Lahainaluna Cheerleaders Double Up on Oahu
By Rodney S. Yap
For the first time in school history, the Lahainaluna High School football team and its cheerleaders competed on Oahu, on the same day, in their respective state competitions.
In fact, the Luna cheerleaders actually did double duty on Saturday, competing in the Zippy’s Cheerleading 2012 State Championships at the Neal Blaisdell Arena only hours before lining the Aloha Stadium sidelines in support of the Lunas’ football team playing a 4 p.m. matinee game against Nanakuli in the state Division II football playoffs.
The Lunas’ cheerleaders finished a respectable sixth place in the Medium Division out of 10 schools, with 273 points. Maui Interscholastic League champion Kamehameha Maui finished fifth place in the Medium Division with 277.5 points. The Lunas were the MIL’s second-seeded team.
Waimea of the Kauai Interscholastic Federation won the Medium Division for the second straight year. The Menehunes were 12 points better than runner-up Moanalua, 334 to 322. Kaiser finished third with 292.5, followed by Punahou with 291.
Perennial state champion Radford won the Large Division for the second year in a row. In the previous six years, from 2005 to 2010, Radford won consecutive Medium Division championships — all under head coach Bo Frank.
Radford scored 332 points, followed by Kamehameha Kapalama’s 302 and Pac-Five finished third with 298. A total of eight schools competed in the Large Division.
The Medium Division is for schools with 10 squad members or fewer, while the Large Division is schools with 11 to 18 squad members.
The Lahainaluna High School cheerleaders are freshmen Karley Keanini, Kiana Nakoa, Sharmaine Guiterez; sophomore Courtney Ruidas; and juniors Breea Yamat, Karen Galuardo, Taylor Trout, Erica Sanchez, and Kelsey Shultz. The Lunas’ cheer coaches are
Stacey Shibao and Nohealani Ralar. Emily Shaw is the team’s dance coach.
This year marked the Lunas third state tournament appearance. In 2005-2006, Lahainaluna finished third in the Large Division behind champion Kamehameha Kapalama and runner-up Baldwin. The Lunas also represented the MIL in 2001.
The Lahainaluna squad originally came from Lahaina Pop Warner Cheer. In 2001, Lahaina swept all three divisions in the Maui Pop Warner Cheer competition. The team later placed first at the Pacific West Regionals in San Diego, Calif.
Then in 2002, Lahaina defended its national title in Irvine, Calif., and added two first-place division winners.
Many of the girls who cheered at the Pop Warner level with Coach Ralar are currently cheering at the high school level today.
The second-seeded Lahainaluna football team defeated Nanakuli, 28-0, on Saturday to advance to the First Hawaiian Bank State Division II Football Championships against top-seeded Iolani on Friday, Nov. 22, at 4 p.m. The game will be televised on OC16 on pay-per-view only.
Both the football team and the cheerleaders plan to return to Aloha Stadium for the HHSAA State Division II Championship Game. It will be the Lunas second championship appearance and their first since losing to Iolani 28-21 in 2007.