The state champion Leilehua boys wrestling team will get its time in the spotlight on Friday.
The Mules, who surprised the field for their first title last spring, will travel to Moanalua on Friday for a spotlight match dubbed the “Motown Showdown.”
Girls will begin the action at 6:30 with the boys to follow.
The show could begin with bang with Savannah Ramos of Leilehua and Moanalua’s Precious Tampos, a transfer from Waipahu, facing off at 97 pounds. Both of them made the state tournament last year but didn’t place. Tampos knocked Ramos out of the tournament in the first round of consolations with a pin in 2:49.
The biggest spotlight in the girls matches will be state champion Kelani Corbett of Leilehua against Moanalua’s Alexis Tupuola. Corbett won her third state title at 155 pounds last year while Tupuola took third. They have never met in a major tournament.
Other top returnees for Moanalua include Kira Borengasser, Faith Joy Okubo, Alana Dela Pena, Codi Jane Kamaka and Caitlin Yap. Borengasser made the semifinals last year at 117 pounds and Okubo made the quarterfinals at 145 pounds while Dela Pena was a quarterfinalist at 184 pounds.
Leilehua’s top returnees include Shaina Miyasato-Kawaguchi, Kelsie Caminos, Hulita Ahonima, Anonia Tomas and Kailani Badajos-Hawelu.
Kawaguchi was a semifinalist at 102 pounds last year and Ahonima made the quarterfinals at 168 pounds.
The boys clash could feature a pair of state champions from Moanalua out to prove that they have worked hard enough over the summer to stay atop their weight classes.
Elijah Asuncion beat Hunter Nagatani 10-3 in last year’s state final at 113 pounds, but Leilehua took a hit when Nagatani and his sister moved to Nebraska. Noah Wusstig is another state champ in the Moanalua wrestling room, pinning Leilehua’s Naikoa Simao in the first round at states last year on the way to his coronation at 138 pounds.
Joe Faafiu, Kaena DeSantos and Jose Jahael are the other leaders for Kevin Corbett‘s returning state champions. Moanalua returns Andrew Adiniwin and Jaycen Crisostomo, but got a huge addition when state runner-up Boltyn Taam transferred into the program from Saint Louis.
Taam is a sophomore and will be making his Moanalua debut under the lights. He runs the count to four state finalists expected to compete on Friday after finishing second at 145 pounds last year to Campbell’s Zayren Terukina.