HHere’s what the ‘Iolani and Leilehua head coaches said this afternoon about the state wrestling final 152-pound match pitting the Mules’ Liam Corbett against the Raiders’ KJ Pascua. Both are previous state champions and both are ranked in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s pound-for-pound rankings. Corbett is No. 2 and Pascua is No. 3.
‘Iolani head coach Walden Au:
“They both come to the table with different strengths. For KJ, we’re hoping his endurance, his strength and his slickness is going to carry him. We can’t count Liam out for anything. Liam is a phenomenal wrestler, who is also strong and in great condition. We’re just hoping for a really good head-to-head match. It might be a tight one, but we’re hoping that we’ll come out ahead. Liam has a lot of good experience traveling on the mainland. I think KJ in his high school years has yet to really go out there, but KJ’s been prepping for this … the kids talk about this one. I think KJ is excited for this. We’re telling him that he really has nothing to prove, nothing to lose out there, so wrestle your heart out and live in the moment. I hope he enjoys it.”
Leilehua head coach Kevin Corbett:
KJ is very strong, very good wrestler. Liam is kind of more fancier. Really good at riding and scrambling. Doesn’t really panic. It’s going to be a tough battle. On their feet, you’ve got an immovable object against the wind. Liam is all over and KJ is right there in front of you., so it’ll be good to see. It’s one of those matches that stylistically they’re polar opposites and you never know. That’s the beauty of the sport. It’s going to be great to watch as a fan. It’s going to suck for me as a coach; I won’t lie. I’ve coached KJ coming up when he was younger. Him and Liam wrestled together for years traveling the nation (Pascua prior to high school) . They’re both phenomenal, so it’s going to be a really good match.”