What’s New With Konawaena Wrestling?


The Konawaena wrestling team poses in their brand new two piece uniforms

David Jimenez, Sports Staff Writer

The Konawaena wrestling team is something special this year because there are so many things available for our wrestlers that we didn’t have before. There are around 35 wrestlers, which makes this the biggest team in Konawaena history. We also have new coaches who have each brought something to this team.

The Konawaena wrestling team isn’t incredible just because of the number, but also because of the experience, as well as the diversity of our wrestlers. For the first time in our school’s history, Konawaena now features a girl’s team, which will significantly help with our rankings for BIIF.  Something else that’s incredible is the fact that at least half of our wrestlers are first years, meaning they have no prior wrestling experience. It’s not only some of the wrestlers first year doing wrestling, but it’s also their first year going to Konawaena. Our wrestlers come from various different places ranging from different districts on this island, even to other states. Although most of the team isn’t as experienced as much of the other wrestlers, the intense conditioning and practices are improving their skills everyday, which is helping them reach their goals in both practice and tournaments. To add on, the majority of our wrestling team’s first years have won against the other team’s less experienced wrestlers.

We have a total of 7 coaches with Coach Rico Ventinilla and Coach Damien being the head coaches. Coach Rico currently teaches health, transitions to high school, and weight training for Konawaena High. He is a former state champion for Konawaena Wrestling and is still very passionate about the sport. Coach Rico constantly makes sure the team stays motivated by having one on one talks with every wrestler as much as he can. All of the coaches do something for the team. For example, when wrestlers are unsure about a move, there is always a coach there to help. Coach Rico teaches the team about the skills, while Coach Damien is in charge of the conditioning and making arrangements for everything the team does. Coach Damien also assures that nobody on the team is slacking. The coaches do everything in their power to make sure our team has the best experience possible. They have done a lot so far, such as, getting the team new uniforms, arrange for them to participate in off island tournaments, and setting up team bondings.

With the new members and coaches for Konawaena wrestling, the team is progressing quickly and improving everyday. We can say without a doubt that if the Konawaena Wrestling team continues on this path, our team will be one of the best in the state.

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