Qual­ity + quan­tity = ti­tle

Large fresh­man turnout helps Wa­iakea sweeps team fi­nals

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - SPORTS - By MATT GERHART

Of the 20 fresh­men who burst through the school cafe­te­ria doors and turned out for Wa­iakea’s judo team this year, not every­one was as sea­soned as Samantha Ya­mamoto or Kolby Nam­nama.

“A lot had no ex­pe­ri­ence, but we’re will­ing to teach any­one who is will­ing to learn,” coach Ja­son Tanaka said.

If there is one thing Tanaka has done this sea­son, it’s teach.

Dur­ing a good sea­son, the War­riors will have 25-plus ju­doka, maybe 28 or 29 if they are lucky. This sea­son, thanks in large part to the strong fresh­man turnout, Wa­iakea’s ros­ter is 48 strong.

That’s more work – the re­ward­ing kind – for Tanaka and his staff, and most if not all BIIF coaches will ad­mit that depth, the abil­ity to fill out as many as the 10 weight classes as pos­si­ble, is half the bat­tle.

“Get­ting them up to par to do judo well, that’s the other half,” Tanaka said. “I like to teach good judo and if we end up win­ning, that’s al­ways a bonus.”

In this case, it was a dou­ble bonus. Two halves make a whole, and it added up to two cham­pi­onships Satur­day at Kon­awaena as the War­riors swept the boys and girls ti­tles for the for time since 2007.

MATT GERHART/Hawaii Tribune-Her­ald

MATT GERHART/Hawaii Tribune-Her­ald

Wa­iakea’s ju­doko go through drills Wed­nes­day at the school cafe­te­ria.

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