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USFJ dependents to play in charity game for Yankees great Jeter

Looks as if a dozen-plus teen-aged baseball players from DODDS schools in Japan will get a chance to play for former New York Yankees great Derek Jeter.

According to an e-mail received from Yokota High School Athletics Director Tim Pujol, U.S. Forces Japan command staff have been tasked with representing the American side of a charity fundraiser baseball game scheduled for March 21 at Tokyo Dome.

Kanto teams dominate prep rankings

It’s all-Kanto, all the time atop the latest edition of Sports Blog’s high school basketball Top 10s and wrestling Fine Five.
Boys basketball
1, Yokota, Japan (10-0): Still playing at elite level, a solid favorite in next month’s Far East Division II Tournament.
2, Kadena, Okinawa (18-6): Level at 2-2 against Kubasaki in regular-season and tournament play; captured Okinawa-American Friendship Tournament on buzzer-beater vs. Dragons.
3, Kubasaki, Okinawa (18-7): Led all but the final second of the Oki-Am final; game could have gone either way.
4, Seoul American (11-0): A Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference Blue Division title in coach James Davis’ first season; but oh, that scare against Osan two weeks ago.
5, George Washington, Guam (7-1): Kind of a surprise bursting out of the gate, took the league’s preseason tournament title.
6, Osan American, South Korea (7-2): Up one notch after giving the Falcons that close shave two weeks ago; Nick White has been on fire.
7, John F. Kennedy, Guam (5-2): One of four teams expected to contend for top honors on island, playing like it.
8, Matthew C. Perry, Japan (14-1): Stumbled last weekend in the Western Japan Athletic Association Tournament, but still playing solidly.
9, E.J. King, Japan (10-5): Cobras 6-2 in last eight, captured second straight WJAA Tournament title.
10, Okkodo, Guam (6-3): Third of four Guam teams in hunt for island title, not as good a start as they’d hoped for.

Girls basketball
1, American School In Japan (10-2): Still have the height plus serviceable guard play to make run at second straight Far East D-I title.
2, Kadena (19-6): Have come on strong since slow season start, second in MLK, winners of Oki-Am for fourth straight year.
3, Southern, Guam (12-1): Season complete.
4, Seoul American (10-1): Following season-opening overtime loss, Falcons have gotten it together, 10 straight wins.
5, Yokota (9-2): Panthers are even in their last four games after 7-0 start.
6, Okkodo, Guam (11-2): Season complete.
7, Taejon Christian International (10-2): Like Yokota, Dragons have gone 2-2 in last four after gangbusters start.
8, John F. Kennedy, Guam (10-3): Season complete.
9, Seoul Foreign (8-3): Any time Maddie Thies is on the court, Crusaders are in the game with a chance to win.
10, Robert D. Edgren (7-2): Vanessa Black is still this team’s unquestioned leader, but Coko Magby is having some say in the Eagles’ success.
Wrestling
1, Nile C. Kinnick: Captured Kanto Plain regular-season title with 12-0 dual-meet mark, has won titles in three tournaments; body of work moves them ahead of Kadena.
2, Kadena: But not by much. Panthers swept the regular-season series with Kubasaki; have no tournament experience (yet; they’ll host Okinawa Open on Saturday).
3, Seoul American: Unbeaten regular season thus far in Korea, placed third at the “Beast” Tournament earlier this month
4, Kubasaki: Four dual-meet losses to Kadena, fourth-place showing at “Beast,” best team without a victory this season.
5, Roberrt D. Edgren: Best of the Division II lot in Japan, could make deep run at a Far East Tournament D-II title repeat.

Kadena’s Sego, Kubasaki’s Rogers earn Athlete of Quarter nods

If good things come to those who wait, especially against teams that loomed as seemingly immovable objects, then Justin Sego and Kelsey Rogers hit the jackpot during the Pacific fall sports season:

-- Sego, a senior running back, and his Kadena football team endured three years of frustrations and near-misses before breaking through for a record-tying fourth Far East divisional title. The Panthers rallied past Kubasaki 41-27 in the D-I final on Nov. 8 and avenging their overtime loss to the Dragons in the 2013 D-I final.

Pacific high school basketball Top Ten, wrestling Fine Five

One brand of Panthers wears blue and gold, the other black and gold. But it’s all Panthers, all the time atop the first Pacific Sports Blog boys basketball and wrestling ratings of the season, with Yokota dominating boys hoops and Kadena the mats.

Boys basketball

1, Yokota (7-0): A Division II team playing at a Division I level; average margin of victory 29.7 points per game.
2, Seoul American (5-0): Equally solid, but the age-old question surfaces: Will Korea give the Falcons the fire-testing they need?
3, Kubasaki (7-2): Hoping to take final step to D-I title in February; only losses last weekend at Sava Invitational.
4, Kadena (4-1): Only loss thus far a six-pointer at Kubasaki; Panthers have been solid against everyone else.
5, Seoul Foreign (4-1): Great balance across the board; only loss was to Seoul American.
6, Matthew C. Perry (7-0): Seniors Jarell Davis, Jon Cadavos playing like they’re on a mission.
7, Osan (3-0): Big three of Nicholas White, Chase Kingsbury, Sean Copia have Cougars off to best start in 12 seasons.
8, Yongsan International-Seoul (6-4): With Xavier Sawyer on the court, the Guardians always have a chance.
9, E.J. King (4-3): New perimeter shooter Seth Hudson could give Cobras a D-II tourney boost.
10, St. Mary’s International (7-10): Most of their losses came last month in Hong Kong tournament.

Girls basketball

Yokota now a Division II school

With enrollment having dropped to 270, DODDS Pacific athletic officials have decided to classify Yokota as a Division II school for Far East tournament purposes, DODDS Pacific athletics coordinator Don Hobbs confirmed Wednesday via phone.

The decision was made following a conference of DODDS Pacific athletic directors on Wednesday. It will take effect Thursday.

Ex-Osan swimmer now making the grade at West Point

Perhaps one of Sports Blog Nation's favorite name-game student-athletes ever to come along. Evinrude is the name of an outboard motor outfit, formed by Ole Evinrude in 1907 in Milwaukee.

Evin Gordon Rude, son of Erik G. and Sohee Rude, was -- appropriately -- a swimmer when the family was assigned to Camp Humphreys and the younger Rude attended and -- appropriately -- swam for Osan as a freshman and sophomore.

News and notes about Pacific prep starts now gone

News and notes from the States and elsewhere about former Pacific high school stars now plying their trades in new places:

-- Sterling College, an NAIA school in Kansas, has welcomed something of military royalty to its junior varsity men’s basketball team, or at least a descendant thereof. Henry H. Arnold V is on the roster of the Warriors, whose varsity teams play in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Arnold, a Seoul American graduate of 2014 who played for the Falcons for three seasons, is the great-great-great grandson of the father of the modern Air Force, Gen. Henry Harley “Hap” Arnold.

Delisi inks commitment to play golf at UCLA

Yokota's Phil Delisi signs a national Letter of Intent Nov. 13 at Yokota High School to play golf next fall at UCLA. Delisi credits his parents for making him to play as a child and feels being able to play golf at the DOD golf courses consistently helped hone his game.

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – Phil Delisi has played The Game as long as he can remember.

“I’ve pretty much had a club since I could walk, I think,” the Yokota senior said, moments after he signed a national letter of intent to golf for UCLA on full scholarship next fall. 

Pacific prep grid final Top Ten, Week 12 Grid Honors, other sport Fine Fives

Final Top Ten

The Top Ten teams in the Stars and Stripes' Pacific final high school football ratings, with records through Nov. 8, points and last week’s rating, as compiled by Dave Ornauer of Stars and Stripes sports. Ratings are based on teams' win-loss records, quality of wins, strength of roster, schedule and leagues, point differential and team and individual statistics. Maximum rating is 500 points:

School Record Pts Pvs
1. George Washington, Guam 7-0 468 1
2. American School In Japan  6-1 460 2
3. Kadena, Okinawa    6-2 456 4
4. Kubasaki, Okinawa   5-3 440 3
5. Nile C. Kinnick, Japan 5-2 432 5
6. Daegu, South Korea 7-1 428 6
7. Matthew C. Perry, Japan 5-2 392 7
8. Okkodo, Guam 5-3 388 8
9. Father Duenas Memorial, Guam 6-3 384 9
10. Humphreys, South Korea 4-3 380 10
Dropped out — John F. Kennedy, Guam 

 
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Ornauer on AFN

 

Stars and Stripes reporter Dave Ornauer talks about the Pacific sports scene on AFN Radio. (Click on right arrow to play file.)

 

Feb. 20: Dave takes a look at the latest sports highlights in the Pacific region.

Feb. 13: Far East wrestling, basketball cap winter sports season.

Jan. 30: Matthew C. Perry's battle with Yokota in boys basketball highlights weekend action.