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 at Officials Preseason Tournament at Leilehua, Oahu

Kamehameha ladies do well at Officials Meet

Officials Preseason Tournament – Leilehua, Oahu

Name

School

wt.

Place

Megan Aina

Kamehameha

103

1

Jasmine Iuta

Kamehameha

175

1

Nalu Kekona-Souza

Kamehameha

120

4

Charles Aina

Kamehameha

130

8

Troy Gibson

Kamehameha

135

8

Chantel Pohina

Kamehameha

140

4

Alexia-Marie Osburn

Kamehameha

155

3

Noelle Pohina

Kamehameha

125

8

Kanoe Padakin

Kamehameha

114

8

Jacob Blanco

Waiakea

125

3

Sage Aoiki

Kona

120

2

Cheydon Quiocho

Keaau

140

2

Allin Franco

Kealakehe

140

4

Winton Palik

Kealakehe

285

6

Allison Felix

Kealakehe

155

1

December 27, 2011 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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

BIIF Wrestlers Show Promise at Maui Invitational

Kamehameha's Megan Aina wins gold at 103

For four decades the Maui Invitational Wrestling Tournament has been the testing grounds for up and coming prep athletes wishing to hone their skills and this past weekend Kamehameha’s Megan Aina made her mark.

Aina, the defending Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion at 98 pounds, moved up a weight class to 103 and took on some of the states best.

 “I had three matches and I won my first two by pin,” Aina said.  “I used a head snap to get them off balance in the pins which helped me make it into the finals.”

In the finals Aina went against Pac 5 wrestler, Chloe Nagasawa, and won on points, 15-1.  “I got most of my points for attempting to pin her on three separate occasions,” Aina said.  “She avoided the pin by using bridges.”

After winning the BIIF championships last year at 98 pounds Aina is now faced with figuring out which weight class to compete in as her current weigh is 100 pounds.

“This year I need to decide whether to go with 98 or up to 103 and I’ve been debating the pros and cons,” she said.

 “Kamehameha took ten wrestlers to Maui, five boys and five girls,” Warrior coach, Marlon Miller said.  “We took some of our more experienced wrestlers to Maui as the cost of travel is expensive and we weren’t able to take everyone.”

Three of Miller’s wrestlers made it into the finals at Maui with Nalu Kekona Souza, 120 lbs., and Kaopua Sutton, 220, taking second place, and Aina, a sophomore, taking top honors.

Aina with coach, Marlon Miller….photo’s by Charles Aina

Kamehameha expected senior Kaopua Sutton to compete in the 175 weight class, but Sutton missed weight by three tenths of a pound and was forced to compete in the heavier division.

“We thought Kaopua had a good chance to win at 175, but at weigh ins she was at 175.3 and needed to be bumped up into the higher weight division,” Miller said.

“We have a very young team this year with fifty percent of our squad being first year wrestlers.  I’m excited to see how they’ll do this year and I’ve noticed that they are very eager to learn,” Miller said.

Twenty seven schools were represented at the Maui Invitational which brought in a total of 289 wrestlers.

Kamehameha-Big Island had the highest team finish of any BIIF girl’s teams, placing third overall with only five competitors.

Other BIIF girls making it into the finals were:

Kealakehe’s Jodi Ozaki won the 120 division beating out Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Marie Donahue in the finals.

Konawaena’s Alexandra Aoki (108) and teammate Danielle Hubbard (114) both made it into the finals and took the runner-up spots in the tournament.

For the boys Honokaa’s Geo Chavez-Pardini (160) and Kona’s Jimmy Romualdo (135) captured tournament titles.

Chavez-Pardini is only a junior and is a two time BIIF champion who won the title as a freshman in the 140 class, as a sophomore in the 152 bracket and now is competing at 160.

During the two day tournament on Maui Chavez-Pardini had three matches winning all by pin.  “I won my first match in the second round with a chicken wing, half-nelson,” Chavez-Pardini said.  “My second match lasted 20 something seconds and I won it using a cradle with a leg.”

In the championship round Chavez-Pardini went against Eric Roth of Mililani and managed to pin his opponent in the first round using a cradle move.

“I think we (Honokaa) have a pretty strong team this year that can compete well in the heavy and lighter weight division,” he said. 

Chavez-Pardini stumbled upon wrestling in his freshman year when he tore his rotator cuff prior to the football season.  “I was out the entire freshman football season and decided to try wrestling during the off season,” Chavez-Pardini said.  “It was a fluke that I happened to find something that I’m good at and now my entire focus is on doing well at wrestling.”

Second place medals were awarded to Hilo’s Wong Ly (140), Kealakehe’s Ralph Ortega (108) and Dillon Cortes (130) along with Honokaa’s Preston Cawagas (171).

Honokaa led the BIIF boy’s teams finishing 8th overall.  “We took 12 boys in seven weight divisions and I thought we did really well on Maui,” Dragon coach, Dan Whetstone said.

“Our team exceeded my expectations and they could be one of the best teams in the BIIF, if not the best,” Whetstone said.

Eight BIIF schools made the journey to the Valley Island to go against some of the best grapplers in the state.

Lahainaluna won the boys overall team title and Punahou captured the girl’s crown.

Coach Marlon Miller of Kamehameha recorded all the BIIF wrestlers that made the finals during the Maui Tournament.

December 15, 2009 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment