East strongest in K-PAL wrestling

LIHU‘E — The East captured six of the seven wrestling spots available during the Kaua‘i Police Activities League island championships Monday night at the Kaua‘i Veterans Center.

Working through the elimination trees, John McCormack of the Central program was the sole top winner, taking the Elementary School Heavyweight division with a pin in Round 2 over Sage Tabura of the East.

Kawika Rodgers settled into third place.

Another McCormack, Jesse, grappled against a tenacious Dante Dikeman of the East for the Middle School 100-150 pound division, but came up short, Dikeman starting with a 2-0 lead in Round 1 and building on that to finish with a 6-2 decision, Jesse deadlocking the match in Round 2 only to have Dikeman counter.

Mark Ozaki, the K-PAL coordinator, presented Jesse with the Top Female Wrestler of the match in addition to her second-place medal.

Kurt Napoleon and Keahuniu Hopkins, both of the East, rounded out the leaders of that division.

Aukai Arruda, working on an 11-pound disadvantage over Elijah O’Day of the East, held his own in Round 1 of the Elementary 35-50 pound division, giving up just one takedown to O’Day. But being worn down from the grappling, Arruda relented to a pin with 2:57 showing in Round 2, holding Arruda to no points.

Kolu McCorrinston took the Elementary 51-75 pound division on a decision over Joe Puplava, Jannelle Puplava and Kapono Sullivan rounding out the leaders of that division.

Ryddych Contrades of the East, building to a 9-1 lead over AJ Arruda of Central in the Elementary 76-90 pound division, put the match to bed with a pin in Round 3.

The match of the night came in the battle for third place of the Elementary 76-90 pound division when Kyler Napoleon of the East, facing a 9-4 deficit, reversed against Central’s Brayden Poai in Round 3 to take the spot on a pinfall with seconds remaining in the round.

Central’s Makua DeBlake held a 2-0 lead over East’s Sage Tanioka after two rounds in the Middle School 151-plus division.

But Tanioka came back in Round 3, eventually taking the bout on a5-2 decision. Mikala DeBlake and Mason Tabura rounded out the division.

Kahiau Rodgers of the East program was tops in the High School division.

The wrestlers were presented participation trophies and were led in a pledge to steer clear of alcohol and drugs and avoid riding in cars where the drivers have been drinking.

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