LIHU‘E — Mel Rapozo, guest emceeing at the first Central Pacific Bank Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation cheer championship on Monday, said everything boils down to two-and-a-half minutes.
Unlike other sporting events where a team can secure a championship despite getting several losses, with the cheer squads everything comes down to the time they have on the floor before the judges, he explained to the audience that topped at least 800 people. The audience included nearly full rosters of the Waimea High School and Kapa‘a High School football teams and their respective head coaches.
“The cheerleaders are at every football game,” Rapozo said. “It’s only natural the teams come to support the cheerleaders.”
Kapa‘a High School cheer squad, under the direction of six-year coach Rosey Jerves, finished the evening punctuated with gymnasium crew-generated games and activities that earned first place with 85 percent out of 100.
The percentage scoring is to equalize the teams like Kapa‘a that are coed, two of its members being participants in the Warriors football team.
“It’s a good feeling to watch these kids get to show off the results of all the hard work they put in,” said Jerves, who coached the team that finished with the KIF championship during the 2022-23 school year.
Kaua‘i High School, with one of its members being a Red Raiders football player, finished in second place with 77 percent.
Waimea High School pepsters secured third place with more than 72 percent from the panel of judges, who flew in from O‘ahu to judge the competition.
Four senior cheer participants — two from Kapa‘a High School and two from Kaua‘i High School — were also acknowledged while waiting on the final tally.
Jori Esteban and Racen Pegeder, the school’s Homecoming King, were rewarded for their efforts to the Red Raiders cheer program, while Kila Anama and Kili Taniguchi were piled up with senior bling for Kapa‘a High School.
Kapa‘a High School’s cheer squad becomes the first KIF team to earn the CPB KIF honor following the recent announcement that Central Pacific Bank would become the title sponsor for KIF championships for the next three years.
Teams in other sports, including football and bowling were not privy to the pomp and circumstance of the cheer squads after they earned their respective KIF titles during the course of regular league play.
With the title, the Kapa‘a High School cheer squad earns eligibility to participate in the Zippy’s Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association cheerleading championships, which will take place at Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa on Nov. 6.
Waimea High School has the honor of being state champions in the Medium Division in 2011 and 2012.
Kapa‘a High School, the defending KIF champions, finished in third place in the Coed Division at the state tournament in 2022.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or email@example.com.
Source: The Garden Island