Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Kamehameha Girls look dominate at WHS Invite

Tough Kamehameha girls wrestling team

Kamehameha girls left little doubt on who is the team to beat in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation wrestling tournament held at Waiakea this past Friday and Saturday.

The Warrior girls captured six out of eight weight divisions during the two day, double elimination tournament to give notice to the rest of the league on their ability to defend their BIIF team title.

Kamehameha’s state champion Megan Aina got things started by winning the 108 pound division with an avalanche of Warrior’s claiming individual honors.

Kanoe Padakin, 120; Kawehi Lopez; 125; Rustee Johansen, 130; Sable-Marie Young, 155; and Jasmine Iuta, 175; continued the Warrior onslaught with Waiakea’s Tracy Poch, 220; and Konawaena’s Tanalei Louis, 140; being the only road block in preventing Kamehameha from a clean sweep.

“We still need to go back to the drawing board and work on some stuff,” Kamehameha girls coach Marlon Miller said.

“We should never be content with where we are at and we should always continue working to become better,” Miller said.  “Everybody in this gym from every school will get better during the season and we need to keep working at improving.”

Miller also had high praise for host Waiakea in running the two day tournament saying that Stan Haraguchi and Greg Yonemori did an excellent job in kicking off the season.

Eleven BIIF schools competed in the tournament that featured 38 girls and 107 boys vying for bragging rights in their respective age divisions.

In the girls 155 class championship match it was Kamehameha’s Sable-Marie Young getting sweet revenge against Hilo’s Kainoelani Lee.

Young failed to make the BIIF championship meet when she was defeated by Lee last season, but she turned the tables around this year.

“Today was kinda like pay back,” Young said of her pin.  “It makes me feel like I’m going to be really good this season.  I love this sport and the drive we need to push ourselves to be good.  Our coaches teach us well and the excitement we get from the crowd makes it worthwhile.”

Kamehameha’s Kawehi Lopez made the transition from canoe paddler to wrestler this season and picked up a win during the 125 title match against teammate Noelle Pohina.

“My friend recruited me into wrestling and I’m glad I gave it a try as it has increased my confidence and given me something to get excited about,” Lopez said. 

“I wasn’t so nervous going against my own teammate in the finals because we train together during practice,” she said.  “I played volleyball this year and I think the paddling and volleyball has helped me with wrestling.”

Nalu Souza gains advantage on Sage Aoki

For the boys it was a matchup between two BIIF champions when Kona’s Sage Aoki went against Kamehameha’s Nalu Souza in the 125 weight division.

Aoki, who is the defending league champion at 108 and Souza the champ at 120 were both bumped into the higher weight division.

“I weighed in at 120.4 on Friday, but I hope to wrestle at 120 and defend my title,” Souza said.

“I like going against Sage because he’s a state placer and I’m only going to get better by wrestling the best,” he said. 

Souza out pointed Aoki, 15 to 12, for the victory in what was a close match throughout the three 2-minute periods.

“I was concerned during the match when he (Aoki) shot into my legs as I’ve never let anyone shoot on me before,” Souza said.  “I need to stay on top and pressure him to move him out of his comfort zone.”

Souza pulled the match out when he used a ‘gramby roll’ and then moved into Aoki using a half-nelson.

“This tournament was pretty important for me to see where everyone is at,” Souza said.  “I plan to get back down to 120 and defend at that weight class during the season.”

Allin Franco

Kealakehe’s Allin Franco pulled out a close win over Keaau’s Jesse Huihui in the 140 division.

Franco led 6-4 after the first period, but Huihui was able to tie the score at 6 during the first 15 seconds of the second period, before Franco put the match away winning 10 to 6.

“Jesse is a really good and really fast wrestler and I knew that I needed to keep up with his intensity,” Franco said.

“I still need to work on my technique and strength and maintain my conditioning,” he said.  “I think the difference in this match came down to conditioning as we were both tired going into the third period.”

Franco believes that he can win the BIIF title this year and has set his sights on winning a state title.

At the 135 weight class it was Keaau’s Cheyden Quiocho going against Waiakea’s Keoni Rice in the championship bracket.

“He (Rice) was trying to get me into a head and arm move and I countered with a half which flipped him on his back and I went straight down for the pin,” Quiocho said of his third period victory.

“I still need to work on my moves and my conditioning as I’m not pleased with my second place finish at BIIF’s last year,” he said. 

Quiocho was the BIIF runner up at 125 last year and put on 10 pounds to be bumped up two weight classes.

“I feel comfortable at this weight and I’m still hungry and motivated to do well,” Quiocho said.

Kamehameha’s boys coach, Brendan Courtot believes that Kealakehe is the team to beat for the BIIF title since they have dominated the league during the past decade.

“We will be competitive in 10 of 13 weight classes this year as we have a very young team, but they are very aggressive,” Courtot said.

The Warriors return two BIIF champions in Nalu Souza and Justin Hirae.

December 16, 2010 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BIIF Wrestling Results from Waiakea Invitational Meet

Coach Marlon Miller with Jasmine Iuta, Sable Young, Megan Aina, Kanoe Padaken and Kawehi Lopez.

2010 Waiakea Invitational    BOYS

108:  1st Justin Raymond, Kona  2nd Blake Aholelei, Kealakehe  3rd Serafin Samorano, Keaau

114:  1st Dylan Raiano, Kona  2nd Ryan Fujioka, HPA  3rd Jove Asagra, Keaau

120:  1st Dan Gampon, Kealakehe  2nd Steven Ogi, Waiakea  3rd David Yagong, Honokaa

125:  1st Nalu Souza, Kam  2nd Sage Aoki, Kona  3rd Justin Hirae, Kam

130:  1st Shannon Samura, HPA  2nd Michael Raiano, Kona  3rd Jordan Enos, Hilo

135:  1st Cheyden Quiocho, Keaau  2nd Keoni Rice, Waiakea  3rd Kona Phipps, Kona

140:  1st Allin Franco, Kealakehe  2nd Jesse Huihui, Keaau  3rd Jacob Murphy, Hilo

145:  1st Tyler Yonemori, Waiakea  2nd Pat Enos, Waiakea  3rd Jens Beets, Hilo

152:  1st Isaiah Guieb, Kealakehe  2nd Patrick Enos, Waiakea  3rd Jason Fernandez, Kam

160:  1st Isaiah Kanakanui, Hilo  2nd Kiliona Manzano, Kona  3rd Jordan Maglinty, Waiakea

171:  1st CJ Matsuyama, Kam  2nd Russ Fiesta, Pahoa  3rd Haaheo Chan, Keaau

189:  1st Harry Auweloa, Honokaa  2nd Kaialoa Mossman, Waiakea  3rd Sean Arakaki, Hilo

215:  1st Tim Ekert, Kealakehe  2nd Troy Choi, HPA  3rd John Postrano, Kona

285:  1st Keenan Greenbaum, HPA  2nd David Cowan, Honokaa   3rd Zeph Pavao, Waiakea

GIRLS

103:  1st Megan Aina, Kam  2nd Jharmine Postrano, Kona    3rd Cara Nakayama, Waiakea

114:  1st Kanoe Padakin, Kam  2nd Destiny Masters, Kealakehe  3rd Phoebe Oda, Kam

125:  1st Kawehi Lopez, Kam  2nd Noelle Pohina, Kam  3rd Elena Mello-Waiwaiole, Kau

130:  1st Rustee Johansen, Kam  2nd Melissa Dumaguin, Kona  3rd Hilary Luna, Hilo

140:  1st Tanalei Louis, Kona  2nd Chantel Pohina, Kam  3rd Sharrylei Fernandez, Hilo

155:   1st Sable-Marie Young, Kam  2nd Kainoelani Lee, Hilo   3rd Alexia-Marie Osburn, Kam

175:     1st Jasmine Iuta, Kam  2nd Kawehi Housman, Hilo  3rd Sharon Manaarpac, Hilo

 220:    1st Tracy Poch, Waiakea  2nd Aimee Shiraki, Kona  3rd Keani Mello-Waiwaiole, Kau

December 12, 2010 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