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Things learned, observed around Daegu football camp

-- Common denominator the last two seasons: Daegu has won the Far East Division II titles both years, and after each, they lost a marquee player, Jarel “Tank” Connie after 2010 and Darius Wyche after last season.

-- Which may not be as bad a thing as it seems. Sometimes, the star system tends to work against a team, whereas a bunch of middlings working toward the common good can have more success.

-- Daegu remains the smallest DODDS school in the Pacific terms of enrollment, around 180, and remains the thinnest in terms of bodies out for football, just under the 20-player limit per traveling team under DODDS’ new everybody-plays-everybody format.

-- But as coach Ken Walter reminds his players repeatedly, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog. The last two years, Daegu has battled Kadena about as evenly as a team on the losing end could. The Warriors led last year’s contest 8-2 before the Panthers rallied in the final quarter.

-- I would be almost willing to bet that people will remember every time senior linebacker Xavian Washburn hits them this season. He’s back with purpose. Running back Ronald McLean put on plenty of muscle mass as did lineman Chris Walker in the offseason.

-- Walter believes that his current front-line 11 just might be the best the school has ever fielded. But as with any Daegu team, a handful of injuries will derail the Warriors.

-- Still, the Warriors to a man refuse to believe they can be upended. They have good reason; Daegu has reached the final of four D-II title games since 2007, winning the last two. They insist they’ll be the ones hosting the D-II championship again.

-- Still don’t believe that the Osan American-Daegu rivalry is one of the fiercest in the Pacific? Ask the Warriors if they think the Cougars will host the title game. See what kind of reaction you get.

 


 

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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.)

 

Oct. 24: Dave Ornauer talks about cross country, football and other Pacific sporting events occurring this weekend.

Oct. 17: The Nile C. Kinnick football team can ensure its fans have good seats for the Far East Division I final with a win over Kadena on Saturday.

Oct. 3: Dave Ornauer talks about the weekend's key football matchups, including Matthew C. Perry at American School In Japan.