Cheer three-peat! Warriors leave it all on mat


The Maui Warriors won the MIL title for the third year in a row today, Nov. 2, at Baldwin High School.

Kamehameha Maui’s cheer team brought home the gold for the third year in a row at the Maui Interscholastic League Cheer Championship at the Baldwin High School gym today.

“Being a captain on this varsity team and leading them to win MIL is the best feeling ever. I feel on top of the world, and I couldn’t have done it without my fellow teammates,” said Hali’a Kekuewa, co-captain and junior.

Five varsity cheer teams competed for the title in a close competition where everyone was on their game. Kamehameha Schools Maui, Baldwin, Lāhainaluna, Maui High, and King Kekaulike each took a run at earning the top place.

Even though Kamehameha Maui came into the gym as two-time and reigning champions, another win was in no way guaranteed.

This year’s team was mostly new to the varsity competition. With only a few returnees from last year’s winning squad, many were competing for the first time.

In addition, Jocelyn Aipa was the only senior to compete this year.

“It’s a little lonely sometimes to be the only senior, but, hey, you get more attention!” Aipa said in reference to the special senior night observances today, including lei-giving, a final stunt with the entire floor to themselves and lots of picture taking.

The team spent countless hours practicing, and it showed in their score of  362 points out of 375 — the Warriors made very few mistakes. Their performance included many tumbling passes and precise stunts that increased the level of difficulty.

In second place was Baldwin High School with a score of 350.5. Baldwin also had difficult tumbling passes and stunts, landing well every time.

Although there were some falls in the junior varsity performances, none of the varsity teams had a fall or other major misstep, increasing the pressure for each team as they took the mat.

Following Baldwin, Lāhainaluna and Maui tied at 326 points, but a tiebreaker put Lāhaina in the medal bracket and pushed the Sabers into fourth place, followed by King Kekaulike with a score of 246.

KS Maui placed third in the junior varsity division behind Maui High in second and Baldwin in first.

Catch the Maui Warriors and the second-place Bears as they compete in the state cheerleading competition on Nov. 16, on O’ahu.