2012 State Tournament Analysis

March 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Wrestling, 2012 State Wrestling

This was posted in the forum yesterday by reader Bruddah B. Reposting here, as it’s a great analysis of the tournament. Mahalo, Bruddah B, for sharing your insights!

Last night there was some great matches and concluded another great season for Hawaii Wrestling. Lets start with venue, is there a better place for our state wrestling meet, I think not! Its a well deserved award for all the wrestlers who made it and their parents to watch wrestling with “back rest” are you kidding me, I could do it all day. The staff/security allows people to enjoy themselves and really “gets it” they understand it is an emotional roller coaster for everyone and understanding the cheering, standing, seat pounding, etc… They assure everyone’s safety and at most say you cant stand you must take a seat very politely mind you. Final Grade A+

The tournament itself was not handled the greatest however lots of attempts, weigh in seem to be move rather quickly although wrestlers complained they were cramped up in a room it started on time and as a spectator that is all I care about it. Yes, there was empty mats at times but it was nothing drastic just little flaws that I could easily live with. The award ceremony had some thought placed in it but did not care for the two award stands, the “real” one and the “children of a lesser god” red hair step child one. It really did nothing to speed it up and props for the athletes to decide that they all deserved to be on the same stand in addition it was great to see that they allowed it after stopping the first girl when she tried. I liked that they were all requested to be presentable on the award ceremony this year but did not like that they had to turn around. Its not that packed plenty room for on lookers to move to the front side. Keith Matsumoto calling people out on the microphone, did not care for that move but some people enjoying hearing themselves. Final Grade: C+

The officiating, No tournaments goes without its share of controversy and what better way to ignite the fuel than a official. I must say that we do have some really good ones who are clear in their communication with signals, audible, movement and calls. We also got a few old timers who have been around since the wheel who may not be as clear with their signals however call good matches. Than we got some that need to call it a career I thought one cost an athlete a state title, a stall call in the state finals in overtime for the win? One wrestlers never took a shot for nearly 5 minutes and just forced out, I agree that’s stalling however the call was made the other way. A beautiful double leg near the end of the match called illegal and coach ejected, was a terrible call. I’m wondering how much officials actually wrestled in college or even high school. The good ones need to get together with the not so good ones and discuss things prior to finals and allow the wrestlers to remain in the spotlight. Final Grade: C-

The wrestling, I’ll tell you this much we are coming of age! Wrestling is progressing at break neck speeds and we need to thank all the coaches, administrators, clubs, parents and the kids for continuing to support wrestling. The tournament was action packed with highly contested matches all over the place. I could barely sit still and was so excited to see all the wrestlers giving it everything they had. I saw some great technical wrestler’s applying proper pressure and executing moves at high levels. There was also ring awareness which was not as present in the last 30 years. We are not perfect but we are lot closer than we were 30 years ago. Final Grace: A+



AIEA, What more can way say those girls played their hearts out all year long and kicked and crawled their way to finish on the top. I give them credit for also providing an emotional lift for the Nanakuli wrestler to win her first state championship. Once the crowd figured out what was going on, everyone started cheering for Nanakuli sans the blue/gold section. Awesome


Bree Rapoza even with 1 state title, 2 national titles in her back pocket she never garners the respect or fear that comes along with it but she proved in dominating fashion why she is now a 2 time state and national champion.



Punahou… All the talk of they are showing chinks in the armor, they can be beat was laid to rest early in day 2. The fire and intensity they wrestle with is above and beyond any other team in the state. Stand by the team and listen to them talk or cheer on their team mates or even better a post match analysis to their team. All I will say about it is Perfection is demanded to be on this team, winning is not enough…no mistakes, no flaws, wrestle perfect and pin to win! I know it stems from the coaches but that team is a bunch of leaders who expect to pin their opponents every single time out! They are kings until they are dethroned and it does not look like anytime soon


Brian Peralta – Man handled everyone he came in contact with including a former state champion on his side of the bracket. He reminds me of an attack dog, its like taking him out of strait jacket, remove the muzzle and leash put him on the mat and he demolishes opponents. After the match he is very mild mannered and very unassuming.


The Moment-

Pearl City Coach Mike Lee taking a stand and by his action proving that “winning is not everything” in the 155lbs semis. What I am deeming as “The phantom injury” has been happening all year and it struck late in the match and overtime AGAIN! This time however he was no longer going to have it, making his athlete pick herself up from the ground and stand to battle was a defining moment of how much he cares for his wrestlers. In the short term it perhaps cost her that match but in the long run she will realize that in life there will be obstacles and we all will be knocked down however you need to pick yourself up and battle back. Mahalo Coach Lee, not an easy decision to make in the heat of battle but from my view it was the “right” one.


Honorable Mention-

Chayden “Bubba” Reyes- Executing a brilliant win in the finals match against a great competitor. Having a great game plan and strategy of a well seasoned wrestler and having the ability to execute it on the match was a thing of beauty. To see the elation of Coach Reyes and Bubba was also a brilliant way to cap his season.


Dane Pestano – Although he was predicted to walk through his weight class he met a game competitor from Lahaina. To allow his opponent to stand in under 30 seconds was throwing down the gauntlet and saying, “I am ready to let you up now so stand, I let you stand cause I will take you down” That is having balls the size of watermelons!


Team- Mililani

Say what you like about this team, this team came from no where to explode on the scene in this years state tournament. They wrestle with heart , they dont get injured and they win matches. We will see if they can keep it up however for this year they deserve credit for being amongst the best.



14 Responses to “2012 State Tournament Analysis”
  1. Kayla says:


  2. Anonymus says:

    GO CAMPBELL!!!!!!!! SABERS!!!!!

  3. Peaceful Warrior says:

    I am not sure if you were watching the same matches as everyone else but I personally feel the wrestlers of today are nowhere near the level of competitors of 10 years ago. As good as they may be, they are nowhere near the level of Daniel Morita, Ben Wilmore, Emile Suehiro, Brandon Low, and Travis Lee. The decline in competition is probably attributed to the changes in the generation, increased materialism, hydration testing, and lack of funding.

    • Grappler says:

      Don't you mean renee suehiro? Renee may be only boy to be 4 x OIA Champion. But I disagree with you… Murakawa, Zach, 285 this year, ray cooper last year , travis okano, all these guys would still win 10 years ago. Btw, I saw NY wrestler at Iolani tourn pin and play with Morita and Whitt 2 state champions from Hawaii. Travis Lee was in a class all by himself. He was a couple pts from being a 4x state champion. My honest opinion, doesn't matter what year u win state. Whatever year you win State means at that time you were the best in your wt. class.

      • Grappler says:

        Its like comparing the 72 Dolphins to the 66 packers or the 76 steelers or the NE patriots. You just cant compare, physically impossible.

  4. good ole dayz says:

    Every year someone puts out a statement like this……..it's your opinion, near-sighted & jaded.

    • guest says:

      Probably from someone who wrestled during that time……besides…I dont think B. Low qualifies for that era.

  5. Punahou_Lover says:

    Oh no you can compare and wrestling now is weak compared to before. Look how many guys are winning multiple state championships. This is because lack of depth all around. From 1966-2001, there was only 15, three time boys state champs. The past 11 years there has been what almost 15 three time boys state champs. Wrestling is going downhill. Just because MMA is popular doesnt mean wrestling is getting harder. I've been around Hi wrestling over 25 years, trust me

    • Just a thought says:

      I havn't seen much improvement in wrestling over the past 10 years. I attribute much of this to coaches who have no idea of what works at the high school level.

      As for the multiple time state champions, I don't hold it against them for winning because of poor competition. They did there job and came out on top. I would say that most would not even place if they were in California. And the same goes for the "old timer" wrestlers.

      • Grappler says:

        you are partially correct, HS coaches on the mainland wrestled in college. Since there is no wrestling here at the college level, of course the level of coaching is less. There a few coaches here that know what they are doing. About you multiple state champions, you have tounderstand that California has maybe 10 x more schools than Hawaii. Competition is far greater. You have place in your league, top 2 go to districts, then top two in regional go to regional, then u qualify for states. At the state tournament they run a 32 man bracket while hawaii has 16. Just to let you know in HS I was undefeated against california schools. btw, 3 time state champ Travis Lee from St. Louis school is a 2x NCAA champ from Cornell.Grant Nakamura Wrestled for Iowa State. Just a thought, did you wrestle in California? Just as I thought, you never even wrestled.

        • In-site says:

          Its always hard to change an Old Farts mind…. Understand that 25 years ago Hawaii wresting was in its infancy stage for the oldest sport in the world Hawaii has really just started. Hawaii has had teams in the past with 5 -7 people, we are slowly witnessing the demise to Hawaii's sport "JUDO" which has increased the level of wrestling in our state. We have more multiple state champions because we have more participants, wrestlers training at a younger age learning from their parents, uncles & neighbors who once wrestled. Everyone may want to degrade some efforts but the generation before this had nothing to help guide the way, they were really "wining it" they went off to smaller colleges and have come back and shared their experience and knowledge help paving the way for the future of our sport. Its a common belief that this "ME" generation does not train as hard as the old school but it does not mean they are not athletic nor they are perhaps better wrestlers.

          • Guest says:

            I think it's ludicrous to either compare the level of effort, quality of wrestling, or results with 25 years ago. First, anyone who thinks ANYTHING is easier for these kids has it wrong. The bar is unquestionably higher in just about every aspect of their lives. The training they do as athletes in today's environment far exceeds what high schoolers were doing 25 years ago. Add in the higher and more complex academic and social demands that confront them. And none of them had to contend with the risk of getting splayed open on the internet either. Talking about the stars of yesteryear is also useless for comparison purposes. Those guys would be the same type of stars today too. No more, no less. Just because a kid loaded with talent and drive happened to be born 25 years earlier, does not reflect in any way upon the talent or drive of those born 25 years later.

  6. Punahou _Loser says:

    For over 25 years, it's been people like you that bring about the precieved decline in high school wrestling quality! Just because there has been almost 15 three time boys state champs doesn't mean wrestling is getting easier.

    Moron…….thanks for supporting Hawaii High School wrestling……

  7. Island Fever says:

    hm, so much for the intelligent conversation.

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