It was a classic scenario and Saxoni Frank figured the new challenge wouldn’t be overly tough.
Then he realized that his dreams about the future might be impacted. When Frank, his father and coach, Bo Frank, and three Radford teammates journeyed to New Jersey last August, it was a new adventure in competitive cheer. The College Combine, hosted by Nfinity, wasn’t just a competition.
“I heard that a former coach from Purdue was going to be there,” Frank said.
The freshman competed in the combine, which included a vertical leap, 50-yard dash and pushups, and placed No. 1 in the nation in his grade level. Senior Jannealyn Aquino and junior Taejah Ray Telles-Kuwahara also placed first in their respective grade levels, and Makenna Ching placed second.
“Saxoni grew up in the program and has discipline, respect and responsibility — Radford’s character education motto ingrained. He is a freshman and still learning, but his skills are way beyond a freshman. He isn’t the vocal or the silent leader, but his teammates know they will get his best effort daily,” coach Frank said. “Emerging mat talker, especially while he was injured this season.”
The Radford Rams went on to have a perfect season in Oahu Interscholastic Association and state tournament, winning four OIA competitions, including the league championship. Radford then won the Medium Division state title at Blaisdell Arena.
Frank teaches at Radford and has guided the Rams to 11 state titles. He was an advisor to nephew Ridge Frank for one season when Radford won another state championship.
“All of them do more than what is asked. I’m blessed that so many of my kids do. All three of them are on Island Elites (club) level five team. They take private lessons to hone in their already elite skills,” coach Frank said. “And on top of that training with their club, they train with their fathers to improve strength and conditioning!”
Saxoni’s lockdown staples
Top 3 movies/shows
1. “Avengers: End Game”
2. “Free Guy”
Top 3 food/snack/drink
2. Birria tacos
3. Chicken wings
Top 3 music artists
1. Juice WRLD – “Doom”
2. Polo G – “I Know”
3. Sleepy Hollow – “Bestie”
Favorite class: “Tumbling with my dad (coach Frank).”
Favorite teacher: Mr. (Tom) Luna (dad).
“I would go back to when I hurt my ankle and not do that pass.”
New life skill: Cooking (steak and omelettes).
Hidden talent: Photography
“My entire team, Jaja and the gang, and especially my family.”