Return to excellence: Radford’s Ultra 7 captures state title

After a five-year drought, Radford is state champion in competitive cheer again. From left: Saxoni Frank, Shylah Paulo, Jaja McFadden, Makenna Ching, Taejah Ray Telles-Kuwahara, Jannealyn Aquino, Juju Donato and coach Dr. Bo Frank. Andrew Lee/Special to Star-Advertiser.

The longest competitive cheer season was perfectly imperfect for Radford.

The Rams wrapped up with the state championship in the Medium Division on Saturday at Blaisdell Arena, not long after capturing the OIA title outright, regardless of division.

For coach Bo Frank, 359 points wasn’t pleasant, but it was enough.

“It’s been a very long season, actually our lowest score of the year, but we still pulled it out,” Frank said.

The title gave Frank plenty to be happy about. That’s 12 in all under Frank as Radford’s coach. He took a break as his young family grew up, and he earned another title — Doctor — before returning with a PhD. in 2019.

One of his three nationally ranked flyers, Taejah Ray Telles-Kuwahara, has been there through the rebuild from the day Frank returned to the Rams.

“It’s kind of crazy because we had a whole year off so trying to build the program back up was a struggle for us,” Telles-Kuwahara said. “But I feel like it definitely paid off with all the hard work.”

Radford was stoked when a huge chunk of the football and girls volleyball teams marched into Blaisdell and sat closely by to cheer on their acrobatic squad.

“They went out of the way to come and support us,” Telles-Kuwahara said.

The message worn by parents and other Ram fans said it all: “Return to Excellence.”

See the championship story in Sunday’s edition of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.


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