Mililani’s Zack Diamond is off to a fast start in wrestling, but that means little over the long haul of the season.
In the 138-pound class, Diamond has won the two tournaments he’s been in so far — the Garner Ivey Maui Invitational and the Hawaii Wrestling Officials Association Scholarship Tournament.
A two-time state runner-up, Diamond wants to take it a step further and win it all this time in March at the Blaisdell Arena.
Aside from being a legitimate contender for the title, Diamond has an added target, so to speak, on his back: He is also the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s top-ranked pound-for-pound boys wrestler.
That ranking this early in the season also means little, compared to the ultimate goal of finally breaking through for a state title.
Mililani coach John Robinson warns to never look too far ahead; it’s sober advice for every wrestler, if you really think about it.
“Any individual can sneak up on you,” Robinson said Sunday during the start of the Trojans’ annual wrestling camp.
Robinson added that he feels Diamond is deserving of the No. 1 ranking in his weight class and thinks he has the potential to go undefeated.
“He’s looked strong so far and he reached some of his milestones already by winning those two tournaments,” the coach said. “We’re working on getting him to peak at the right time.”
Robinson did not see Diamond’s pin of Pearl City’s Baylen Cooper in the final of the Officials meet, but heard from several coaches that it was extremely close.
“I heard it was within a couple of points until the end,” the coach said. “They could meet again at the OIA West, the OIAs, and in our regularly scheduled dual meet.”
Not to mention, without looking too far ahead, the possibility of a matchup in the state final. But there are other worthy wrestlers around the state who also have a shot.
Lucas Misaki, the Campbell boys coach, was one among a packed gym at the Officials meet who saw Diamond’s win.
“Baylen and his coaches had a good game plan. They really did their homework,” Misaki said. “Zack and Baylen both went through very tough brackets. It was tied until Zack got him on his back and stuck him with a pin. The crowd — and there was nobody in the gym who wasn’t watching that match — was very loud when he pinned him.”