Things learned, observed on Day 2 of Hong Kong basketball tournament

For those interested in following the Hong Kong International School Holiday Basketball Tournament, you can view live Webstreaming and real-time score updates at this site.

American School In Japan basketball fans may get similar gouge here from the 8th Great Wall Basketball Shootout, hosted by International School Bejing. ASIJ and host ISB were 2-0 in both the boys and girls pools after their opening games on Thursday and Friday.

From former Faith Academy coach Dan Beaver, visiting the tournament en route back home to Boracay from a visit to Australia:

Zachary Shaw of HKIS got himself an early Christmas present thanks to a half-court "Money Ball" shot winner at halftime of the HKIS girls game Friday morning. Three people's shots before him rimmed out before Shaw hit nothing but net for $500 Hong Kong (about $64.50 U.S.). HKIS athletics director Sharon Leung announced the pot returns to $100 Hong Kong (about $12.90 U.S.) for HKIS' next game.

Some nice additions to the HKIS' high school and middle school gyms: Each now features brand new scoreboards at each end of the courts with shot clocks over the backboards. Also, additional lighting, most likely for the Webcasts, is in place. Truthfully, the lighting was already pretty good by daylight, but this should make Webcasting night games much easier.

Featured games that will likely preview Saturday's championship contests include Heep Yunn vs. Singapore American in the girls field at 6 p.m. (7 p.m. Japan and Korea), followed by HKIS' boys against Singapore American at 7:30 (8:30 p.m. Japan and Korea).


Ex-Seoul American spiker Matautia earns Atlantic-10 first-team honors

Give this link a click and see what a former Seoul American All-Far East volleyball player is up to. Gabriella Matautia, a junior at Temple University and former All-State spiker from Moanalua, Hawaii, has racked up first-team All-Atlantic-10 honors, following the Owls’ 19-11 campaign that saw them exit in the second round of the A-10 tournament in Pittsburgh in straight sets to Dayton. Matautia, a right-side hitter, has 841 total spike kills, averaging 4.05 per set this season, 51st in the country, and leads the conference and is 35th in the nation in service aces per set, with .39.

Things learned, observed at DODDS-less Hong Kong basketball tournament

This post was updated 2:22 p.m. Japan time 11/23/2012.

Through the eyes and ears of observers at the Hong Kong International School Holiday Basketball Tournament, mainly former Faith Academy girls coach Dan Beaver, who stopped in at the tournament on his way back to Boracay from a visit to Australia. “Not the same without Faith and DODDS schools,” he says. So, too, did longtime Singapore American boys coach Mike Norman, former HKIS girls coach Adrian Price and athletics director Mike Baker.

DODDS teams withdrew from the tournament after participating for many years, after rules were put in place barring teams from home staying their players with host families.

Only six boys and six girls teams this year instead of the usual eight. HKIS athletics director Sharon Leung had to scramble to get even that many. Newcomers include Canadian International School of Hong Kong, American School of Bangkok and Australia International School of Singapore.

Don't let budget cuts trample new football format

I’m no politician, nor do I ever dare to dream of becoming one. Nary a clue do I have about the inner workings of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and Capitol Hill; all I know is, I’m dawg goned scared that this, perhaps the greatest football season we’ve ever seen in the Pacific, may be the only one of its kind if some sort of action isn’t taken to head off the “Fiscal Cliff” come January 1.

I recall a public service announcement I used to see on AFN, about surviving cancer. A father, a recovering cancer patient, sits in his easy chair recounting his daughter’s wedding earlier that day, and how much it set him back. Wondering if the band he hired had the correct number of musicians. Did the caterer bring the caviar? Did they bring six cases of champagne or only five?

Things learned, observed during Far East D-I football championship game

This post has been updated, 11/20/12

Musings, mutterings and the occasional schmahts as Ornauer wrings the last of the rain out of his socks, muttering many an oath about the weather Saturday at Yokota High’s Bonk Field:

The weatherman deserves a gold star, 15 “attaboys” and a tip of the cap for the picture-postcard perfect weather for the Far East Division II football championship Nov. 10 at Zama, weather so clear you could see the engine vapor trails of about 15 commercial airliners headed west over the Japan Alps in the distance.

Pacific high school final football ratings, Week 13 grid honors

The Top Ten
The Top Ten teams in the Stars and Stripes' final Far East high school football ratings, with records through Nov. 17, 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:

                                                                           Record   Pts Pvs
1. Yokota, Japan                                                11-0     480    1
2. Singapore American                                       4-0     448    2
3. Simon Sanchez, Guam                                  7-2     436    3
4. Guam High                                                       8-1     428    4
5. George Washington, Guam                          6-2     412    5
6. American School in Japan                            6-3     404    7
(tie) Kubasaki, Okinawa                                     6-3     404    5
8. Zama American, Japan                                  6-5     400    8
9. Okkodo, Guam                                                 4-4     384    9
10. Kadena, Okinawa                                          3-4    368   10

Things learned, observed during Far East girls volleyball tournaments

DISCLAIMER: I was at neither Far East volleyball tournament, though many an observer game me plenty of insight into what took place. Thus, I’ll give it a go from afar:

Well, now Liz Thornton has done something her older sisters, Catherine and Gwendolyn, have not.

Things learned, observed during Far East tennis tournament

Musings, mutterings and the occasional schmahts as Ornauer marvels at yet another highly competitive Far East tennis tournament and can’t wait for the next one, either.

How apropos that the first result posted on the girls singles bracket board on Day 1 of the Far East High School Tennis Tournament belonged to an American School In Japan player.

Things learned, observed during Far East D-II football championship game

The key was finishing. Something they'd not done the previous two years, reaching the title game but coming up just short when the chips were down.

It finally came together this season, the continuationof a majorly great run for running backs wearing Zama American Trojans black, maroon and white since 2009. Four Far East Division II championship game appearances. Two titles. A combined 60 touchdown runs and 5,008 yards on 704 carries by their two marquee backs, Andre Encarnacion and Michael Spencer.

The final curtain on Encarnacion’s career and that of “Thunder and Lightning” backfield mate Mitchell Harrison came down on Nov. 10, a crystal-clear evening at newly minted Barry Huitema Field, where the Trojans rose three Encarnacion touchdown runs, one by Harrison and a David Coleman touchdown pass to a 35-20 title-clinching victory over Robert D. Edgren.

Ex-Pacific stars Boehler, Hardeman shine at higher level

Catching up with a pair of former Pacific high school standouts who are doing just fine, thank you, at their colleges of choice.

-- Marcus Boehler, a soccer standout who graduated from Nile C. Kinnick last spring, is now a midfielder for Marshalltown (Iowa) Community College. The Tigers play in the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference and are 13-6-2 this season. They beat Iowa Central and Iowa Western in the Region XI tournament to reach the national finals, where they lost to Tyler Community College 2-0 in Pool D action.

-- Kelly Hardeman, a former basketball standout at Faith Academy who was named Stripes' co-Athlete of the Quarter last winter along with Grace Fern, scored 20 points for Azusa Pacific, including six three-point goals, in a losing cause, 79-65 at Cal State-Los Angeles. The Hardemans are one of the most decorated families in DODDS Pacific Far East Tournament history. Tine Hardeman helped turn the key on Faith Academy back in the 1950s, his sons Todd, T.J. and Tom each played for Faith and their offspring, Kelsey, Tashia, Liz, Kelly and T.J., have either played for Faith or at Christian Academy Japan.

Best of luck to each. :)

Pacific high school football ratings, Week 12 grid honors, Week 13 outlook.

The Top Ten
The Top Ten teams in the Stars and Stripes' weekly Far East high school football ratings, with records through Nov. 10, 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:

                                                                                 Record      Pts      Pvs
1. Yokota, Japan                                                       10-0       472        1
2. Singapore American                                            4-0        448        2
3. Simon Sanchez, Guam                                        7-2        436         3
4. Guam High                                                            8-1        428        4
5. Kubasaki, Okinawa                                              6-3        412         5
(tie) George Washington, Guam                            6-2        412         5
7. American School in Japan                                  6-3        404         7
8. Zama American, Japan                                       6-5        400         8
9. Okkodo, Guam                                                      4-4        384         9
10. Kadena, Okinawa                                               3-4        368        10

Week 12 grid honors
Zama American—Andre Encarnacion 171 yards, 3 touchdowns, 21 carries.
Robert D. Edgren—Leo Austin 4-for-9, 93 yards, 2 touchdowns.

Week 13 outlook
Division I championship
Kubasaki at Yokota, 6 p.m.—Should be a good, pitched battle between speedster Jarrett Mitchell and gunslinger Tyler Smith for the Dragons at the Panthers’ “Killer B’s” of Raymond Butler, Morgan Breazell, Donovan Ball and honorary B Stanley Speed. The home team will prove a little too much in this season finale, which will yield a result very similar to when the teams last twice met. … Panthers 24, Dragons 13.

Kadena, Edgren stand tall in Far East cheer competition

More than 100 cheerleaders from 11 DODDS Pacific schools gathered last week at Misawa Air Base, Japan, for the annual Far East cheerleading camp, clinic and competition, with Kadena of Okinawa capturing the Far East Division I team title for large schools and seven individual All-American selections along the way.

The event was hosted by Robert D. Edgren High School and staged by the National Cheerleading Association out of Texas.

Season-ending views on Pacific high school cross country

Here’s a look back on the 2012 Pacific high school cross-country season, cross-sectioning all leagues and all major championship meets. Analysis provided by Bruce Carrick, longtime Pacific cross-country and track and field observer and gatekeeper of meet information and records at Athletic.net. Times also provided by Athletic.net.

Following is Bruce’s top 10 teams in the Pacific. Times are based on true cross-country courses at or near season-ending competition, with head to head finishes taken into account where applicable:

Pacific high school football ratings, Week 11 grid honors, Week 12 outlook

The Top Ten
The Top Ten teams in the Stars and Stripes' weekly Far East high school football ratings, with records through Nov. 3, 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:

Record                                                          Pts     Pvs
1. Yokota, Japan 10-0                                 472      1
2. Singapore American 4-0                       448      4
3. Simon Sanchez, Guam 7-2                    436      2
4. Guam High 8-1                                       428      3
5. Kubasaki, Okinawa 6-3                         412      5
(tie) George Washington, Guam 6-2       412      6
7. American School in Japan 6-3             404      8
8. Zama American, Japan 5-5                   392     7
9. Okkodo, Guam 4-4                                 384     9
10. Kadena, Okinawa 3-4                           368   10

Week 11 grid honors
Zama American—Andre Encarnacion 122 yards, 3 touchdowns, 20 carries. RayVaughn King 2 interceptions.
American School In Japan—Drogin James 96 yards, 2 touchdowns, set up a third with two fourth-down catches on final drive, 6 catches; interception. David Hernandez 9-for-18, 135 yards, 2 touchdowns. Ken Yajima 122 all-purpose yards, 22 touches.
Kubasaki—Jarrett Mitchell 47 yards, touchdown, 13 carries; interception.
Yokota—Morgan Breazell 38 yards, 2 touchdowns, 8 carries. Donavan Ball 99 yards, touchdown, 5 carries. Raymond Butler 59 yards, touchdown, 5 carries; interception. Mikey Henagan 2 interceptions, touchdown. Stanley Speed 19 yards, touchdown, 3 carries; 2 interceptions. Ke’Ondre Davis 2 sacks.
Kadena—Justin Sego 171 all-purpose yards, 2 touchdowns, 19 touches. Joey Dyer 125 all-purpose yards, 6 touches.

Week 12 outlook
Division II championship
Robert D. Edgren at Zama American, 6 p.m
.—With the Eagles rested and healthy (Tristan Jefferson, Khalil Williams 100 percent), expect the third go-round to be a bit tighter than the last game. Still, “Thunder and Lightning” should have its way and score a hat trick. … Trojans 16, Eagles 13.
Last week—2-1, .667.
Season—57-16, .781.

Quick hits: Far East tournament predictions

Matthew C. Perry’s tennis team survived a major scare aboard All-Nippon Airways Flight 977 out of Hiroshima on Sunday. On approach to Naha International Airport in driving rain and howling crosswinds on Sunday afternoon, the plane suddenly pitched and nosed down, coming within 300 feet of crashing, coach Mark Lange said. The pilot somehow pulled up and aborted the landing and eventually flew back to Kagoshima in southeastern Kyushu, where it was raining no less hard. Lange pulled his team off the plane, and they plan to resume their journey to Okinawa and the Far East tournament at Kadena on Monday morning, ANA Flight 475 from Kagoshima to Naha.

Now, for the predictions:

Things learned, observed in Pacific high school football Week 11.0

Musings, mutterings and the occasional schmahts as the wheels turn in Ornauer’s head, speculating on what a Singapore vs. Yokota football matchup would be like:

-- Yokota a clear-cut No. 1? Singapore might have a say: Everything on Yokota football’s docket is now complete after Saturday’s 52-12 battering of Kadena, save for one last task: the DODDS Pacific Far East Division I championship game it hosts on Nov. 17 against Kubasaki. The rematch of last year’s 34-6 title-game win over Kubasaki. The rematch of last month’s 31-6 win by Yokota at Kubasaki.

Should API XC meet become the true Far East meet?

Interesting discussions I’ve had with a handful of DODDS Pacific cross-country coaches the past few days, discussing the possibility of attending next October’s Asia-Pacific Invitational meet on Guam and lobbying DODDS Pacific officials to consider partnering with the API and making that the true Far East meet.

It makes perfect sense, when you think about it.

ESPN America’s Heroes Veterans Day segments to air on AFN

ESPN has planned a weeklong salute to America’s veterans and troops in honor of Veterans Day, programming scheduled to air Nov. 7-11 across its U.S. media platforms, some of which will air on the American Forces Network, ESPN and AFN officials announced Friday in separate statements.

The centerpiece event is the Armed Forces Classic basketball game between Connecticut and Michigan State on Friday (Saturday Japan-Korea time) in Hangar 5 at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, with SportsCenter originating from Hangar 3.

Pacific high school football Top Ten, Week 10 grid honors, Week 11 outlook

The Top Ten
The Top Ten teams in the Stars and Stripes' weekly Far East high school football ratings, with records through Oct. 27, 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:
                                                                Record   Pts   Pvs
1. Yokota, Japan                                         9-0      464    1
2. Simon Sanchez, Guam                         7-2      436     4
3.  Guam High                                            8-1       428    5
4. Singapore American                             3-0      424    6
5. Kubasaki, Okinawa                               6-2      420    2
6. George Washington, Guam                 6-2      412    3
7. Zama American, Japan                        5-4       408   7
8. American School in Japan                  5-3       388   10
9. Okkodo, Guam                                      4-4       384    8
10. Kadena, Okinawa                                3-3       380    9

Week 10 grid honors
Guam High
—L.J. Aguon 5-for-14, 102 yards, 2 touchdowns; 32 yards, 2 touchdowns, 10 carries. Mark Ecija 67 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 catches. Cody Burpo 2 interceptions. Joshua Hernandez punt block for touchdown, fumble recovery.
Kubasaki—Jarrett Mitchell 131 yards, touchdown, 12 carries.
Yokota—Morgan Breazell 131 yards, 3 touchdowns, 19 carries. Ke’Ondre Davis 2 fumble recoveries.
Seoul American—Ronald Dogan 142 yards, touchdown, 12 carries. Cameron Harris 9-for-13, touchdown, 86 yards.



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.)


Sept 28:Dave Ornauer is back with the latest on the Pacific sports scene.

May 22:Yokota has dominated in first year at D-II spring championsihps.

May 8: Dave Ornauer highlights a few athletes who are participating in the Kanto Plains track and field finals Saturday.