Corey Cabanban and the stacked class of 2018 left a wide open boys wrestling scene behind them.
Seven of last year’s top 10 pound-for-pound wrestlers departed to graduation, leaving Kamehameha junior Kysen Terukina as the new sheriff in town. Terukina shook off a shocking loss to Baldwin’s Kahuilihala Joy at Officials last year to pick up his second state title as a sophomore and put him halfway to the coveted slams in the ILH and states.
Terukina stands at the top, but the cupboard is not completely bare behind him. Upon further review, Moanalua junior Elijah Asuncion rises to the second spot followed by Baldwin’s Coby Ravida and Branden Pagurayan of Kapolei, who is next in the line behind Terukina for a state slam.
How did Asuncion move from unranked at the end of last year to the second spot to begin this campaign? The initial P4P list is based largely on career achievements and it evolves into a single-season list as upsets happen. Asuncion’s state fourth two years ago to go with his current crown trumps the state fifth earned by Ravida.
Noah Wusstig rises to No. 5 in the rankings as the leader in a stacked Moanalua wrestling room that features three of the state’s 10 best wrestlers with No. 9 Boltyn Taam transferring in from Saint Louis.
Wusstig hit the scene on an upset win over Lahainaluna’s Kawehi Gillcoat in last year’s state final, and the three-time MIL champion is sitting two spots behind him at No. 7 with only Kalaheo state champion Rysan Leong separating them. Gillcoat will get a late start on the season with his Lunas immersed in defense of their state football title.
There are a ton of intriguing matchups for next year that may or may not come to fruition, possibly headlined by Pagurayan vs. Leong as soon as next month. Both wrestlers welcome the challenge and if Taam was to meet them at 152 the roof would blow off the Leilehua gym at the Officials tournament just before Christmas.
Throw in potential rematches between Ravida and Kamehameha’s Brant Porter at 106 and there is quite a season shaping up. The first major tournament is the Garner Ivey on Maui. No. 1 Terukina vs. No. 2 Asuncion is a mathematical possibility but not likely. Like every year since Liam Corbett‘s reign, the gap between No. 1 and No. 2 is pretty big.
Terukina and Asuncion met at states two years ago and Terukina pinned him in 1:55 in the second round on his way to his first state title.
‘Iolani’s Kaua Nishigaya is currently ranked but still deciding on wrestling this season after a 206-carry season for the football team.
Hawaii Prep World Pound-For-Pound Rankings
Updated: Nov. 30
1. Kysen Terukina, Kamehameha junior
2018 state champion (120), 2017 state champion (113)
2016 Officials champion (113)
2018 ILH champion (120), 2017 ILH champion (113)
2. Elijah Asuncion, Moanalua junior
2018 state champion (113), 2017 state fourth (113)
2018 OIA champ (113)
3. Coby Ravida, Baldwin
2018 state champion (106), 2017 state fifth (106)
2018 MIL champ (106), 2017 MIL champ (106)
4. Branden Pagurayan, Kapolei sophomore
2018 state champion (152)
2018 OIA champion (152)
2018 OIA West champ (152)
5. Noah Wusstig, Moanalua senior
2018 state champion (138)
2018 OIA champion (138)
2018 OIA East champion (138)
6. Rysan Leong, Kalaheo senior
2018 state champion (160)
2018 OIA East champion (160)
7. Kawehi Gillcoat, Lahainaluna senior
2018 state second (138), 2017 state fifth (120), 2016 state sixth (120)
2018 MIL champ (138), 2017 MIL champ (122), 2016 MIL champ (120)
8. Kaua Nishigaya, Iolani senior
2018 state second (132), 2017 state fifth (126), 2016 state third (106)
2018 ILH champ (132)
9. Boltyn Taam, Moanalua sophomore
2018 state second (145)
2018 ILH champion (145)
Lost to terukina
10. Brant Porter, Kamehameha junior
2018 state second (106), 2017 state third (106)
2018 ILH champ (106)
2017 Officials champ (106)
Honorable mention (alphabetical order)
Laakea Ane, Kamehameha senior
2018 state second (195)
2018 ILH champ (195)
Cody Bollig, Kamehameha senior
2018 state second (285)
2018 ILH champ (285)
Koby Chun, Kaiser
2018 state third (120)
2018 OIA champion (120)
Kaena Desantos, Leilehua junior
2018 state third (132), 2017 state sixth (132)
2018 OIA champ (126)
Joe Faafiu, Leilehua junior
2018 state third (106)
2018 OIA champ (106)
Brady Hoshino, Iolani junior
2018 state second (120)
Vance Keliihoomalu, Kapolei senior
2018 state second (182)
Legend Matautia, Punahou junior
2018 state third (220)
2018 ILH champ (220)
Skyler Suzui, Hawaii Baptist junior
2018 state third (106)
Makana Tapia, Kamehameha junior
2018 state second (152) 2017 state third (152)
2018 ILH champ (152)
Casen Watanabe, Punahou senior
2018 state second, 2017 state sixth