Frank racks up state, national titles with cheer program

The RamPage Staff, Reporters

Lawrence “Bo” Frank is leaving an indelible mark in the cheer world, racking up state and national titles with his cheer program.

Varsity Black and Varsity White members competed in the National Cheerleaders Association High School Nationals competition in Dallas, Texas, and took home the Advanced Small co-ed division title.

Team captain Tashea Murakami (12) said that Varsity Black is the local and national varsity team, while Varsity White is the junior varsity during the local season, but “competed once at Westerns and competed at nationals as a novice varsity.”

“Winning ten straight Hawaii state titles was amazing and any time a team can walk away from nationals as the best in the county, it truly is a feeling that can’t be described unless you are lucky enough to experience it,” he said. “The feeling moves you to tears, to know all that was sacrificed and that the ‘work is worth it’ is truly a once in a lifetime feeling. To be able to experience that several times is surreal.”

“Knowing that all that hard work paid off in the end, and every last drop of sweat and tears made the victory even better,” Ashley Oh (10) said. “I was thinking about how amazing it is to be a part of a ten-year legacy and how it will affect me for the rest of my life. It taught me that if you work hard for what you want, you can achieve it and it can be fun while doing it.”

Frank works closely with his 23 cheerleaders in the program, 13 on Varsity Black and 10 on Varsity White. Frank said his focus was on “getting better daily and to always push beyond what you think you can. It has always been important to me that my athletes are not only ready physically but mentally as well and building character to me is way more important than the championships.”

Frank has years of coaching experience under his belt. He spent one year at Whitworth University (WA), one year at Graceland University (Iowa), one year at Waipahu High, and 15 years at Radford High.

Cheer is a year round sport, with about one week off each year, which doesn’t leave Frank as much time as he would want to tend to his family.

“I am tired but more so I have been missing my children’s athletic events,” he said. “I feel terrible when my sons have a meet or event and I can’t go because of a cheer event, competition or game [because] we cheer at football, boys and girls basketball and girls volleyball.”

After 18 years of coaching, Frank is ready to devote more time to family, especially his sons who are both in competitive gymnastics.

Frank has no doubt that the cheer program he built will be in good hands. “Malyssa [Barbasa] is probably our most decorated alumna in cheer. She was a four- time high school all American and all state team member, she went on to be a college all American at HPU winning twice at NCA college nationals and represented Team USA at the world championships bringing home the gold medal. She has her bachelor’s in business. She will be assisted by Nathan Gonzales who has extensive experience coaching at the college level and also as head instructor with NCA.”

“I will miss the relationships. I have seen many young athletes walk into this program and after four years of hard work, graduate with confidence and skills to be successful at the next level. Being a part of that molding process and doing what I can to make my athletes ready for college and beyond is what I will miss most,” he said.