Menehune pepsters take bronze

WAIMEA — “Normally, the girls would be out practicing, but they’re on ‘vacation’ now,” said Waimea High School Assistant Cheer Coach Harvette Acosta. “The head coach is still in Honolulu.”

The Menehune pepsters were on hand for their first home game of the KIF basketball season, and in addition to providing the spirit behind the Menehune’s 43-35 victory, were celebrating their own victory as well.

Waimea was one of the cheer squads that participated in a “pre-season” cheer competition hosted by the Mililani High School Trojans earlier this month, and according to Acosta, finished third in the Varsity Division.

Acosta said that although the KIF (single) cheer competition isn’t until February, the 11 girls who made the trip “learned a lot in preparation for the KIF competition.”

“We even got to watch the UH (University of Hawai’i at Manoa) cheer squad perform,” Acosta said.

Kaua’i High School cheer squad members, the defending KIF cheer champions, also made the trip but did not compete.

Acosta said the tournament featured three divisions with the Menehune being involved in the Varsity class where they earned the bronze below Kamehameha Schools of the ILH, and ‘Aiea of the OIA. Following the Menehune, Leilehua and Kalani rounded out the top five of that division.

Cheerleading is a year-round sport, Acosta noted, and the dozen members of the Menehune squad go through practice daily.

“On school days, they start practice at 1:45 p.m. until about 3 p.m. with 30 minutes devoted to the outside, and an hour for study hall,” the assistant coach said.

“On days when they don’t have school, practice starts at 7 a.m., and usually runs for a couple of hours depending on how they do,” she said.

Head coach for the Menehune cheer squad is Roxanne Cardejon.

Cheer team members include seniors Tasha Acosta, Jenna Nakamatsu, Dani Matsumura and Rufel Gelbolingo.

Sophomores make up the remainder of the team and include Sunni Acosta, Leo Manoi-Resinto, Tiare Horner, Jondi Horner, Courtney Espiritu, Resha Banasihan, Nikki Ishibashi and Jalacey Sablan.

Team manager is Karmn Rivel.

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