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Three-time champ Tatsuhiko Hikiji passes skills on to daughter

By Nick Abramo on February 21, 2019

The way back machine takes us to 1968, 1969 and 1970, when Tatsuhiko Hikiji won state wrestling championships while competing for Kaimuki. He was the first boy to do it three times in Hawaii, and now his daughter, Erin Hikiji, is a freshman wrestling for Mililani. She is going for third place at 97 pounds Thursday afternoon at the Texaco/HHSAA State Wrestling Championships. “I think she’s actually a good wrestler, yeah,” Tatsuhiko Hikiji said. “She’s learned a lot by watching […]

Punahou’s Zander Manuel is surprise finalist at 182

By Nick Abramo on February 21, 2019

Punahou’s Zander Manuel is gunning for a first state title. Unexpectedly. After upsetting second-seeded Vance Keliihoomalu in the 182-pound division of the Texaco/HHHSA Wrestling State Championships at Blaisdell Arena on Thursday, Manuel heads to the final later in the afternoon against Kamehameha’s Kainalu Huddy, the top seed. Keliihoomalu was disqualified after an illegal headbutt in the final seconds after he fell way behind and was visibly frustrated. “I came into this match with the coaches telling me to wrestle my […]

No. 7 Kawehi Gillcoat to meet No. 9 Kaena DeSantos in 138 final

By Nick Abramo on February 21, 2019

It’s a Lahainaluna boy vs. a Leilehua lad in the 138-pound final. As expected, Kawehi Gillcoat and Kaena Desantos, the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds who are ranked Nos. 7 and 9 in Hawaii Prep World’s pound-for-pound rankings, are going to see who survives Thursday for the title at the Texaco/HHSAA Wrestling State Championships. In the semifinals, Gillcoat pinned Mililani’s Elijah Diamond, and Desantos edged Kamehameha’s Kanai Tapia 5-3. “I want to win it,” said Gillcoat, who is a four-time […]

Alana Dela Pena’s mom applauds quick work by trainers

By Nick Abramo on February 21, 2019

Wednesday was not a good day for Moanalua’s Alana Dela Pena. The OIA champion and fourth seed in the 184-pound bracket at the Texaco/HHSAA State Wrestling championships, Dela Pena suffered a severe injury in her ankle when she landed wrong while being taken down by Aiea’s Jalyssa Ingram in a first-round match. Trainers and other responders worked quickly to immobilize her leg, put it in a splint and get her on a stretcher and out of the building to a […]

No. 8 Tianna Fernandez survives in overtime

By Nick Abramo on February 20, 2019

Baldwin’s Tianna Fernandez was in trouble, but she got out of it. The No. 8 pound-for-pound wrestler in the Hawaii Prep World rankings found a way to beat Brianna Funakoshi of Aiea in the 102-pound division, 10-6, in the second overtime period to advance to Thursday’s semifinals at the Texaco/HHSAA State Wrestling Championships. “Me and her were going at it in the beginning of season,” Fernandez said. “She’s really good and tall and fast and she can drop levels in […]

Legend Matautia avoids upset to start states

By Nick Abramo on February 20, 2019

Punahou’s Legend Matautia got through the first round, pinning Kaimuki’s Harry Lloyd at 1:43 of their 220-pound match at the Texaco/HHSAA Wrestling State Championships on Wednesday. The top-seeded Matautia remembers seeing Lloyd wrestle for Damien, when Lloyd was in the 285-pound division. “I was pretty surprised when I saw that he (slimmed down),” Matautia said about Lloyd, who had some pretty big upsets when he was with the Monarchs before his transfer. If he ends up making it to the […]

OIA champion Alana Dela Pena suffers scary ankle injury

By Nick Abramo on February 20, 2019

Alana Dela Pena got cheers from the Blaisdell Arena crowd as she was being carried out on a stretcher. The Moanalua wrestler, who is the reigning 184-pound OIA girls champion, suffered a serious ankle injury in her opening match at the Texaco/HHSAA Wrestling State Championships on Wednesday. Aiea’s Jalyssa Ingram, her opponent, was in tears afterward and was being consoled by her coaches after the freak injury. According to coaches at the scene, Ingram attempted to take down Dela Pena […]

Waianae hires Mike Fanoga as football head coach

By Nick Abramo on February 18, 2019

Mike Fanoga is the new football coach at Waianae High School, according to the school’s athletic twitter page: @SeariderSports. The post reads, “Congratulations to coach Mike Fanoga, our new head football coach. Coach Fanoga comes to us with over 30 years of coaching experience. We’re excited to watch our athletes grow as he and his staff develop the program, always keeping the traditions of Searider football at heart.” A call to Kekoa Kaluhiokalani on Monday to confirm the hiring was […]