Things heard from American School In Japan football 'Mustang Valley'
Published: August 24, 2010
Some teams might panic if they lose talents such as receivers Tom Jardine and Chris Kleindl (733 yards, nine touchdowns) and the all-around play of three-way threat Alex Busam (1,021 total yards, 16 touchdowns).
Not reigning Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools champion American School In Japan, which appears primed to make a deep run at a second straight league title thanks to plenty of hungry reserves and junior varsity move-ups ready to take the place of 18 starters.
Headlining a team that went 7-2 last year, with its only losses coming at the hands of an H1N1 epidemic that hit the school, is junior quarterback Hayden Jardine, 2 inches taller, 30 pounds more muscle and a new release that if anything might make him more dangerous than his 46-for-91, 1,048 yards and 14 touchdowns ledger of last season.
Leo Benes returns after a year hiatus in the States to fill in on the line. Two-way threat Nathan Kwon also returns, along with senior running backs Andrew Stern and Joey Ferrero. The line has plenty of able bodies as well. The question is how quickly they can prove themselves to be equal to last year's unit.
ASIJ has never won back-to-back Kanto Plain titles. If everything falls together, this could be that year. Their season opens Sept. 3 at Yokota, which the Mustangs beat twice last season for the first time since 1998.