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Panaewa Alii earn November honor

The Panaewa Alii football team, the Big Island’s and state’s Pop Warner midget division champions this year, has been named the Big Island Athletes of the Month for November.

The Alii, under head coach Sergio Mamone and his staff, led the team to a 24-8 win over the Westside Eagles in the Big Island Pop Warner championship game and then a 30-8 win over Maui’s Wailuku Rainbows in the state final at Wong Stadium in mid-November.

In the impressive win over the Rainbows, Panaewa quarterback Gehrig Octavio threw touchdown passes of 20 yards to Israel Bowden and 30 yards to Abisha Campbell and the QB ran four yards for another score. Octavio completed 4 of 7 passes for 134 yards and the two TDs to spark the milestone victory, which earned the Alii a berth in the Pop Warner Super Bowl in Florida.

Earlier this month, the Alii played in the Pop Warner Super Bowl in Kissimmee, Fla. and fell in their two hard-fought games. In its opener, Panaewa dropped a 25-6 decision to Greensboro, N.C. Then in consolation action, the Southside Cyclones from New York topped the Alii 33-22.

The Big Island Athlete of the Month program is sponsored by Don’s Grill, under owner Don Hoota. The Athlete of the Month as well as Athlete and Sportsperson of the Year programs were founded by the late Jack Matsui.

Members of the selection committee are Hugh Clark, Ramon Goya, Stan Costales and chairman Bill O’Rear.

Nominations for the December athlete of the month may be sent to Don’s Grill, 485 Hinano St., Hilo, HI 96720, or to Bill O’Rear, Tribune-Herald Sports, P.O. Box 767, Hilo, HI 96721; or e-mail

The deadline to submit nominations is Jan. 1.

Nominations are being accepted for the 2013 Big Island Sportsperson of the Year.

The Big Island Athlete of the Month and Athlete/Sportsperson of the Year program is sponsored by Don’s Grill.

Nominations for Sportsperson of the Year must be submitted in writing and include the nominee’s contribution or role in Big Island sports.

The deadline to submit nominations is Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014.

The Sportsperson of the Year is open to Big Islanders, but the person nominated must have contributed on primarily a volunteer basis.

The 2013 Big Island Athlete of the Year will be chosen by the program’s selection committee, based on the monthly award winners and their accomplishments during the year.

January : UH-Hilo basketball player Kamie Imai.

February : Kamehameha basketball player Casey Poe.

March : UH-Hilo pitcher Vanessa Salinas, national judo champion Tyler Yonemori.

April : Waiakea golfer Ciera Min.

May : Hawaii Prep’s Zoe Sims, state track champion.

June : Women’s golfer Ciera Min.

July: Southside boys 14’s volleyball team.

August: Kealakehe swimmer Leahi Camacho, Hilo golfer Ciera Min.

September: Hawaii Prep running back Bobby Lum.

October: Volleyball players Chanelle Molina (Konawaena), Gabbie Ewing (Hawaii Prep), Kaiu Ahuna (Kamehameha).

November: Panaewa Alii, champion Pop Warner football team.


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