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Luna wrestlers to host preseason ‘Rumble At Da Imu’ with Baldwin outdoors in Sue D. Cooley Stadium

By Staff | Dec 7, 2017

LAHAINA – Year after year, the Lahainaluna High School wrestling program seems to reach up to higher levels of interscholastic athletics. Coming off another sterling season with Maui Interscholastic League titles, a state championship for the girls team and a seventh place finish for the boys, the Lunas are not sitting back and resting on their past accomplishments but moving forward to return to the top.

Lahainaluna wrestling will explode into the 2017-18 season with the first-ever “Rumble At Da Imu” dual wrestling meet between the Baldwin Bears and the Lunas under the lights at Sue D. Cooley Stadium on the school campus. This will be the first time a wrestling match will be held outdoors under the lights, and it will take place in the showcase stadium at Lahainaluna.

Matches will begin on the marquee mat on the 50-yard line at 6:30 p.m. with continuous live commentary from the sideline adjacent to the action. The Bears gave the Lunas all they could handle last year and finished in the top ten at states. They return several formidable matchups for the Lunas.

“This is really going to be an exciting preseason event, and we want to get the community hyped up as much as we are about it,” said head coach Todd Hayase, who will be assisted by co-head coach Conrad Bolor and Zane Monteleone, Shane Cunanan, Sheldon Tateyama, Neal Nakata, Steve Fisher, Junior Boy Bolor, Nathan Pallett and Kim Ball.

“It’s a first for this kind of matchup, and it will be really terrific to have it under the lights at Sue D. Cooley Stadium. There will be concession stands, and the school band will be on hand to charge everybody up!”

The Lunas return a solid group of seasoned champions, including MIL medalists Ira Navarro, Sami Saribay, Nanea Estrella, Taylor Hayase, Noe Keahi and Shannon Jaramillo from the girls team, and Alan Sanchez, Noah Ribucan, Ikua Tihada, Kawehi Gilcoat, Kainalu Estrella, Zeff Dudoit, Jesse Dudoit, Reeno Pascual, Enoka Phillips and Ty Bates from the boys squad.

From that group, wahine wrestlers Navarro, Estrella and Keahi won state championships, while Saribay took fifth and Hayase was fourth. On the boys mat, Estrella was a silver medalist, while Sanchez took fourth and Bates and Gilcoat took fifth place in their weight classes.

The Lunas will begin the preseason with the annual Garner Ivey Maui Invitational Tournament this weekend, then gear up for the Rumble event here at Lahainaluna on Friday, Dec. 15. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the gate. These meets will be followed by several important preseason events, including the Officials Tournament in late December.

The MIL season begins on Dec. 27 and runs through the end of January, with the MIL Championships slated for Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Lahaina Civic Center, hosted by Lahainaluna. The state championships are scheduled for Feb. 14-15, 2018, at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.

“We send our sincere thanks out to the entire Luna wrestling ‘ohana and community, as well as to the girls and boys soccer teams and coaches, the girls and boys basketball teams and coaches, Mark Tillman, the Lahainaluna staff, Kai Keahi, Lani Kane, Jonelle Watson, U’i Kua’ana, Myron Carlos and the Lahainaluna Band, Andy Claydon and the Young Life group, VIP Produce, and Island Depot Grocery,” concluded Coach Todd.