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Dragons’ Sinenci looks to leave legacy

Lahainaluna High School’s Nanea Estrella controls Baldwin’s Waipuilani Estrella-Beauchamp on her way to a 14-3 win in the girls 132-pound division Saturday at Maui High. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

KAHULUI — No matter what, Hauoli Sinenci is confident he will compete in a Hana High School singlet before the season is over, and hopefully leave a legacy behind.

While he didn’t wrestle Saturday during the Maui Interscholastic League meet at Shine Matsui Athletic Center, the Dragons senior looked on and supported his teammates as he recovers from a shoulder injury.

“I want to go out with a bang, with all sports. I want everyone to remember me,” Sinenci. “I want to make a name for myself — when people see me, I want them to say ‘Oh, that’s Hauoli Sinenci.’ “

Sinenci has been training lightly these past couple weeks but declared he will be ready no matter what when the MIL championships roll around Feb. 8.

“Healthy or not healthy, I still gotta go because it’s my last year. I gotta try. I believe I can be healthy by then,” he said. “You gotta represent. It’s all in the mind, you have to want to do it. You have to want to win and succeed. You have to have hope.”

Sinenci

Many coaches Saturday commented on how far Sinenci has come throughout his wrestling career, on and off the mat, as they recalled him competing in the heavier weight classes up until his junior year.

In his freshman year, Sinenci finished runner-up at the MIL championship at 184 pounds before going down to 172 his sophomore year and claiming a bronze medal. He competed at 138 last year, and now at 145, he feels healthier than ever.

“I changed my eating plan. I cut out all my starches, potatoes, pasta, rice, breads,” he said. “I just became faster and stronger. I’m still trying to improve … I think I can still do better, I’m not there yet.”

Coming from Hana also poses a unique athletic experience as Sinenci competed in multiple sports to help fill the small school’s teams such as eight-player football, where he earned All-Star honors at wide receiver this season.

“I try to do all sports because I’m an athletic person — I like to do all sports — so whatever I can play, I’ll play,” he said. “It’s pretty good but it’s also kind of hard because there’s not a lot of kids, not a lot of options, so it’s very limited for the coaches, and it’s kind of hard to get teams sometimes. Sometimes we cancel the sports because there’s not enough kids.”

The small but mighty Dragons wrestling team has three girls and three boys this season, which is actually a bit more than previous years, but still makes sparring a challenge.

“We just have to play with what we have, we just want to play,” he said. “We started off with three, four wrestlers my freshman year, and then as things went, we started losing guys, so at least we have six of us this year. Not as much partners. … The heavyweights can’t fight the lightweights all the time, so it’s hard to train and hard to get better.”

Dragons coach Ryan Uchiyama, who has coached Sinenci most of his life from club wrestling to high school, spoke highly of Sinenci’s perseverance and character.

“I’ve been coaching him since kindergarten — this is his last year with us — so I pretty much grew up with him like his second dad,” Uchiyama said. “They’re a wrestling family. I used to wrestle with his grandpa, I coached his dad, but other than that, they’re farmers. Just working hard on the family farm, so I think that’s where (Sinenci) got his work ethic.”

Uchiyama said he’ll miss Sinenci “big time” after he graduates.

“He’s one of our better all-around guys as far as running the practices and being team captain,” he said. “I don’t care too much about the wrestling part, more so how they handle themselves and how they work through their adversities on the mat and in the world. I’ve seen him grow through wrestling situations and others. He’s ready for life.”

Among the top matchups Saturday were between top-ranked cousins Nanea Estrella of Lahainaluna and Waipuilani Estrella-Beauchamp of Baldwin.

As the only wrestlers in the girls 132-pound weight class, three-time state champion Estrella defeated two-time state champ Estrella-Beauchamp by major decision 14-3 and then 7-1.

It was just the latest chapter in the cousins’ friendly rivalry. Earlier this season, Estrella-Beauchamp defeated Estrella at the Garner Ivey Maui Invitational Tournament before Estrella bounced back with a win in their next meeting at the Paani Challenge on Oahu.

“I felt really good, I mean, I really had a lot of improvement and my wrestling has gotten a lot better,” Estrella said. “These next couple of weeks are going to be very high-paced and very intense. The practices are going to get a lot harder, but I feel like we will do very well and it’s going to be very good.”

* Dakota Grossman is at dgrossman@mauinews.com.

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MIL Round-Robin Meet

Saturday’s Results

At Maui High

Girls

97–1. Naiomi Kulukulualani-Sales, Lahainaluna; 2. Kadie Kron, Lahainaluna; 3. Hayley Sedino, Maui High; 4. Kellysa-Micihiko Pauole, Kamehameha Maui.

107–1. Nalani Kirkman, Lahainaluna; 2. Kauhi Mattos, Baldwin; 3. Carynn Helm, Kamehameha Maui.

112–1. Kivah Caballero, Lahainaluna; 2. Teani Medeiros-Maielua, Lahainaluna; 3. Kaiulani Bednorz Shamblin, Hana.

117–1. Keeya Bicoy, Molokai; 2. Lydia Dudoit, Lahainaluna; 3. Michaelah Vasquez, King Kekaulike; 4. Renele Andrion, Baldwin; 5. Briseis Obregon, King Kekaulike.

122–1. Alicia Frank, Lahainaluna; 2. Ashlee Palimoo, Kamehameha Maui; 3. Jojo Fraser, Lahainaluna; 4. Tory Lu, King Kekaulike.

127–1. Jahnea Miguel, Baldwin; 2. Azure Quitevis, Maui High; 3. Laieikawai Tancayo, Lahainaluna; 4. Shia Anne English, Molokai; 5. Mallory Go, Molokai.

132–1. Nanea Estrella, Lahainaluna; 2. Waipuilani Estrella Beauchamp, Baldwin.

138–1. Lilata Sansone, Hana; 2. Claudia Keanini, Molokai; 3. Hoohu Church, Lahainaluna; 4. Jaslyn Mamuad, Molokai.

155–1. Kaceylee Pua, Baldwin; 2. Tyeisha Takamori, Baldwin; 3. Maile Kaahanui, Molokai; 4. Chaenel Deluna, Molokai.

168–1. Fayannie Rosario, Lahainaluna; 2. Janvier Bentley-Smith, Molokai; 3. Shekinah Orlando, Molokai.

184–1. Shannon Jaramillo, Lahainaluna.

225–1. Mikohu Hapakuka, Lahainaluna.

Boys

106–1. Jayse Koyama, Lahainaluna; 2. Marcus Marinas, Baldwin; 3. Austin Kaalekahi, Molokai; 4. Jerry Torricer, Lahainaluna; 5. Ckristian Oliva, Lanai.

113–1. Roden Zyrus De Guzman, Baldwin; 2. Antonio Paulino, Lahainaluna; 3. Jaeden Dumlao-Ranis, Lanai.

120A–1. Coby Ravida, Baldwin; 2. Cael Yasutake, Lahainaluna; 3. Jeyden Laborte, Lahainaluna; 4. Jonah Garaganza, Maui High.

120B–1. Austin Panlasigui, Lahainaluna; 2. Caedon Asato, Baldwin; 3. Drew Hufalar, Lahainaluna; 4. Kamanawaikapuokala Kanuha, Molokai; 5. Luis Dorion Schenk, Lanai.

126–1. Keanu Kamai, Baldwin; 2. Race Takahashi, Maui High; 3. Nainoa Sliva, Kamehameha Maui; 4. Arlee Milliron, King Kekaulike; 5. Chaston Mina, Maui High; 6. Lukela Soreano, Baldwin.

132–1. Kanoa Lanoza, Lahainaluna; 2. Leland Hayase, Lahainaluna; 3. Christian Clarion, Lahainaluna; 4. Giovanni Baltazar-Membrila, Lahainaluna; 5. Jared Sugiyama, Lanai.

138–1. Dawson Nolasco, Lahainaluna; 2. Bronson Adric, Baldwin; 3. Keala Smith, Lahainaluna; 4. Ashton Greenleaf, Molokai.

145–1. Jesse Dudoit, Lahainaluna; 2. Kekoa Catiel, Lanai; 3. Arlen Logan, Baldwin; 4. Keaka Kamai, Baldwin; 5. Dren Ibrahimi, Molokai; 6. Kamakani Chong-Enos, Kamehameha Maui.

152–1. Nainoa Flores, Baldwin; 2. Malachi DeVera, Maui High; 3. Cyrus Freitas, Lahainaluna.

170A–1. Keawe Kane-Keahi, Lahainaluna; 2. Kahiau Kaniho, Kamehameha Maui; 3. Kanoa Aruda-Starwood, Kamehameha Maui; 4. Kyairese Diego Pula, Maui High; 5. Thomas Momoa, Hana.

170B–1. Cyrus Cook, Lahainaluna; 2. Thien Nguyen, Lahainaluna; 3. Leonaitasi Vehikite, Lahainaluna; 4. Kealii Tateyama-Magana, Lahainaluna.

182–1. Zachary Genobia, Kamehameha Maui; 2. Enoka Phillips, Lahainaluna; 3. Louis Cambra, Maui High; 4. Lani-Alii Maikui, Molokai; 5. Akuila Kolomatongi, Baldwin.

195–1. Matai Mataafa, Lahainaluna; 2. Mason Hightower, Hana; 3. Leo Kalipi, Molokai; 4. Joshua Gonzales, Baldwin; 5. Noah Bailey, King Kekaulike.

220–1. Maake Panuve, Baldwin; 2. Kaeo Pedroza-Kanemitsu, Lahainaluna; 3. Austin Saribay, Lahainaluna; 4. Tysyn Estrella, Lahainaluna; 5. Dillon Baraoidan, Lahainaluna.

285–1. Aaron Hue Sing, Baldwin; 2. Justin Keliikupakako, Kamehameha Maui.