Judo: Matutinos flip their way to state tourney

May 19, 2018

This judo season took seven individuals to participate in the 2018 Atlas Insurance Agency Judo Championships on Oʻahu, May 5. Senior Anela Greig said the reason for their successful season was the close-knit nature of the team.

“[The judo team’s] bonding made us closer from the start…anyone could see that [the team] was closer than last year,” Greig said.

This year, the judo team welcomed new school-members senior Niya Matutino and freshman Ezekiel Matutino. The sibling pair dominated in their judo matches until the end of the season, where things got tougher because of the competitive progression of other schools.

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Sensei Ronald Hiyakamoto said that the judo team improved from the beginning of the season, with most of the teammates accomplishing their season goals.

Greig said that King Kekaulike High School was one of their biggest competitors because of how close the KSM judo team was to them.

Their connection to other schools never played a factor on the mats. Niya placed sixth in the girls 115 lbs. weight class, but the KSM girls judo team placed in the top twenty in the state competition.

“Although [the girls judo team] didn’t place as high as [they] wanted to, [they] still stuck it through, and the seniors had their last take at judo,” Greig said.

Sensei Hiyakamoto said the judo team “competed and did their best; that’s all a coach wants to see with a team that started from the bottom.” 

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