Three Pacific gridders opt to play in States next fall

Coaches and athletics directors had expressed concern following last month’s announcement that Pacific high school sports seasons would be reduced and shortened, that star players would opt to return to the States and play there, to get more games and potentially better exposure to college scouts, in the event they were potential college material.

In the last couple of days, it’s been learned that two Nile C. Kinnick players, Kyle O’Brien and Japan single-season rushing record-holder Dre Paylor and Kubasaki linebacker Steven Hunt plan to play football in the States next fall.

“Going back to the states for football season I can't wait!!!” was posted to Paylor’s Facebook page on Wednesday. Paylor, who will be a junior next year, confirmed via Facebook message that he will either play in Houston or Omaha, Neb., where he has relatives. Paylor set the Japan single-season record of 2,002 yards on 250 carries in 11 games last season. The Pacific record remains 2,088, set in 2001 in 10 games by Corey Dunlap-Buckmon of Guam’s Simon Sanchez High, a record that presumably should stand for a long time, given the cap of seven games placed on length of football seasons by DODDS.

Kyle O’Brien, a senior-to-be who also played some running back, plans to head to either Georgia, North Carolina or at Flour Bluff High School in Corpus Christi, in home state of Texas, he also said via Facebook. He added that he wanted more than a seven-game season, “and also, I need to take my game to a different level.

Kubasaki football coach and athletics director Fred Bales said on Tuesday that Hunt had withdrawn from Kubasaki and is returning to Virginia, from where he transferred over the summer. Hunt confirmed via Facebook that he’s going to back to Mountain View High School in Stafford, Va. Bales said he had planned to use Hunt at linebacker and at fullback next season.

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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.)


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