K-PAL wrestling closes 2011 with tournament

LIHU‘E — Three years have passed since the red and blue bands took to the mats.

Wednesday evening, they re-emerged as the Kaua‘i Police Activities League celebrated the end of its wrestling season with an informal tournament at the Kaua‘i Veterans Center in Lihu‘e.

“We’ll start up the season again in November and run through July of 2012,” said Mark Ozaki, K-PAL coordinator. “Tonight, the wrestlers, many first-timers, get a feel for a tournament and hopefully, learn from the other wrestlers who are here.”

Coach Mac Pigot of Westside Wrestling said 27 wrestlers from the K-PAL programs in Kapa‘a, Lihu‘e, and the Waimea Baptist Westside Wrestling participated in the outing.

He said wrestler ages range from 6 to 33 years old and weight divisions from 65 to 220 pounds.

Ozaki said there are currently three locations where K-PAL wrestling takes place. The Kapa‘a K-PAL Youth Center, Lihu‘e at the Kaua‘i Veterans Center and on the Westside with Coach Pigot at the Waimea Baptist Church. These spots were utilized during the reborn program and Ozaki anticipates having regular tournaments once the season starts in November.

Pigot said the practice tournament was an opportunity for wrestlers going to the Aloha State Games USA Wrestling Freestyle State Championships to work out. The state games are scheduled for June 11.

“Coach Mac also runs his Westside Wrestling program year-round,” Ozaki said. “So, people who want to continue, can visit his program.”

Geoff Lee of the Prosecutors’ office was one of the wrestlers turning out, Wednesday, noting he had wrestled while in high school and college.

“But it’s been a long time,” Lee said. “I haven’t touched my (wrestling) shoes for about 10 years and they feel a little tight.”

But he quickly adapted to the pads laid out and despite trying for a strong comeback, dropped his match to Daniel Quinlan.

Quinlan went on to sweep his appearance by taking his second match over K-PAL wrestler Kaulana Kaui.

Pigot opened the evening by explaining the differences between Freestyle and Folk style wrestling, getting the help of Tom Perry to officiate the Folk matches.

During the explanation, Nicholas and Michael Gabriel helped him demonstrate the different techniques, scoring, and takedowns.

“I’ve been doing Jiu-Jitsu for six years and started taking wrestling to better my takedown techniques,” said Bobby Castle, who opened with a tough match against Christopher Alcos, dominating with 4-0, 7-0 and 6-2 rounds for the match. He capped his opening against Bryce Bieder, winning that match with a pin.

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