The Maui News 2014 MIL Wrestling All-Stars
Bubba Jaramillo’s life as a Lahainaluna High School state-champion wrestler is over, and college grappling awaits.
For the Lunas’ trio of reigning girls state champs – Breanna Dudoit-Vasquez, Kapu Jara-millo and Lalelei Mataafa – a chance to grab more history is less than a year away.
The foursome shares The Maui News Maui Interscholastic League Wrestler of the Year honors.
“I can’t believe it’s over, this past four years of wrestling, of my life, have just went by way too quick,” said Bubba Jaramillo, who has a wrestling scholarship awaiting him at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. “I should have known hard work would have gotten me where I am now.
“I wish I would have tried a little harder my freshman and sophomore year – I could have possibly been a four-time state champion – but all in all, it has been one of the best four years of my life.”
The Jaramillos, Dudoit-Vasquez and Mataafa are among 20 Lahainaluna wrestlers to earn spots on the MIL All-Star team, which comprises league champions and state medalists.
Jaramillo won the state crown at 145 pounds one season after doing so at 140 – Nebraska-Kearney coaches see him at 149 next season.
“The coach was telling me this will be the first time they have had a Hawaiian boy on their team,” Jaramillo said. “Because I’m Hawaiian I got a diversity scholarship, but I’m in for a rude awakening when I get there. I have never even seen snow.”
Kapu Jaramillo said she garnered a lot of her strength through wrestling against her brother in practice. She won this year’s 140 title after taking the 135 crown last season.
“He’s a great wrestler, a good role model in everything he does,” Kapu Jaramillo said. “He’s just somebody really good to look up to, especially in wrestling because he’s really good at it.”
Kapu Jaramillo is being recruited by Midland University and the University of Oklahoma.
“I plan on wrestling in college, no doubt,” she said. “This sport is really hard, especially for girls to do it.
It’s amazing and Hawaii has really good wrestlers, but to go to college, I can’t wait.”
Kapu Jaramillo said she also draws inspiration from Clarissa Chun, an Oahu native who won a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics.
“My coaches talk to me about (the Olympics) all the time,” Jaramillo said. “I just want to go up against the best.”
The Lahainaluna boys and girls teams both finished second in this year’s state tournament.
“A state title – that’s what we want right now,” Dudoit-Vasquez said. “That’s our goal, that’s our top goal. We can do it. We have these amazing coaches to lead us to it.”
Dudoit-Vasquez was the only first-time state champ among the quartet, winning at 135.
“It was pretty awesome to join them this year instead of being a runner-up like I was last year,” she said. “This year I improved a lot and they all helped me step up a lot and now I can come again for a two-time next year.”
Mataafa, halfway to becoming the MIL’s first four-time wrestling champion, is unbeaten in 25 career high school matches, and the only one to go beyond the first period was this year’s 220 state final – she pinned Kaydie Tehotu of McKinley 21 seconds into the second round.
“I tried my best to get all first-period pins, but I still got a win, so I’m happy about it,” Mataafa said. “I think about four (state titles) all the time – it is one of my top goals on my list. I really want to get there and be the first in the MIL to do it.”
Mataafa is also an MIL All-Star in water polo.
“Right now I’m really torn between the two because I like both sports a lot,” she said. “It will come down to the end for me to decide for college, I think.”
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com