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

BIIF Wrestling continues with an all schools meet on Saturday at Waiakea

Click any photo to enlarge.  Photos from left to right are Kamehameha coaches, Jason Roland in the 152 weight division and Kona coach Merrick Nishimoto with Aimee Shiraki.

Waiakea with host coaches, Stan Haraguchi and Preston Sato, holds an all schools meet on Saturday, Dec 17, starting at 9am

December 16, 2011 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , | Leave a comment

BIIF Wrestlers Do Well at Officials Meet on Oahu

Kona’s Tanalei Louis proudly displays her 2nd place medal

Waiakea’s Tracy Poch made a name for herself over the weekend as the junior claimed top honors in the 175 pound weight division in what is considered the biggest wrestling tournament in the State of Hawaii.

“I took five boys and two girls over to Oahu to compete in the Officials Wrestling Tournament and Tracy came away with a first place title and Tyler Yonemori took second for the boys’ 145 division,” Waiakea assistant coach Preston Sato said during a phone interview.

“This was the largest wrestling tournament in the state with over 900 participants,” Sato said.  “The event allowed us to test our moves and gain valuable experience.”

The Waiakea coach believes that Poch has the ability to win the state title at 155 or 175 pounds.

“Tracy was second in the state last year at 155,” Sato said.  “She’s learned a lot during the past year and she continues to improve at each practice and she can be tough at either weight division, although we’re going to try to compete her at the 155 division.”

Tracy Poch

“I’ve been working hard during my training this season,” Poch said.  “With effort and good coaching I think I can defend my BIIF title at 155 and win at states.”

Sato returned to Hilo with his athletes on Sunday evening then was planning on leaving Monday to take them to the Maui Tournament.

Yonemori in just his second year of competitive wrestling worked his way through the championship bracket winning his first and third matches by pin and winning his second match by a 10 to 3 score.

“This was a good experience for me and I learned a lot by participating over the weekend,” Yonemori said.  “My only loss was in the finals when I was outscored by Chance Uyeda of Lahainalua.”

Tyler Yonemori

Yonemori the defending Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion at 140 pounds is also a state judo champion and is expected to compete at the higher weight class this season.

Hilo’s Jordan Enos placed third in the 130 division as Viking Coach Alex Kalawe brought three boys and one girl to compete at Leilehua.

“We invited our returnees and those with the best chance for success,” Kalawe said.  “Jordan was our best finisher and our lone girl managed to take fifth place in her division.”

“I had six matches and I won five and lost one,” Enos said.  “My best move was the outside low single where I do a low squat and instead of shooting for the ankles I do a spin around move.”

Enos, now in his senior year, comes to the mat more confident and motivated to do well.

“It’s my senior year and I plan on winning the BIIF at 130 pounds and then place at states,” he said. 

Perennial BIIF boy’s team champions, Kealakehe, also took a squad of six boys along with one girl to compete.

“We need to get more experience and a higher level of competition during a shortened BIIF season,” WaveRider Coach Mike Ciotti said.

Konawaena, sophomore Tanelei Louis, made it all the way to the finals in the 130 bracket before dropping the match to the defending state champion Mindy Chow from Punahou.

“I had three matches prior to facing Mindy,” Louis said.  “I won all three by pin with two coming in a barbed wire and the other in a reverse half.”

Louis, the BIIF champ at 125 as a freshman last year, believes that she will return to that weight class to defend her title.

“I have a lot of confidence from my Dad who works with me and teaches me about wrestling,” she said.

Wildcat teammate Sage Aoki, competing in the 120 class, received a controversial disqualification in his first match for what the officials considered a “slam.”

“We questioned the call,” Kona coach and Sage’s dad, Mark Aoki said.  “We didn’t think that was the right call, but it was considered an opening match loss and Sage was forced into the consolation bracket.”

“I was riding the guy from the back and when he stood up I came in front of him for a double leg flip and he landed on his shoulder and wasn’t able to continue,” Sage Aoki said.

Aoki who won the BIIF title last year at 108 has bulked up to 120 will compete during the season at the higher weight class.

“I wanted to get bigger and stronger so I did a lot of weight training during the summer,” Aoki said.

Aoki had an easy time as he went undefeated during six matches in the consolation bracket to take third place overall during the tournament.

“Despite my first match loss I had a good experience and was able to get in a lot of matches where I could practice a variety of moves,” Aoki said.

Pearl City won the girls team scoring title with Waiakea being the highest scoring BIIF team at 14 place out of 27 teams competing.

For the boys it was Punahou winning with Hilo coming in at 21 out of 32 teams.

December 23, 2010 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment