Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

BIIF Wrestling from Konawaena – Who let the Cats Out?

Troy Gibson Jr., gains an advantage over his Wildcat opponent

Who let the Cats Out?   That’s what wrestlers from around the Big Island Interscholastic Federation were wondering when they exited the Konawaena Gym on Saturday after a grueling day on the mats.The host Wildcats were short on numbers and experience, according to Coach Mark Aoki, but huge on heart and determination as Sage Aoki, 120, Justin Raymond, 108, and Aimee Shiraki, 220, came up with big matches.Shiraki was unstoppable going 3-0 while winning all of her matches by pins against formidable opponents from Kau, Pahoa and Hilo.“I like the outside single move,” Shiraki said.  “Sometimes I get too ambitious with my moves and get caught off balance.”Shiraki attributes a great part of her wrestling success to judo as the sophomore comes onto the mat as the BIIF defending judo champion.Judo has definitely helped me in wrestling,” she said.  “I like wrestling because it is different and I like the competition and the chance to meet new people.”

Shiriki

Shiraki made it to the state championships last year as a freshman, but missed medaling by one match.

“My goal is to make it back to states this time around and to hopefully medal,” Shiraki said.

Aoki and Raymond are defending BIIF champions and they looked primed to repeat, having extremely competitive     matches which should pay big dividends by the end of the season.

Gibson

Kamehameha sophomore Troy Gibson, wrestling at 135, had a perfect day on the mat winning all three of his matches, two by pin and the other by 17-0 score.

“I beat two Pahoa and one Kona guy,” Gibson said.  “My favorite pinning combination is the cradle move, but I still need to work on my cardio.”

According to Gibson he has been building endurance by running on his own before practice and working on his muscle mass by doing weight training with his father.

“I’ve always liked wrestling since middle school because I like the one on one action and there are no excuses when you lose,” Gibson said.

Gibson’s goals for the season are straight forward.

“My goal is to be the best student athlete that I can be,” he said.  “I’m not looking beyond just being the best that I can possible be.”

Souza vs Aoki

In what is considered the premiere match up of the day it was Kona’s Sage Aoki going against Kamehameha’s Nalu Kekona-Souza.

Aoki is the defending BIIF champion at 108 and bumped up a weight class to challenge the slightly bigger Souza at 125.

“I admire Sage for bumping up to face one of the best wrestlers in the league,” Warrior Coach Brendan Courtot said.  “Sage wrestled up to challenge himself and gain better competition.”

The tough match up against Kekona-Souza went the distance with Souza winning on points by a score of 14 to 3.

Kekona-Souza went a perfect 3-0 in Kona and believes that his match up with Aoki was the best that he can find in the BIIF.

“Sage is great competition and when he gets on top he is a hammer as he always comes into the match with the right attitude.”

Kekona-Souza is the two time defending BIIF champion at 120 pounds, but will look to win his third league title at 125.

“I’m hoping to be a three time BIIF champion and to go on to win a state title,” he said.  “I came in second at states this past year at 120 and I’m pretty happy with my wrestling performance, but I still want to get better.”

Kekona-Souza is a perfect 6-0 in BIIF completion this season and beat Aoki by using a single leg take down, putting the Wildcat on his back to score enough points to be awarded the tough win.

Also delivering a perfect 3-0 record in the Wildcat gym was Kamehameha’s Charlie Aina in the 130 weight class.

“I had wins against Pahoa, Keaau and Kona with my toughest match coming against the Kona wrestler,” Aina said.

Aina, a junior, won his first match by a 17-2 score and pinned his Keaau opponent before going the distance in his third and final match to scratch out a narrow 4-2 victory.

“In most of my wins I use an ankle pick,” Aina said.  “I have good endurance and I have really good conditioning which helped me in my final match on Saturday.”

Aina also comes from a judo background which helps him in his wrestling.

“I condition year round for judo and I run on my own and lift weights on the weekends,” Aina said.

“I’m hoping I can take the BIIF title, but I know I need to improve my attacks as I tend to wait too long,” Aina said.

If Aina’s last name sounds familiar it is because sister, Megan Aina, is a former state wrestling champion who continues to make great strides in her mat performance at Kamehameha.

Present in the Wildcat gym, but staying on the bleachers was Waiakea standout Tanalei Louis at 130.  Louis is a perfect 9 and 0 in BIIF competition but decided to sit out at Kona.

“I’m nursing an ear infection and just wanted to watch and cheer on my team,” Louis said.  “I should be ready to compete next week when we are at Keaau.”

The BIIF wrestling season continues on Saturday with an all-schools meet at Keaau starting at 10 am.

January 9, 2012 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

BIIF Wrestlers do well on Maui

Kam’s Megan Aina, left, drops close match to Kailua’s Allene Somera

Hawaii High School Athletic Association state wrestling champion Kamehameha’s Megan Aina claimed second place medal in the 98 pound weight class at the Maui Wrestling Tournament held at War Memorial Gym in Wailuku on Dec. 21 and 22.

Aina, the defending Big Island Interscholastic Federation Queen lost during the finals on points to Kailua’s Allene Somera, 4 to 1.

“I’m not happy with the results,” Aina said.  “I know I need to work on my take downs and practice more with the boys in order to improve.”

Aina had a first round bye then easily won her next two matches before facing Somera in finals.

“I took a shot and she got around me to score two points,” Aina said of her final match.  “I have to practice harder and work harder this year in order to repeat for the state title.  Everybody knows I’m the state champion and they’re gunning for me.”

Aina often works out with the Warrior boys and one of her partners is Nalu Kekona-Souza.

“Nalu helps me get better as he is bigger and stronger than I am,” Aina said.  “I need to train more with him if I hope to get better.”

“If she was going to lose I’m glad she lost now,” Warrior girls coach Marlon Miller said.  “Every state champion faces the same feeling that everyone is after them.”

 Miller believes that the Maui experience was beneficial to Aina’s development as a wrestler.

“She (Aina) came to practice this week more focused, Miller said.  “There isn’t that much competition for her in the BIIF, so getting the exposure on Oahu and Maui will only help her chances for repeating as a state champion.”

For her win over Aina in the finals Somera was voted the most outstanding girls wrestler in the Maui tournament.

Nalu Kekona-Souza

Kekona-Souza, the defending BIIF champion, took second place in the 120 weight division dropping a nail bitter to Kaiser’s Ryan Nakagawa by a score of 4-3 in the championship final.

“I had two matches prior to the finals and I won both by pin,” Kekona-Souza said.  

“I probably got to see the best wrestler in the state in my weight division,” he said of his finals match against Nakagawa.

Kekona-Souza believes that he made a critical mistake during the finals by not sprawling out during the closing minutes of the match.

“I should off flattened out and not used my hips,” he said.  “Everyone one loses once in awhile and this loss was a very humbling experience.”

Warrior teammate Justin Hirae claimed fourth place in the 125 division while Konawaena’s Sage Aoki took third in the 120 division.

Waiakea’s Tyler Yonemori gains the advantage

Waiakea’s Tyler Yonemori was the lone wrestler that the public school Warriors brought over to Maui.  Yonemori is the defending BIIF champion at 140 was bumped up to the 145 division in Wailuku, won four of his five matches to claim third place.

“I lost to Chanse Uyeda in the third round on points, 3-1,” Yonemori said.

Uyeda from Lahainaluna is the same wrestler to beat Yonemori the week before at the Officials Tournament on Oahu.

“He’s a really good wrestler,” Yonemori said.  “We were tied 1 to 1 with less than a minute to go in the match when he took me down for two points.”

Yonemori was appreciative of the opportunity to wrestle on Maui stating that it provided him with more experience against talented wrestlers.

“I’m learning better how to defend certain moves and I’ve been facing some strong opponents,” he said.

Keaau’s Cheyden Quiocho was the lone Cougar to participate on Maui as the junior wanted to gain more mat experience.

“I wanted to get in more matches against good competition,” Quiocho said.  “It was pretty tough on Maui and I learned that I need to work a lot more on my technique.”

Quiocho, the BIIF runner up at 125 pounds, won his first two matches during

day one of competition before dropping his next two matches on the following day.

“I ended up wrestling for fifth place and won my final match,” he said.  “I think I do well under pressure and I’m glad I was able to gain more experience.”

Lahainaluna won the boys team title with Kahuku winning the girls.  Kamehameha-Hawaii was the top BIIF scoring team placing 13th overall for the boys and the girls.

The BIIF wrestling season officially gets underway with an all-schools meet at Kealakehe on January 8.

BIIF wrestling results from the Maui Tournament were provided by Kamehameha boys coach Brendan Courtot.

“This was a good experience for all our BIIF kids as they were all able to win at least one match,” Courtot said.  “We were able to compete with everyone there which will benefit the quality of wrestling in our league.”

Boys   120lb    Sage Aoki 3rd, Kona   Nalu Souza, 2nd, Kamehameha

125lb  Justin Hirae, 4th, Kamehameha  Charlie Aina, DNP, Kamehameha

130lb  Shannon Samura, DNP,  HPA

135lb  Cheyden Quiocho, 5th, Kea’au

145lb  Tyler Yonemori, 3rd, Waiakea

189lb  Kema Chin, DNP, Kamehameha

Girls  98lb  Megan Aina, 2nd, Kamehameha

125lb  Melissa Dumaguin, 3rd, Kona

DNP – Did Not Place

December 29, 2010 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aina Family Rules Wrestling Mat

Megan, Charlie and Jenna Aina

In a day filled with back-arches, chicken wings, breakdowns and bridges some of the best grapplers in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation took to the mat.

   This past Saturday wrestlers from Kau, Pahoa, Keaau, Waiakea and Hilo converged at the Viking gym on two mats for daylong excitement among Eastside competition.

   The Aina ohana and Kamehameha had lots to cheer about as Megan (98), Charlie (120) and Jenna (125) all had opening match pins and went on to have a successful overall tournament.

   Megan Aina, the defending BIIF champion at 98 pounds and a brown belt in judo, had little trouble pinning her opponent in the second round to remain undefeated in league matches at the 103 or below weight class.

  “My brother and sister and I all started out doing judo when we were in elementary school,” Megan Aina said.  “I came out for wrestling last season during my freshmen year and Jenna came out to watch and decided to join this year.”

   Jenna Aina is a black belt, shoden, in judo and decided to give wrestling a try in this her senior year.  “I’m actually in the 114 weight class, but they had no one for me to wrestle in that class so I was bumped up to the 125 class.”

   Despite the obvious mismatch in size Jenna Aina still made quick work of her two opponents pinning both in less than 30 seconds.  Aina began the day pinning Kau’s Elena Mello in 19 seconds of the first round.

  During her second match Aina quickly took down Keaau’s Kaysha Kamahele, gaining the top advantage and used her quickness and strength to roll Kamahele for the 29 second pin.

  “I rolled her over with a half nelson and I didn’t expect the quick pin,” Jenna Aina said.  “I just go out there and hope for the best.  Today was just a good learning experience for me on how to set up my opponent.”

   The youngest member of the Aina family, freshman Charlie, a green belt in judo, won his opening match against Waiakea’s Steven Ogi with a second round pin.

   “I like wrestling because it teaches new techniques from that of judo,” Charlie Aina said.  “I still have a lot to learn, but its fun being here with the whole family.”

  Kamehameha coach Marlon Miller had lots to smile about having the three Aina’s take opening day matches.

   “I’ve been trying to get Jenna out for a couple of years,” Miller said.  “Jenna saw her sister wrestle last year and wanted to give it a try in her senior year.  Having the three siblings wrestle for us is a great deal as we get the entire family including the parents.  They are a great family.”

  Besides the Aina trio Kamehameha made a profound impact on the day’s tournament coming up with big wins from several of their athletes.

CJ Matsuyama

Warrior CJ Matsuyama (160) failed to win any matches in his freshman season last year.  Now as an experienced sophomore Matsuyama opened last week with two wins and came into the Hilo gym undefeated.

   In his first match of the day Matsuyama went against Waiakea’s Shane Paredas.  Paredas took the offensive right from the start and attempted a single leg take down, but landed on the wrong shoulder and Matsuyama was able to roll him over to gain the advantage.  With 26 seconds left in the first round Matsuyama capitalized on his opponent’s mistake and won by pin.

   “It’s only been through my hard work with my training partner that I was able to improve,” Matsuyama said.  “It feels great to start winning, but I still have things to learn.”

K. Sutton

Kau freshman Keani Mello brought her perfect 2-0 mark to Hilo in a match between Kamehameha’s Kaopua Sutton in the heavyweight division.

   During the match Mello maintained a good defensive position as she managed to gain the advantage in the first round and nearly pinned Sutton.

    Sutton, a true 175 class wrestler standing at 5’ 9”, had the height advantage over Mello but looked to be in trouble early in the first round against her opponent.

    “I was a little concerned coming into the match,” Sutton said.  “I was also concerned about the weight difference and at one point in the first round I almost got pinned, but I kept my head up and tried to get my hips under me so that I could stand up.”

    Sutton’s speed and quickness prevailed as she was able to pin the Kau freshman with 30 seconds left in the second period.

    “Keani has a really good attitude and is easy to coach,” Kau coach Kevin Rence said. “We only have Keani and two other kids that come out regularly for practice and one of them is her sister, Elena Mello, a junior at 120 pounds and the other is my son Tim Rence at 160.”

   “We don’t have any girls at the heavyweight class, but I have four girls at 175 and each week I’ll move one of them up to compete so that we can fill the higher weight division,” Kamehameha coach Marlon Miller said.

Wong Ly

   Hilo High coach Mike Mandaquit has been low key on one of his wrestlers, Wong Ly, at the start of the season. 

   At the Maui preseason tournament Ly went 3-1, losing by an 8-4 score in the championship round.  The talented senior showcased some of his skills on Saturday as he wrestled Kamehameha freshman Cody Freitas in the 140 weight class.

   Ly wasted no time in the opening round as he immediately went for the take down and scored a quick two points.  Freitas stayed on the defensive trying to escape from Ly without success as Ly used a drop down spin move.

   By the end of the first round Ly was ahead 7-0 and in the second round gained the pin on Freitas.

   “He made me work and he taught me a lesson,” Ly said after the match.  “I should never under estimate my opponent.  He gave me a good match and I think he’ll be good when he’s a senior.”

   “Wong has an injury that he is just coming back from and as the BIIF runner up from last season we have high hopes for him,” Coach Mandaquit said. 

January 10, 2010 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment