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Pacific high school football Week 1 grid honors, Week 2 outlook

Week 1 grid honors
Guam High – Lorden Aguon 17-for-25, 205 yards, 4 touchdowns. Marcus Domingo 105 yards, 2 touchdowns, 9 catches. Juwan Jacobs 47-yard interception-return touchown. Tegan Brown 10 tackles.
Daegu High – Caleb Page 8-for-15, 145 yards, touchdown. Caleb Gosserand 87 yards, 7 catches; 20-yard touchdown pass.
Seoul American – Ronald Dogan 2 touchdown runs.
Nile C. Kinnick – Dustin Wilson touchdown run, touchdown pass. Marcus Boatwright touchdown run, 14 tackles, 2 for losses, 2 sacks, forced fumble, recovered fumble. Dakota Rogers 10 tackles, sack.
Zama American – Andre Encarnacion 97 yards, touchdown, 18 carries.
Yokota – Morgan Breazell 184 yards, 3 touchdowns, 17 carries; 83 yards, 2 returns. Raymond Butler 138 yards, 2 touchdowns, 8 carries; 28 yards, 1 return; 10 tackles. Stanley Speed 117 yards, touchdown, 6 carries.
Robert D. Edgren – Khalil Williams 155 yards, touchdown, 4 returns; 31 yards, 1 touchdown, 4 catches; 16 yards, 3 carries. Tristan Jefferson 13-for-27, 104 yards, 2 touchdowns.

Week 2 outlook

Friday
Japan
Zama American at Yokota, 7 p.m. – Host Panthers continue tuning up before Division I title-game berth chase begins at mid-month. Trojans must learn to finish what they start if they’re to be successful. … Panthers 24, Trojans 7.
Robert D. Edgren at Nile C. Kinnick, 7 p.m. – Question being, which team can shut down the opponent’s most dangerous weapons, Kinnick’s Marcus Boatwright, Quinton Holden and Dustin Wilson or Edgren’s Khalil Williams and Tristan Jefferson? … Red Devils 20, Eagles 12.

Things learned, observed in Pacific high school football Week 1.0

Musings, mutterings and the occasional schmahts as Ornauer grumbles about how covering high school football is far more fun than storm chasing:

-- The first game of the new Pacific everybody-plays-everybody football format fell victim to weather, as Typhoon Bolaven forced DODDS officials to scratch the game. Not so much because the game would not have been played due to bad weather, but that Osan American, which was scheduled to play Kadena at 2 p.m. Saturday, would not have been able to fly home on Sunday (all flights out of Naha were canceled) and be back to Osan Air Base in time for the first day of school on Monday.

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.

 


 

Things learned, observed around Osan Amerian football camp

-- Look everywhere around Osan American football, and you see a great many things that look like their lone Far East Division I football title season.

-- The old-school coaches who helped the program’s poobah Tony Alvarado build that title team. Then-assistants Duke Allen and Mike Horan are firmly entrenched into their second season back at the helm, and they’re doing things the way the Cougars used to when they were reaching title games last decade.

-- That Maryland I offense, a triple-back I set that resembles something out of a 1940s college football clip shot from helicopter height. Or that double wing that resembles Fisher DeBerry’s set at the Air Force Academy in the 1980s.

-- Plenty of energy around Cougars camp. There’s even talk harkening back to that 2005 championship game, played before 2,000-plus people crowding Cougars Field.

-- But boy, the work it’s going to take to get there. Like the rest of the DODDS Korea football corps, there’s a small core of veteran leaders surrounded by players as green as the field turf.

-- Replacing star running back B.J. Bryant will be a chore. Quarterback Kenny Mack Stewart comes off a serious knee injury. Let’s see if Tim Ampa’s track skills translate at running back.

-- Man, I thought Kadena and Kubasaki were the most fierce rivals in the Pacific. Better move over, Panthers and Dragons; Osan powder blue and Daegu green and white get along as a cobra does with a mongoose.

-- Losing its first game at Kadena to Typhoon Bolaven will hurt. Osan will do nothing but practice for five weeks prior to traveling to Robert D. Edgren. Allen is seeking a foe, any foe, to play on Sept. 1, be it Seoul American’s junior varsity, a Korean team; they’ve even invited American School In Japan to play.
 

Things learned, observed around Seoul American football camp

-- Every high school football team loses star-quality players each year, but few left the chasm at Seoul American that quarterback Harold Martin, receiver Tomiwa Akinbayo and running back Tyrend White did.

-- To reach the Far East Division I playoff plateau again, it will take major efforts on the part of Martin’s replacement, Cameron Harris, a junior who’ll be in place for two years but is coming off an injury, and Brandon Roseborough, a senior running back.

-- The latter got an opportunity in last October’s D-I semifinal defeat at Kubasaki, replacing White when he went down with an injury after the first series. He showed plenty of promise, and will be of help to the Falcons this season.

-- And junior Sidney Mala’ulu, who checks in at 6-feet, 267-pounds, remains the cornerstone in the line, while senior Devin Williams lends support at tight end.

-- The rest? A very greenhorn unit surrounds that small leadership core, which appears to be the trending topic among DODDS Korea teams. Small leadership cores, plenty of youth and inexperience.

-- Jim Davis, the Falcons’ fifth coach in five seasons, possesses plenty of experience – and plenty of coaching rivals on his season schedule. The 1989 Nile C. Kinnick graduate travels to his old stomping grounds and comes face-to-face with his old mentor, Red Devils defensive coordinator Robert Stovall. And twice, including Friday, he battles his old pupil, Daegu assistant Luke Spencer, who cut his teeth on coaching at Bamberg, Germany, under Davis.
 

Pacific high school football Week 1 outlook

Week 1

Friday

Japan
Yokota at Robert D. Edgren, 7 p.m. — Host Eagles begin the journey back to 2008-title respectability; Panthers remain the Panthers. … Panthers 24, Eagles 7.
Nile C. Kinnick vs. Zama American at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, 7 p.m. — Explosive Red Devils offense set to take on youngish Trojans team featuring one half of “Thunder and Lightning.” … Red Devils 20, Trojans 14.
Guam
Southern at Okkodo, 7 p.m .— Bulldogs slowly learning the lessons the Dolphins learned over time; it’s dawg goned difficult to reel in the island’s powerhouses. … Bulldogs 10, Dolphins 7.

Saturday

Iwakuni’s Barry helps power Marines to Armed Forces Rugby 7’s title

Congratulations to the All-Marine rugby team, which edged Air Force on Sunday 33-31 for the championship in the first All-Armed Forces played in the new seven-per-side format that seems to be the popular trend worldwide in the sport. The tournament was held last week at Rugbytown USA, Glendale, Colo.

Among the seven players chosen for the All-Armed Forces Rugby Sevens All-Tournament team is a Marine stationed at Iwakuni Air Station in Japan, Lance Cpl. Joshua Barry. Congratulations!

Four Pacific Leathernecks head to All-Marine men’s softball camp

Three Marines stationed in the Pacific soon are headed to Camp Lejeune, N.C., for the All-Marine men’s softball tryout camp, which starts Sept. 4, All-Marine coach K.J. Basso said via a Facebook message.

Chris Battle and Henry Kelcinski are returning to camp after being selected for the first time last year. They’re joined by fellow Okinawa Marine Gary Conners, along with Bruce Best, who’s assigned to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.

Things learned, observed around Nile C. Kinnick football camp

No question, the Red Devils have the offensive line and running backs to make a dent, but can the defense, special teams hold up their end?

-- It might be possible for Nile C. Kinnick to lose its finest running back in nearly a decade, Dustin Kimbrell, who graduated last spring, and somehow become better.

Things learned, observed around Robert D. Edgren football camp

-- It couldn’t have looked worse for new Robert D. Edgren football coach Blaine Miller when he sat down to his first meeting with players … and only nine showed.
-- Fallout from last season, when the Eagles almost self-destructed in October when their chance at Japan’s berth in the Far East Division II title game evaporated with a loss to Zama in late September.
-- Now, there’s four times the number of players who were at that first meeting, suited up and on the practice field.
-- Thank some serious recruiting by the team’s holdovers, juniors Tristan Jefferson and Louis Murphy, among others.
-- And what a practice field. Field turf now graces Misawa Air Base’s historic Hillside Stadium.
-- Guess all they’d need to do is rip up the bleachers and light poles from Eagles Field next door, move them to Hillside and Edgren could join every other team in Japan which has or soon will have field turf.
-- Those practices move. Everything is scripted out in advance, and the players hustle from drill station to drill station.
-- Um, how about some '70s music over that bullhorn?
-- Like all football teams, they’re working hard in the summer heat, but the attitude has changed. They really look like they’re having fun.
-- And not just on the field. One early morning, the team gathered outside the front gate in the base’s entertainment district and picked up 75 bags of trash. Without being asked. They just did it.
-- Just hope this crosses over deep into the season. They open at home to Yokota on Aug. 24; coaches and players say they wouldn’t have it any other way. Good gauge to see where they stand.

Three Pacific soldiers selected to All-Army sports tryout camps

Congratulations to three Pacific-based soldiers who’ve been tabbed to attend All-Army tryout camps in their respective sports.

Analisha Rosa, a specialist assigned to Camp Zama, Japan, will head to Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., for the All-Army women’s softball tryout camp, scheduled for Aug. 22-Sept. 14. She’ll vie for a berth on the All-Army team playing in the All-Armed Forces tournament Sept. 15-21 at Fort Sill, Okla. Should she make the All-Armed Forces team, she would play in the Amateur Softball Association’s national championship tournament Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at Oklahoma City.

Things learned, observed around Zama American football camp

-- No secret what coach Steven Merrell and the Trojans will do offensively; he’s been running the same thing for five years.
-- Just a question of how well they’ll do it with half of the “Thunder and Lightning” backfield, Mitchell Harrison, sidelined until late September by shoulder surgery last spring.
-- Senior fullback partner Andre Encarnacion looks primed and fit. Hopefully, no ankle issues this season.
-- Nice to see RayVaughn King come over from basketball; he’ll quarterback and one of his favorite targets, natch, will be sure-handed returning receiver David Coleman, a fellow hoopster.
-- We’ll see how well Chad Wilder’s mat skills (reigning Far East Tournament outstanding wrestler) translate over to the gridiron. Merrell likes his ability and discipline.
-- Oh, how nice Texas was to Trojans Nation. Juniors Kalob Gunn (line, linebacker) and Rafael Morales (running back-linebacker) stepped off the PCS plane and should have immediate impact.
-- What Merrell wouldn’t have given for another year of eligibility for 2009 Division II title-team holdover lineman Roland Cote. Or others from that line, for that matter; this one is very green.
-- Come the 2013 season, no more Kanto teams will play on grass; Trojans Field at Zama and Reid Memorial Stadium at Naval Air Facility Atsugi are each due to get field turf.

Things learned, observed around Yokota football camp

-- 14 returners, 10 of them starters, most coach Tim Pujol and Yokota have had since 2001. Whole offensive line and backfield return intact.
-- That said, Panthers refuse to take a thing for granted, realizing it takes hard work to reach the Far East Division I title mountain; it takes twice as much to remain on top.
-- That new field turf gets HOT in the dog days of summer. Thank goodness the Panthers will play most, if not all, of their home games at night.
-- Jesse Hogan’s sidelined following surgery? No problem; he’ll only miss a game, and he and the rest of the rest of the line are sporting increased muscle mass. Bless the Pig Iron Club.
-- No question, the Panthers have Sept. 7 circled on their calendars. That’s when they visit American School In Japan, which has beaten Yokota at Mustang Valley the last three seasons.
-- “We’re still the head busters.” Quarterback Stanley Speed channeling his inner Big Mike Wright circa 2002.
-- “Better enjoy this year,” for a huge senior group will receive their diplomas in June, Pujol is all too aware.

ASIJ's Noll plays hero for Team USA in women's baseball World Cup

Mustang Valley should be proud. American School In Japan baseball third baseman-pitcher Bessie Noll cleared the bases with a double and boosted Team USA past Japan 5-2 Sunday in the women's baseball World Cup at Edmonton, Alberta. For more, click here.

Things learned, observed around Kubasaki football camp

¬¬-- The good news: Kubasaki’s six returning football starters play where it counts, in the line, under center and in the backfield.
-- The bad news: The Dragons are still relatively young, having graduated 25 seniors the last two years, among them All-Far East athletes in quarterback Cristian Rivera and receiver Brandon Crawford.
-- In fact, the entire receiver corps graduated or transferred.
-- Which will make the battle to see who starts at wideout all the more fun. A group of youngsters, many of whom just arrived and will be around for awhile.
-- Can Tyler Smith go from being the center to under center?
-- Coach Fred Bales labels Aaron Stravers, a transfer from Nile C. Kinnick who’ll start at fullback and linebacker, as a “great get” for the Dragons program.
-- Stravers and returning tailback speedster Jarrett Mitchell should pile up the yards for Kubasaki.
-- Lucky Dragons, they get a bye in the first weekend of the season, so they have more time to prepare.

Things learned, observed around Kadena football camp

-- Since when is a 4-2 season a losing season?
¬¬-- When the Kadena Panthers say the 2011 season was.
¬¬-- Not nearly up to their three Far East Division I championships in four years standards.
-- Man, that line has gotten HUGE! People returning who are 20 to 50 pounds more muscular.
-- Backfield’s back intact, one year older, one year wiser.
-- You’re going to like this offense. Like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get from play to play.
¬¬-- What will we miss from that offense? Longtime coordinator Steve Schrock will no longer be pacing the sideline, looking as if the next play will be the last football play ever run by anybody.
-- Good to have head coach Sergio Mendoza back; it was rumoured he would be stepping down, but changed his mind just as summer vacation began.

Far East cross country to be hosted by Kinnick

First of its kind, this is. Far East high school’s cross country meet had been looking for a host and found one in Nile C. Kinnick of Japan, with its old reliable tournament director hand Ed Fogell doing the honors. The event is scheduled for Nov. 5-6 and is to be held for the first time at Naval Air Facility Atsugi and Camp Fuji. No word yet which portion of the meet, the 3.1-mile individual race and the team relay, will be held at which site. But for now, it’s settled. Thanks to Fogell and the Kinnick sports fam!

Okinawa softball family comes together to help player's wife

They came together over the weekend at Kadena Air Base’s Four Diamonds softball complex to raise money to help a teammate’s wife in her time of need. Juan Sime of Club Red had to take his wife, Cynthia, to the States for treatment of pregnancy complications. A benefit softball tournament at Kadena went quite a few steps toward defraying some of the expense, as longtime Club Red outfielder Shawn Curtis told me in a Facebook message:

“Marine Sergeant Juan Sime and his wife Cynthia unexpectedly returned to the United States late last month after only one year on island due to severe complications with Cynthia's pregnancy. Juan played outfield for Club Red and was a key aspect with our strong showing in the Pacificwide Open tournament in Korea and winning the Firecracker this year.

A farewell to a special friend of Yokota football

Somewhere on the south side of Yokota High School’s Bonk Field, a lonely concession stand weeps softly.

For its chief proprietor the last nine years, Glenn Shimabukuro, turned the key on it for the last time on July 21, his last evening in charge of the beloved Shima Shack.

Four Okinawa Marines selected to All-Marine women’s softball camp

Four Okinawa-based Marines have been selected to attend the All-Marine women’s softball tryout camp and will vie for spots on the All-Marine softball team playing in next month’s All-Armed Forces tournament.

Sgt. Kelly Liberty and Lance Cpls. Jade Gaede, Elechung Rechirel and Monique Romero-Flores head later this month to Camp Lejeune, N.C., where the camp will take place Aug. 27-Sept. 14. The All-Armed Forces tournament follows Sept. 17-23 at Fort Sill, Okla.

Korea school-age volleyball camp scheduled for Camp Humphreys

Korea-based middle- and high-school students wanting to ramp up their volleyball game may enroll in next week’s volleyball camp scheduled for Camp Humphreys, organizers said.

The camp is scheduled for Aug. 15-18 and is open to students from seventh to 12th grade. Camp participants will be billeted in dormitories on post; bring your own towels and toiletries.

Benefit tournament at Kadena being staged by Club Red softball

If your softball team is looking for a tournament to play this weekend, you might want to give this weekend’s tournament at Kadena Air Base’s Four Diamonds complex being staged by Firecracker Shootout tournament champion Club Red.

Donations will be accepted at the tournament to help one of Club Red’s ballplayers, Juan Sime, whose wife, Cynthia, is facing pregnancy complications; the two had to fly to the States to seek treatment there.

Things learned, observed in USFJ-AFL Week 16.0

Musings, mutterings and the occasional schmahts as the U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League puts the lid on its 13th season with yet another close, exciting Torii Bowl:

Some commanding officers, chiefs and first sergeants probably will do a slow burn when they find that a handful of airmen belonging to the Yokota Warriors football team aren’t back for duty come Monday, thanks to Tropical Storm Haikui, which grounded their return flight from Okinawa on Sunday.

ASIJ's Noll makes USA Baseball's women's national team

Readers across the Pacific familiar with American School In Japan baseball and its girl third baseman/pitcher, soon-to-be senior Bessie Noll, might want to give this link a click or 20 in the coming weeks. She's been selected to USA Baseball's women's national team, which will play later this month in the International Baseball Federation's World Cup tournament. Follow the tournament at their Web site or on Twitter @IBAF_Baseball.

 
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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.