Hawaii All-Star Cheer, Maui Babes Win National 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."