Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Waiakea Wrestling Coaches trying to fly under the Radar

WHS coach

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.”

Louis

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.

January 24, 2012 Posted by | Running on the Big Island, Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pahoa Wrestlers learning ‘Old School’ Technique

KEAAU – ‘Back to old school style’, is what Pahoa coach Elvis Lum has been preaching to his dozen grapplers during the Big Island Interscholastic Federation wrestling season.

Lum, a former BIIF champion in the unlimited weight division (189 pounds and above) in 1995 during his senior year at Pahoa, brings to his Dagger team the philosophy that the basic old school form of wrestling, still works if done correctly.

“A lot of coaches might disagree with me, but I believe in teaching the basics and to teach my team the stuff that works,” Lum said.

The Daggers feature Jake Torres at 145 and Dylan Coffel at 160 as their top two wrestlers as Lum has high hopes of qualifying some of his athletes for the state championships in February.

“We have some kids that could make it to states, but a big part of wrestling is the mental game and we need to get over that hurdle and gain more confidence on the mat,” he said.

This past Saturday the Dagger boys (no girls tried out for wrestling at Pahoa this year) took to the mat at Kamehameha’s Koa’ia gymnasium with schools from the East Side of the island, while West Side schools were wrestling in Honokaa.

Dylan Coffel

Coffel was on the mat against Waiakea’s Jordan Maglinti as both boys battled for position.

“In the beginning I was trying to push him around for points, but I made a mistake when he was in front of me and I pulled him backwards,” Coffel said.

The result was that Maglinti landed on Coffel’s chest which caused an injury and Coffel was pulled from the rest of the meet for safety reasons.

“I won the match by a score of 9 to 6, but wasn’t able to get anymore matches in that day,” Coffel said.  “I love wrestling for Pahoa as all the other teams are big and we get the smallest amount of money for our program.”

But despite the shortfalls in numbers and funding Coffel was optimistic in his view of Pahoa wrestling.

“What we lack in money we make up for in heart,” he said.  “We have a very good conditioning program and I’m glad I’m here.”

Jake Torres



Dagger teammate, Jake Torres, who won the Kealakehe tournament the previous week at 145, was on the mat facing Waiakea’s Pat Enos for the first time.

Torres jumped to a point advantage during the first period, but lost focus during the second and was pinned by Enos.

“I need to work on my sprawl and I need to be faster,” Torres said.  “I had the opportunity to win the match but I failed to see the openings at the time and wasn’t able to reverse the situation.”

Torrin McMurray

In the 152 weight class it was Pahoa’s Torin McMurray facing Kamehameha’s Roland Fernandez.  McMurray looked to be in total control of the match as he led 10-3 during the second period.

“He (Fernandez) stuck in a half and rolled me over,” McMurray said.  “I lost my focus and know I could have done better.” 

McMurray was also seen by an athletic trainer and was scratched from the rest of the meet due to injury.

“I got back into coaching to show what I know,” Lum said.  “And what I know is the basics, the things that worked in the past still works today.”

Tiare Mata

Also on the mat for Pahoa was Tiare Mata, but she wasn’t there to wrestle as the recent high school graduate was in training to be a BIIF wrestling official.

“I love the sport and I can’t seem to get away from it,” she said.  “Officiating is the closest I can come.  Now I need to know the sport and improve on my self confidence to be a good official.

On the girls side it was Hilo’s first year head coach Alex Kalawe that was trying to bring his eight girls into a respectable position.

“We’re young, but we’re coming up,” Kalawe said.

Sha Pagan

A pair of Viking freshman, Sha Pagan and Kaylan Kanakanui, was on the mat continuing on the learning curve.

Pagan was bumped up from her usually 108 class to the 114 division and on her opening match went against Kau’s Raquel Fields.

“With four seconds left in the first period I managed to drive from the top and put her in a half nelson to get the pin,” she said.

Pagan was introduced to wrestling when some of the boys on the team asked her to come out for the sports.

“This is a fun sport and a good way to express myself,” the Viking cheerleader said.  My cheerleading coaches are worried that I might get injured, but all in all they are happy about my playing two sports.”

Kaylan Kanakanui

Hilo’s Kaylan Kanakanui, also a freshman, came out to wrestling after spending a few years watching her brother, Isaiah, wrestle.

“I watched Isaiah, a senior, and thought that I could do that as well,” she said.  “I love the sport as I like the vicious contact sports.  I’m always trying my hardest and I like the overall conditioning that I get.”

BIIF wrestlers return to the mat on Saturday with divisional meets at Hawaii Prep and Hilo. 

January 16, 2011 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment