LAHAINA - The strength of West Side youth wrestling was readily apparent at the 2014 Hawaii USA Wrestling State Championship Tournament held two weeks ago at Lahaina Civic Center.
In an event that showcased the ever-increasing talent of youth wrestling in Hawaii, the former AAU state championship meet attracted a tournament record of 643 competitors from across the state to this year's meet.
Once again coordinated by Maui Style Wrestling, the tournament featured youth competitors from all islands grappling in age and gender classifications from five years old and up to high school teenagers.
Oscar Williams of the Lahaina Roughnecks competes at the state meet. PHOTO BY TOM COOPER.
The Lahaina Roughnecks led the West Side charge that garnered ten state championships and a second place team finish with 92 points. The Napili Surfriders had five gold medal winners and piled up 50 points for fifth place overall, and the Lahaina Red Raiders had three state champions and finished in 14th place.
Coached by Conrad Bolor, the Lahaina Roughnecks came within 12 points of eventual state champ Central Maui Style. The gold medal winners from the Lahaina club included Moku Basques, Shane Ueki, Ikaika Gonzales, Kaulana Tihada, Shayden Agapay, Kivah Caballero, Nyla Nobriga, Sami-Lei Saribay, Daesha Kahoalii Kalilikane and Ty Bates.
For the fifth place Napili Surfriders, led by coach Kim Ball, the state champs were Kawehi Gillcoat, Jesse "Fatty" Dudoit, Gage Peneku and Kekai Cajudoy.
The Lahaina Red Raiders, the West Side's newest club that is led by Terry Shibao, had state titles from Saje Kanemitsu, Kaeo Kanemitsu and Faiva Fonohema.
Coach Shibao was assisted by Jay Cuaresma, Venus Bravo-Li, Gilbert Shibao, Richard Snyder and Anthony Mullins.
Surfriders' head coach Ball had high praise for his entire staff and singled out Lahainaluna state champ Bubba Jaramillo.
"Bubba really stepped up this year with the youth group here at the Napili Recreation Center - he basically ran the practices for us," said Ball.
Also on the staff for the Napili club were Mandy Gillcoat, Tom Cooper, Jaret Nahooikaika and Shane Cunanan.
Coach Conrad of the Roughnecks had some 50 wrestlers on the club roster and was assisted by Stephen Marugaki, Ashley Hayase, Sheldon Tateyama, Nathan Williams, Darran Koyama, Jason Hayase, Brandon Ueki, David Kalilikane, Zane Monteleone, Richard Agdeppa, Neal Nakata and Todd Hayse.
"We also got plenty of help from Anne Marugaki, Ui Castro, and from my wife, Alena. As always, we thank all of the coaches' wives for sharing their husbands with the wrestling team, and to the entire community for their support of all of the youth competitors here on the West Side. It is all really special," concluded Coach Conrad.