Moanalua and Radford won the large and medium divisions, respectively, at the 2015 Zippy’s/HHSAA Cheerleading State Championships on Sunday.
30 teams ranging from intermediate to varsity squads performed their routines at the Neal S Blaisdell Arena. Four teams competed in the large division, 13 teams competed in the medium, and the rest were JV and intermediate squads who performed as an exhibition.
Both divisions were rated by a panel of judges on a 375-point scale.
In the large division, Moanalua earned 343.75 points, followed by Mililani at 335, Kaiser at 330, and Pearl City at 306.25. Moanalua earns their first state cheerleading title since 2005 and their first large division title since 2003.
Radford won the medium division by the slimmest of margins. With a point total of 336.50, the Rams edged out Kamehameha-Maui’s score of 336.25. Between competing in the medium division from 2005 to 2010 and the large division from 2011 to 2014, Radford took its 11th consecutive state cheerleading title. Kamehameha-Maui missed out on its third straight medium division title, having previously won in 2013 and 2014.
Rounding up the rest of the medium division was Waiakea (317.50), Kamehameha Kapalama (312.50), Iolani (306.50), Kalaheo (297.50), Kauai (296.50), Campbell (292.00), Pac-Five (281.25), Leilehua (275.25), Keaau (244.75), Maui (244.25) and Kamehameha-Hawaii (227.75).
After the decision, Kamehameha-Maui head coach Kealii Molina was upbeat in telling his team to hold their heads up high.
“.25 is small and it’s so little. They did awesome. There’s nothing more that I could have asked of them today than what they did out there,” Molina said. “When it comes down to it, cheerleading is a judge sport, so in somebody’s eyes, somebody is .25 better than us. It’s all right with me, it’s cool.”
Sharing those sentiments was Warriors senior tri-captain Chaston Avut, who wowed the crowd with a bevy of backflips.
“No matter what, I’m always going to be proud of my team because we did the best we could and there’s nothing more we could have done,” Avut said. “I know that it’s difficult for the judges to choose whoever is the best team but it doesn’t really matter as long as we did our best on the floor.”
Radford got an emotional lift from first year head coach Ridge Frank, who took over for his cousin, Bo.
Ridge Frank was seen cheering rampantly and jumping along with his team during their routine.
“When I was cheering, I was always taught that if the coach is hyped, your girls will feed off of you,” an emotional Frank said. “I just have to remind my girls to stay hungry. If they want something, they have to set their hearts out for it and get it.”
It certainly worked.
“He actually won states his senior year so he said he wants to give us that feeling,” said Radford senior tri-captain Erika Bongo. “He wants us to feel what he felt his senior year and give it to us, and we felt it. It was amazing.”