameha.

While cross town public and private schools Warriors were winning team championships another Warrior was celebrating several mile markers.

A monumental 18th birthday celebration took place for Kamehameha’s Megan Aina on Saturday as the tough 103 pound wrestler won her fourth Big Island Interscholastic Federation individual title and helped lead her Warrior squad to their third team title.

“This is a very crazy birthday for me,” Aina said.  “It is a really big accomplishment in my life and I’m so proud to be part of our team for all four years.

 “Winning a team title is all our girls have been talking about for the past two weeks,” Kamehameha Coach Marlon Miller said.

For Miller and his girls this is their third consecutive league team title and their fifth in the last six years.

“I think our biggest advantage is our experience on the mat,” Miller said.  “We have lots of seniors, who will be sorely missed.”

Several of Miller’s girls have shared in all three team titles and the coach was quick to point out that this was indeed a team effort.

“It takes the entire team to win a championship,” Miller said.  “It’s not about the coaches; it’s entirely about the girls who were on the mat.”

Miller pointed to his well seasoned squad, naming each of the girls that made the difference in each of the 11 weight classes to win yet another team title.

Warrior girls filling each of the weight classes were:

Nellie Towata (98), Aina (103), Kanoe Padaken (108), Sadie Arakaki (114),  Phoebe Oda (120), Noelle Pohina 125), Chantel Pohina (130), Alexia Osburn (140), Jasmine Uta (155), Wilna Tong (175),  Ciarra Lynn Parinas (220) all made contributions to winning the Warrior team title according to Miller.

Six out of the eight Warrior girls to make the finals won their matches by pin which included Aina, Padaken. Oda, Chantel Pohina, Iuta and Tong.

“Phoebe (Oda) was in one of the toughest weight division and she went undefeated during the season.” Miller said.  “She’s a natural leader who pushes everyone on our team to their fullest potential.”

Aina ended her BIIF career by having an undefeated season and in the process won her fourth consecutive individual league crown to go along with the state title she won as a sophomore. But Aina’s match was anything but easy as she went against Waiakea Cara Nakayama in the finals.

“I felt like I had nothing to lose and I left everything on the mat,” Nakayama said.

Nakayama was winning by a score of 4-2 going in the second round, when Aina used her famous chicken wing move to get the pin and secure the victory.

Two other Warrior girls finished the season with an unblemished BIIF record and went on to win individual BIIF titles on Saturday. 

Padaken and Chantel Pohina both dominated throughout the season which added to the Warrior blitz in their team title quest.

This was a Sweet three peat for Warrior girls where experience made the difference, according to Miller.  Sharing in past team titles six of their eleven girls on the mat are seniors.

“Many of these girls were with us for all three championships, which makes this one extra sweet,” Miller said.

Enos

While Miller’s girls were winning their third team title it was Waiakea Coach Stan Haraguchi bring his young Warrior boys to their second consecutive team title.

“Every one of these guys helped us get here,” Haraguchi said.  “We are young with lots of sophomores and juniors but we came into the championships confident and humble.”

Waiakea brought eight boys into the finals which consisted of 14 weight classes.

“It takes an entire team effort to win a title and everyone from our coaches to our parents helped us get here,” Haraguchi said.

Waiakea’s Pat Enos dominated the 152 division all season and ended his BIIF season with an unblemished mark.

Enos won three matches on Saturday, all by pin, using a cradle and twice using a gable move to secure each win.

“It feels awesome to win two straight team titles,” Enos said.  “Nobody in the league thought that we could win the title, because we are so young, but we pulled it out.”

Teammate William Spain, a 108 sophomore, won his first two matches to earn a spot in the finals before dropping his finale to two time BIIF champion, Konawaena’s Justin Raymond.

“I think last year winning the team title was really good, but this year it is extra special for us since we have so many young guys,” Spain said.  “This is a new team and we really stepped up because we knew we could do it.”

Waiakea placed 8 boys in the finals and 2 in the consolation bracket to secure enough team points to narrowly eclipse Kamehameha for the boy’s crown.

“We came in with the right mentality and jelled at the right time,” Haraguchi said.  “Everyone just worked together and blended well.”

The Hawaii High School state wrestling championships will be held on March 2 and 3 at the Blaisdell Arena on Oahu.

February 21, 2012 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kamehameha Wrestling Seniors lead the way on and off the mat

L to R: Pohina, Osburn, Padaken, Roland and Chin

PAHOA – Experience does matter and the Warriors of Kamehameha took full advantage of their senior power during the Big Island Interscholastic Federation regular wrestling season finale on Saturday at Pahoa Gym.

“We have 12 seniors with 5 boys and 7 girls,” Warrior coach Brendan Courtot said.  “Those seniors provide us with a pretty good nucleus, not just in wrestling but in leadership.”

Kamehameha put their senior power to the test, taking advantage of their opponents in a variety of weight classes.

On the girl’s side of the mat Kanoe Padaken (108), Alexia Osburn  (140) and Chantel Pohina (130) were priming their skills prior to the BIIF championships which will be held on Feb 18.

Kamehameha girls, the two time defending team champions, left little doubt that they are on a quest for their three peat.

Padaken used a hand and arm to take her opponent down then went for a head squeeze followed by a double chicken wing to win her match by pin in the first round.

Placing third in the BIIF championships last year Padaken uses her experience to boost her confidence.

“This year I am putting everything I have into every match,” Padaken said.  “I now have more focus as I try to improve my game plan.”

Padaken, undefeated this season at 108, started the season at 114 but has dropped the weight to help the Warrior weight class balance for another team title.

Pohina won her opening match against a Keaau opponent by a score of 15-7.

“I snapped her down and went for the gator roll, but accidentally put myself on my back,” Pohina said. “

Pohina managed to reverse the mistake by escaping from the bottom position, placing herself back on top, extending a sprawl and kept her opponent down as time ran out.

Pohina’s only BIIF losses this season came at the hands of Waiakea’s Tanalei Louis and Hilo’s Lahi Kanakanui.

“I won all my other matches this season, but lost two to Tanalei and one time to Lahi,” she said.  “I think my overall BIIF record is 11-3.”

Last season Pohina wrestled at 155 and placed second in the BIIF.   At her current 130 Pohina has an unblemished league record, as her three loses came outside her 130 division.

“I still need to work harder and have a stronger mentality,” she said.  “Experience matters as I am the only senior in the 130 division.”

At 140 is Alexia Osburn who won both her Saturday matches on points against Waiakea and Hilo opponents.

“I felt sluggish and wasn’t feeling all that great, but I got the opportunity to get the Waiakea girl for a sprawl and the take down,” Osburn said. 

In her second match Osburn used pressure to do wrist rolls on the Viking to claim her second victory of the day.

For the Warrior boys it was seniors Jason Rowland (145) and Ryan Chin (189) fine tuning their skills.

Chin won his first match by pin against a Pahoa opponent, coming in high to get a single leg take down, followed by a half nelson to gain the first round pin.

“I think I can do better,” Chin said.  “There is lots of room for improvement as I am not consistent and have my on and off days.”

Chin extended his overall BIIF record to 10-2 and attributes much of his success to having a good attitude and strong work ethic.

“I’m always trying to get better by having better mental imaging and focusing on winning,” Chin said.

Last season Chin placed second in the BIIF in the 215 division and has dropped the weight to make himself more competitive.

Rowland also claimed a first round pin against a Hilo opponent, making the first take down by sprawling out after the Viking took a shot.

“I flipped him over and placed him in a half nelson,” Rowland said.  “I have good shots and like to work the double leg while I set up my game plan.”

Warrior teammate CJ Matsuyama (171) needed to sit the day out with a high ankle sprain, but plays an important role in the Kamehameha’s boy’s quest for a team title, according to Coach Courtot.

State heavyweight champion Kamehameha’s Akoakoa Paleka-Kennedy continued his domination while keeping his two year unblemished mark intact by winning his only match of the day at Pahoa.

“Our girl’s team is solid, with our boy’s team needing to give up three weight classes,” Coach Courtot said.

While the Daggers were hosting the Eastside schools Honokaa played host to the Westside as the BIIF season concluded with dual island wide meets.

 

Two Dragons boys that have been going through the season with mat experience and skill are Christian Silva, 215, and James Marlin at 171.

 

Silva, who had never won a match last season is an even 8-8 this year.

 

On Saturday Silva, a junior, went 1-2 getting his lone win by pin in the second round.

 

“I used a cross grab and flipped him onto his back, then held and pressed,” Silva said.  “I lost one at 215 and my other loss came at 285 as my coach (Dan Whetstone) wanted me to bump up to gain more experience.”

 

Marlin went 2-1 on Saturday, winning both matches by pin, while extending his overall BIIF record to 22-5.

 

“I won both on second round pins using the cradle in one match and the head and arm in the other,” Marlin said.  “My loss was by a score of 11-9 and part of that was because I lost points when the ref called me for stalling.”

 

Marlin expects to be a contender for the BIIF individual crown, but knows that he stills needs some work with his cardio and speed.

 

The BIIF individual and team championships will be held on Saturday at Kamehameha with action getting under way at 10 am.

 

February 13, 2012 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pohina Sisters Dominate on the Mat for Kamehameha

Noelle Pohina

Kamehameha girls continued their dominance on the mat with the Pohina sisters, Noelle and Pomai, leading the way.

Noelle, a sophomore, took the 125 weight division by defeating Kealakehe’s Dayjha Rodriguez in the finals, while sibling Pomai, a junior, beat out teammate Alexia Osburn for top honors in the 140 weight class.

“The Pomai’s are a wrestling ohana as their older brother, Mike, was a two time BIIF champion in 2008 and ’09 for Kamehameha and is now serving our county in the military,” Warrior coach Marlon Miller said.

The Pohina sister’s come to the mat with lots of experience as Pomai won the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Championship during her freshman year in the 130 division then finished second last season at 140.

“I’m hoping to win the BIIF title this year at 140,” Pomai said.  “I know I still have lots of areas to work on to improve, especially with my conditioning.”

Pomai’s younger sister didn’t place during last season’s BIIF championship, but came into this season more focused and with high hopes.

Pomai Pohina

“I wasn’t very confident wrestling last year and this year I feel way more confident of myself,” Noelle said.  “A big part of wrestling is mental and that is something that I needed to work on coming into this season.”

During the finals Noelle used that confidence to pin her opponent during the third round to win the Waverider Tournament.

“She (Rodriguez) took a shot and I drove and pushed her over and tried my very best to put pressure on her,” Noelle said of her pin.

“My strength in wrestling is my defense and my coaches say that I need to use more offense and to take more shots.  All I can do is try my very best and I look forward each week to wrestling the best as this helps me to get better.”

Noelle noted that she comes into every match nervous, but once she hits the mat that nervousness disappears as she becomes focused on what she needs to do.

“Our girls performed well at the tournament and I am very pleased with the effort the entire team gave,” the defending BIIF team champion coach said.  “As coaches we ask for and hope to see that every wrestler gives it their all and fights to the very end whether they are on the winning or learning end of the outcome.”

On the boys side of the mat there were some new faces coming up big at Kealakehe as Konawaena swept three weight classes with Justin Raymond, 114, Sage Aoki, 125, and John Postrano, 215.

Postrano, a senior in his third year of wrestling, missed weight and was bumped into the higher division.

“I weighed in at 189.2 pounds and was bumped up,” Postrano said.  “I normally wrestle at 189 so this was a new weight division for me.”

As fortune turned out Postrano won three of his four matches by pin in the higher weight division and claimed his first title during his prep wrestling career. 

During the finals Postrano beat HPA’s Troy Choi by second period pin using a reverse half nelson.

“I came into this season with better technique and an improved mental attitude,” Postrano said.  “I use mental imagery and picture in my mind how I’m going to win, but I know I still have things to work on to get better such as increasing my speed and take downs.”

Host Kealakehe, the BIIF defending boys team champions, didn’t win any weight class individual honors, but had several of their young wrestlers finish in the top three.

Waverider sophomore, Dan Gampon, took on Kamehameha’s defending BIIF champ, Nalu Souza, at 120 pounds and proved himself worthy.

“I knew he was the best in that weight division, but I didn’t underestimate myself and was fearless during the match,” Gampon said.

Gampon was able to keep the match close during the first two periods and was proud of his efforts.

“Nalu led 2-1 at the end of the second round,” Gampon said.  “But during the third round he caught me in a banana split and was able to pin me.”

Despite the loss Gampon felt good about his performance.

“I feel really good about the match because I showed a lot about myself and by wrestling the best it will only make me stronger,” he said.  “I need to train harder to be better and I need to have more intensity while knowing what to do.  I look forward to wrestling Nalu again as I plan on making it closer next time.”

BIIF action returns to the mat on Saturday with West Side schools headed to Honokaa and the East Side meeting at Kamehameha. 

Related links: 

https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/biif-girls-wrestling-results-from-kealakehe/

https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/biif-boys-wrestling-results-from-kealakehe/

January 10, 2011 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BIIF Wrestling Preview – Kamehameha girls expected to repeat

BIIF season kicks of at WHS on Sat.

It will be a season of rebuilding and mystery, according to several Big Island Interscholastic Federation wrestling coaches.

“I spoke with several of the coaches at our coaches meeting and it sounds like many teams, like us, graduated a lot of wrestlers last year and are in the rebuilding stages,” Honokaa coach Dan Whetstone said.

Whetstone believes that there are no clear favorites to win the boys BIIF team title and that Kamehameha has the inside track at winning the girls title.

“The only wrestlers I have returning that have a track record are Jessica Muskat and Geo Chavez-Pardini,” Whetstone said.  “The only girl that Jessica lost to on the island last year has graduated, so she should be the girl to beat in her weight class and she should improve on her sixth place finish from last year’s state tournament.”

Chavez-Pardini suffered a knee injury while working out with a state all star team on Oahu over the summer and Whetstone says that it will be hard to predict what his recovery time table will be.

“We’re hopeful that Geo can regain his previous form by the time league championships roll around, if not sooner,” Whetstone said.

Kamehameha girls return as the BIIF team champions and are lead by senior Rustee Johansen.

Johansen is the BIIF champ at 130 pounds and is a Warrior team captain.

“I stayed in shape by working out during the summer and lifting weights,” Johansen said.  “My goals are to have another successful year and to do better than my fifth place finish at states last year.”

Coach Marlon Miller returns as the Kamehameha girls coach and is looking at several returnees along with a host of new, young talent.

“I’ve been blessed with a great returning squad of young ladies,” Miller said. 

Starting at the 98 pound class Kamehameha returns state champion and two time BIIF champ, Megan Aina.  Aina, along with 11 other Warrior girls began the preseason by competing in the Punahou Girls Invitation on Nov 27 and was very impressive on the mat.

State Champion Megan Aina with Coach Miller

Aina, with teammate Jasmine Iuta, 175, won their weight classes with six other Warriors placing in the Punahou tournament which had over 230 girls competing.

“I still need to practice harder and work harder if I hope to defend for the state title,” a humble Aina said.

Iuta, just a sophomore, won both her matches at Punahou by pin and considered the tournament to be a good momentum builder going into the BIIF season.

“It was great experience for me to come and wrestle on Oahu,” Iuta said.  “We did great as a team and we all benefited from the experience.”

“We did very well at Punahou as we had medalist in eight of the 11 weight classes,” Coach Miller said.  “Punahou looks like the team to beat in the state and Molokai will be the sleeper this year.”

The Warriors have Kanoe Padaken, second in BIIF last season, and the Pohina sisters, Noelle and Pomai returning to the mat.

“Jasmine Iuta, Liana Soares and Sable Marie Young are three more of my returning sophomores that should secure the future of this girls program when I’m long gone,” Miller said.

Miller is also high on Alexia Osburn, saying that she will add to the Warriors strength on the mat.

“I have a total of seventeen girls this year and although that is a great number to have I do have a few weight classes that I am unable to fill,” he said.

Miller believes that this is the best girls recruiting class he has ever had and that they will make a strong bid to repeat as team champions.

On the boys side the Warriors are led by second year coach Brendon Coutot and feature three time BIIF champion, Justin Hirae.

Nalu Kekona-Souza and Akoakoa Paleka-Kennedy will anchor a talent squad along with Charlie Aina, Gavriel DeRego and Kema Chin.

“I expect a solid performance from our two other juniors, Jason Roland-Fernandez and CJ Matsuyama,” Miller said.  “We have numerous first year wrestlers that have excelled beyond our expectations as coaches.  The recruitment numbers aren’t quite what we would like them to be, but what we lack in quantity, we more than make up in enthusiasm and determination.”

Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Gary Jarvill returns three boys and three girls from last year’s squad.

“Shannon Samura, Troy Choi and Leila Wong all went to state last year and should do well again this season,” Jarvill said.  “We will be rebuilding and starting from scratch this season with all of the other new wrestlers.”

Keaau Coach Charles Manning chose not to speculate on the Cougar chances this season, saying that it was too early to tell.

“I do not like to speculate this early in the season as to who will be the tops in weight classes as I feel that it is counterproductive,” Manning said.  “As for team expectations we expect to work hard and improve all season long.  I’m sure we will be represented well in the BIIF when championships are on the line.”

The Konawaena Wildcats graduated several key grapplers, but still managed to return some BIIF champions.

“Melissa Dumaguin, a senior, and Tanalei Louis, a sophomore, both return for us, including my son Sage Aoki,” Wildcat coach Mark Aoki said.

Dumaguin won the BIIF crown at 130, while Louis took the 125 division and Aoki battled to victory at 108.

“Some of our BIIF champions may be moving up in weight this season, but we’ll just have to wait to see where they’ll be at,” Aoki said.  “Kona is in a rebuilding year as most of our team is made up of new kids.  I think Kealakehe is in the same situation as us, but Kamehameha seems to have the edge for the girls.”

Kau has a returning sophomore, Keani Mello-Waiaiaole who won the heavyweight, 220 bracket, as a freshman last year.

“Keani will return for us along with two of her sisters and all three should do well,” Trojan coach Kevin Rence said.

Kealakehe, the defending boy’s team champion, is going through their own rebuilding year as the mighty ‘Riders have won seven league championships over a nine year period.

The secret to Kealakehe’s success has come in their ability to be competitive in most or all of the 14 weight classes.

“We have 25 boys out for wrestling this year and I’m hoping we can once again fill all the different weight divisions,” ‘Rider coach Mike Ciotti said.

Leading the way for Kealakehe is defending BIIF champion Tim Eckert in the 215 weight class.

“Tim’s returning for us along with sever boys that placed at the BIIF championships last year,” Ciotti said.  “We’ve won four consecutive boys team titles and we should be competitive in going for our fifth in a row.”

Some coaches failed to return phone calls regarding the upcoming wrestling season which begins on Saturday, Dec. 11, at Waiakea.

December 5, 2010 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment