Molokai’s four elementary schools, plus Kamehameha Maui, competed Saturday for top honors at the Makahiki games held Saturday at the Kaunakakai ballfield.
Every year, the Makahiki season concludes with competitions, not just for the youth, but for athletes of all ages. In keeping with tradition, each team presented the honorary kupuna with ho’okupu (gifts). Some of the teams offered oli (chants) to the kupuna as a sign of respect and welcome.
In the elementary school competitions, Kualapu’u Elementary School showed that size does matter. The island’s largest elementary school swept every grade level except first grade
Students in grades kindergarten through second grade competed in ulumaika (rolling stones to knock over sticks), haka moa (chicken fighting), uma (arm wrestling), kukini (40-yard dash) and huki huki (tug-of-war). Older students compete in all the same events as well as konane (Hawaiian board game similar to checkers).
When all the scores were added up, Kualapu’u won with 282 points. With the top score, Kualapu’u took home the Wayne Meyer trophy. This was the first year for the annual trophy that will go to the top scoring elementary school.
“I’m so proud of them,” said Kualapu’u teacher Marshall Joy who helped train students in Makahiki games as part of the school’s ike Hawaii curriculum. “I’m just honored to be able to get the talent out of the students so they can reach their highest level. I’m proud that they are putting out their best effort every time.”
The overall winner trophy was named after Molokai resident Wayne Meyer, who died last year. He was known locally as a big supporter of the Makahiki games. Almost every year, for the past 30 years, he would got to the local schools to teach ulumaika. He would make his own ulumaika and give them to schools. He was also known for inventing the special stakes used with ulumaika to better track scoring.
Grade level team results: Kindergarten, Kualapu’u, 46 points; First grade, Kaunakakai, 42 points; Second grade, Kualapu’u, 42 points; Third grade, Kualapu’u 46 points; Fourth grade, Kualapu’u 40 points; Fifth grade, Kualapu’u 56 points; Sixth grade, Kualapu’u 52 points.