Hawaii All-Star Cheerleaders, Maui Cheer Babes Sweep Titles
By Rodney S. Yap
Winning National Championships is becoming habit forming for the Hawaii All-Star Cheerleaders.
Addicted to success under the coaching of Kealii Molina, the Kahului-based cheer center earned two more national titles Sunday, March 17, at the JAMfest Cheer Nationals in Long Beach, Calif.
In addition, Maui Cheer Babes Youth All-Star Cheerleading team swept all Youth Level 1 honors for children 6- to 13-years old. The team was coached by Michelle Sniffen, Ella Kahiamoe and Denise Texeira.
The Hawaii All-Star Cheerleaders crushed the competition in Level 3 Senior Co-Ed with a score of 88.41. Second place went to Royal All-Star Cheer with 78.44 points, followed by Las Vegas Elements-Blaze with 75.86.
The 26-member team is made up of talent from schools all across the Valley Isle, ranging from 11-year-old Bryson Barron of Pomaika’i Elementary School to 18-year-old Ponia Matsumoto, a graduate of Baldwin High School.
“They were a little nervous the first day,” said Coach Molina about the two-day competition at the Long Beach Convention Center. “It was the first time being in a big arena for all the boys. We were a little shaky and had a few stumbles the first day, but it didn’t really hurt us that much. Today (Sunday) they were awesome, a completely different team. Their energy was great and they were ready to go . . . very confident.”
Molina said the Senior 3 Co-Ed team overcame its nerves by gaining that much-needed experience on the first day (Saturday).
“I can totally tell how it’s going to go in the warmups,” explained Molina, who now has four national championships since opening his club two years ago. “I can tell when they are nervous and I can tell when they are totally ready. . . . I think they just had to do it once.”
Using seven crossover members, the Hawaii All-Star Level 4 Senior Cheer team put together a strong first day en route to a winning score of 89.54. AZ Thunder Elite was second at 86.29 and Action All Stars were next at 81.21.
“They looked really good on the floor,” Molina said of his Level 4 Senior squad. “That’s our defending national champion team from USA Nationals.”
Molina said there is no substitute for hard work and both his teams have put in plenty of practice hours.
“They work hard for that awesome feeling they get when they’re done with their routine — its that rush, that’s the reason we put in all that hard work. To feel that rush is unreal.”
The next stop for the Hawaii All-Star Cheerleaders is the USA Nationals in Anaheim, March 23-24.
“This is the first step, step two is Anaheim. We’re hoping that at least one of our teams, Level 3 or 4, will win a full bid to the World Summit National Championships.”
The first-time competition is in Memphis, TN, May 4-5. The Varsity All-Star event is for the best cheer teams from across the country.
“We can’t afford to pay for all that travel and hotel expense. But if we get a bid they cover almost all of the costs,” Molina said.
Members of the Hawaii All-Star Cheer Level 3 Senior Co-Ed team are: Chloe Lawrence,Janessa Miguel, Krysta Freitas, Chalysse Young U’u, Hannah Patrick, Bryson Barron, Mishalei Coloma Mariano, Ashlee Sawai, Taylor “Nani” Rabarra, Kealani Castro, Shayla Domingo, Acacia Coloma Mariano, Jayvee Quiocho, Laurell Malaqui Sanchez, Kaulana Bangolan, Ponia Matsumoto, Caitlin Villarosa, Chaston Abut, Ashley Watson, Mikela Rinlisbacher, Tiffany Tamashiro, Kayla Sniffen, Naomi Ellison, Tyler Rabarra, Madison Rose Strahan, and Kellie Furtado.
Members of the Hawaii All-Star Cheer Level 4 Senior team are: Krysta Freitas,Chalysse Young U’u, Breeann Joaquin, Kealani Castro, and Kimber Kauhaahaa Sulsi, Ashley Tanga, Caitlin Villarosa, Ashlee Sawai, Jayna “Kalei” Kamalii, Tatiana Thompson, Elysse Phillips, Aileen Rodriguez, Mariah Constantino, Sierra Ignacio, Kauanoe Keahi, Kayla Sniffen, Maikela Takamiya, and Kennedy Casco.