Pearl City Wrestler Is Player Of The Year

Pearl City wrestler Blake Cooper has been named OIA Western Division boys Player of the Year, the league announced recently.

A senior, Cooper won the OIA individual title in the 152-pound weight class. In the ensuing days, he followed up his performance at the OIA finals by going on to take first in his weight class at the state wrestling finals.

Cooper was joined on the West’s All-Conference team by teammates Timothy Rivera (130 pounds), Kristian Vaana Kikuyama (160) and Maui Lee III (171). All-Star teams are chosen in a vote of league coaches at season’s end.

Campbell’s Mark Buelow was named the West’s Coach of the Year by his peers. The Sabers also placed Brandon Perez (108), Christian Natividad (120), Zachary Kido (125), Shaiston Dacanay (140), Jay Robinson Nabarrete Ladines (145), Cornelius Putnam (189), Tristan Ludiazo (215) and Toese Tia (289) on the West’s All-Conference team. Perez also captured an individual state title in the 108-pound class in late February.

Receiving All-Conference recognition from Kapolei were Chauncey Kano (130), Kainoa Marumoto (152), Justin Bumanglag (160) and Moses Wiseman (189).

In the girls division, Kapolei’s Kaelynn Canyete took top honors in the West, according to the OIA. Canyete won the 101-pound weight class. A senior, she went on to win a second straight state title in her weight class as well. Kapolei’s Alyssa Reid also was named to the All-Conference team in the 220-pound class.

Pearl City’s Mike Lee was named West Coach of the Year after leading the Chargers to the OIA title. His team also went on to capture the school’s first-ever girls wrestling state championship.

As expected, Pearl City was well-represented on the West’s All-Star lists, as eight players earned post-season honors, including Rachel Tolentino (101-pound class), Breanne Takaesu (105), Sarah Grace Alegria (109), Xandria Ford (113), Joen Tominaga (117), Kaimiloa Evans (130), Netanya Kang (135), Janelle Fuamatu (155). Takaesu, Ford and Fuamatu also won state titles in their weight classes.

Aiea had a trio of wrestlers make the All-West team in Petrice Goto (105), Kari Okubo (140) and Sarah Minor (220). Earning All-League honors from Campbell were Mieko Liemsithisak (109), Khrysten Taylor Gameng (135) and Kuuleilani Lankford (155).