Published: September 30, 2009
The case for declaring the Sept. 25 Zama @ ASIJ and Oct. 3 ASIJ @ Edgren games merely canceled: More than half the varsity is disabled by the H1N1 flu virus. In fact, more than half the ASIJ student body down with the flu are from the football teams, varsity and JV. It can't be helped. Nothing can be done about it. No way to reschedule the games because ASIJ can't play weekday games and has no more byes the rest of the season. These are special circumstances, the worst flu epidemic to hit a team in recent memory and the worst to plague ASIJ since it had to suspend operations after two games of the 1988 season.
The case for declaring the games forfeits: As coach Chris Waite of Edgren said, "Everybody's affected by the flu. Florida had players affected by the flu." Teams must suck it up and press on with whatever they can bring to the table. If they can't, if they must bow out of a game or two and they can't be made up, if they hired a piper to dance to the music and then can't dance, they still must pay the piper. As for their dance partners, they worked hard to prepare for their games with ASIJ, only to have the plug pulled as those preparations wound down.
What do you think? Vote in the poll above this post.
And remember: NO HATING. As upset as I'm sure Zama and Edgren are about losing games, so, too, is ASIJ upset about not being able to play them. This is the "No-Hate Zone" for a reason. Let's keep to topic, keep it lively, but keep it real, huh? :)
Published: September 30, 2009
The Top Ten
The Top Ten teams in the Stars and Stripes' 2009 Far East high school football ratings, with records through Sept. 30, points and last season's final 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. Kadena, Okinawa 2-0 456 1
(tie) George Washington, Guam 5-0 456 2
3. Yokota, Japan 5-0 452 3
4. Daegu American, South Korea 3-0 436 7
5. Guam High 3-1 432 8
(tie) Zama American, Japan 3-1 432 6
7. American School In Japan 3-2 420 5
8. Father Duenas Memorial, Guam 2-2 416 4
9. John F. Kennedy, Guam 3-1 412 10
10. Osan American, South Korea 1-1 376 9
Week 5 grid honors
Daegu American-Antoine Feagin 232 all-purpose yards (167 yards, 1 touchdown, 15 carries), 3 two-point conversions; 2 interceptions, 10 tackles. Trey Griffin 4-for-7, 113 yards, 1 touchdown. Josh Gosserand 85 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 catches; 3 tackles for loss.
Guam High-Jason Brunson 242 all-purpose yards, 3 touchdowns (119 yards, 1 touchdown, 15 carries; 93 yards, 2 touchdowns, 6 catches; 30 yards, 2 returns). Devon Jacobs 69 yards, 2 touchdowns, 6 catches. Aaron Cosey 12-for-15, 172 yards, 4 touchdowns.
George Washington-Keanu Lujan 163 yards, 10 carries. Derek Santos 7-for-14, 94 yards, 1 touchdown.
John F. Kennedy-Jacob Torres 147 yards total offense, 2 touchdowns (5-for-10, 106 yards, 2 touchdowns; 41 yards, 16 carries). Moses Manibusan 94 yards, 20 carries. Jacob Blas 54 yards, 1 touchdown, 11 carries.
Yokota-Bradley Forbes 183 yards, 2 touchdowns, 16 carries. Gerald McCloud 152 yards, 1 touchdown, 17 carries. Ross Matsumoto 2 interceptions, one returned 25 yards for touchdown.
Nile C. Kinnick-Channing Meyer 8-for-16, 100 yards, 1 touchdown. Elijah Gamble 163 all-purpose yards (103 yards, 18 carries; 60 yards, 2 returns).
Week 6 lookahead
Yokota at Zama American, 7 p.m.It would be so tempting
to declare this an upset special, since Zama has all its parts in place and lingering questions over Yokotas Rainey Daleys ankle injury. Still, the Panthers have faced worse situations and they are the champions until somebody knocks them off.
Panthers 21, Trojans 20.
Osan American at Seoul American, 6 p.m.After seeing what some of his younger players could do in last weeks 30-8 loss to ADT Caps, a Korean club, Falcons coach Alan Morton said he would make some lineup changes. That may make the difference against a Cougars team coming off a 37-14 rout at Daegu.
Falcons 16, Cougars 13.
Kubasaki at Nile C. Kinnick, 5:30 p.m.Pretty tough to gauge. These teams have never faced each other before. No one intangible really stands out, other than Kubasaki lost to Yokota 21-7, which beat Kinnick 55-6 and 34-6. But the tea leaves point in the direction of
Dragons 18, Red Devils 16.
Guam (weather permitting)
Father Duenas Memorial at Okkodo, 10 a.m.We may see these games moved to Monday, depending on what Tropical Storm Melor does. The Friars have a white-hot fire in their bellies after losing to Guam High, and the Bulldogs should make a fine feast for them.
Friars 22, Bulldogs 6.
Southern at Guam High, 3 p.m.The Panthers keep shattering glass ceilings, but most avoid at all cost any form of hangover from their historic win last week over FD.
Panthers 19, Dolphins 3.
George Washington at John F. Kennedy, 3 p.m.The islands oldest rivalry renews with the Geckos riding high, wide and handsome atop the league, while the Islanders hope to keep waking the echoes of decades past.
Geckos 23, Islanders 7.
Last week-4-1, .800.
Published: September 30, 2009
If anything, incidents of H1N1 flu virus increased, rather than decreased, over the last week at American School In Japan. Thus, school officials announced Thursday they would forego the football team's trip to Misawa Air Base on Saturday to play Robert D. Edgren, instead forfeiting the contest.
This follows on the heels of ASIJ canceling its Sept. 25 home date with Zama American. At Edgren, the reaction was an unhappy one; the Eagles had also been slated to host Kadena, but the price tag of the round-trip ticket was too rich for Kadena. Thus, Edgren has a three-week gap in its schedule.
"We're upset here, too," ASIJ athletics director John Smith said. "But there's nothing you can do about it. It's out of our hands. We've just got to get these kids healthy."
It's the first time ASIJ has had to call off back-to-back football games since 1988, when the program suspended operations after the second game due to injuries and illness.
Published: September 29, 2009
SportsBlog attempted this last spring, and we're firing it up again: If you had your pick of your high school's best four athletes of the past 25 years to form your school's personal sports Mount Rushmore, who would you take?
Let's see if we can build a Mount Rushmore for each school by mid-November, at the tail end of the fall sports season.
Select who you think are the best four athletes at your high school over the past quarter century. Some guidelines follow:
-- Indicate the athlete's name, year graduated and sport(s) played.
-- Four athletes in total, just as there are four former presidents on the real Mount Rushmore.
-- These should be athletes who captured a significant honor, such as MVP or multiple MVPs in a Far East tournament, or led their respective team to multiple league and/or Far East championships.
Some samples, a few of which you've already seen and others that have been edited and updated:
-- Jamel Smith, 1993, football, wrestling.
-- Robert Westberg, 1984, football, wrestling, soccer.
-- Erin Foote, 2004, volleyball, basketball, soccer.
-- Meleesa Meno, 1995, basketball, soccer.
Robert D. Edgren, Japan
-- Jamil Sewell, 1987, football, basketball.
-- Antwan Brown, 1997, football, basketball.
-- Desirae Riddick, 2003, volleyball, basketball.
-- Ashley Hawkins, 2010, basketball, soccer.
-- Willie Brown, 2009, football, basketball.
-- Han Ripley, 1996, football, basketball, baseball.
-- Liz Gleaves, 2011, volleyball, basketball, soccer.
-- Lori Johnson, 1993, volleyball, basketball, soccer.
-- Robert Weeks, 1991, football, basketball, baseball.
-- Josh Whitney, 1999, cross country, basketball, soccer.
-- Dianne Abel, 2006, cross country, basketball, soccer.
-- Theresa Gittens, 2004, basketball, soccer, softball.
-- Carlos Albaladejo, 2007, football, wrestling, soccer.
-- A.J. Scott, 2004, basketball, soccer.
-- Lori Shields, 2002, volleyball, basketball, soccer.
-- Jasmine Pressley, 2011, basketball, soccer.
SportsBlog Nation, what say you? Can you do better than Ornauer just did? Shout it out! Be true to your school. And remember, you've entered THE "No-Hate Zone." *smile*
Published: September 27, 2009
Musings, mutterings and the occasional schmahts as we chug headlong into midseason report card territory and Yokota-Zama 2.0:
-- Those Daegu American Warriors are for real, all right. What was supposed to be a close, tight battle with Osan American became anything but. Helped along by 11 Cougars fumbles, Daegu used a balanced attack, Antoine Feagin 167 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, Trey Griffin tossing a TD pass and Josh Gosserand snagging two scoring passes in a 37-14 romp.
-- Daegu now has the hammer, only needing to win at Osan on Oct. 23 to don the host's tuxedo for this year's Far East Class A football title game on Nov. 7.
-- Osan's hypothesis: Stop Feagin. Conclusion: Easier said than done. Dude had 232 all-purpose yards and did it on both sides of the ball, 10 tackles and two interceptions.
-- And don't underestimate the value of David Martinez's punts, three of which were downed inside Osan's 15-yard line.
-- Speaking of teams going places, Gerald McCloud, Bradley Forbes and the Yokota Panthers will head to Okinawa for the all-in-one-location Class AA playoffs, semifinal game against Okinawa's champion at 7 p.m. Nov. 9. Yokota scored three touchdowns in bang-bang fashion in the fourth quarter to break open a close contest and beat Nile C. Kinnick 34-6.
-- Question now being, will valuable little big man Rainey Daley be healthy for a showdown on Friday at Zama American? Oh, and by the way, this will be a Zama team with a healthy Michael Spencer and Ryan Blackstock. The former sat out and the latter saw limited duty in Yokota's 28-12 home win over Zama on Sept. 4.
-- Never before had Guam High beaten both Simon Sanchez and Father Duenas Memorial in the same season. But in a season of possible firsts, Jason Brunson, R.J. Bryand, Aaron Cosey and Ed Cruz stepped up big to power Guam High past the Friars 33-28 on Friday. A goal-line stand by Bryand and Cruz (and a five-yard pushing penalty against FD) sealed the deal.
-- Pretty clear that George Washington stands head and shoulders above the crowd. The question now being, which team is second best in the Interscholastic Football League. John F. Kennedy's regular season-ending visit to Guam High on Oct. 10 might settle that debate. And GW's visit to JFK on Saturday could tell us whether the Islanders are back, or if their victories thus far this season are an illusion.
-- Most unusual story of the weekend comes from the coverage team of Alfredo Jimenez of Stripes' Seoul News Bureau and freelance photographer Gary Cashman at the Osan-Daegu game at Camp Walker's Kelly Field. After writing story and processing photos, the two were dismayed to find there were no WiFi outlets open at 10 p.m. on a Friday night on Walker. So, they began walking around post looking for someplace, anyplace, that would make their wireless assistant spark alight. It happened ... in the middle of a road! What an unusual place for a newsroom, to say the least.
Published: September 25, 2009
-- Daegu American 37, Osan American 14. Warriors offense fired on all cylinders, took advantage of numerous Cougars errors. Center-to-QB-to-RB exchanges an issue for Osan.
-- Yokota 34, Nile C. Kinnick 6. Panthers break it open with three bang-bang touchdowns in closing minutes.
-- Guam High 33, Father Duenas Memorial 28. Aaron Cosey tosses four TD passes, Ed Cruz and R.J. Bryand stop Friars QB Will Williams cold on QB sneak with 30 seconds left. First time Panthers have beaten FDMS and Simon Sanchez in same season.
-- George Washington 44, Simon Sanchez 0; John F. Kennedy 22, Southern 0. Clear that the Geckos are head-and-shoulders above the rest of the league. Clear that the Islanders are back. And clear who the faces and have-nots are in the IFL.
Published: September 25, 2009
Airmen ruled the day Thursday at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., where Air Force's men and women made it an All-Armed Forces Softball Tournament title sweep. But by the barest of margins.
Air Force, Navy and Army deadlocked at 6-3 atop the women's standings, forcing a run-differential tie-breaker. In games between each other Air Force had a plus-10 run differential, Army plus-6 and Navy -- which had led the tournament the first three days -- minus-16.
The men's tie-breaker was infinitely easier -- Air Force and Army each went 7-2, but the airmen beat the soldiers two of three times they played. Thus, Army, which had won the tournament the last two years, was dethroned.
Meanwhile, Yongsan Garrison's Elmer Mason and Osan Air Base's Chris Markey will represent Korea on the All-Armed Forces team, which will play in the Amateur Softball Assocation nationals Oct. 1-5 at ASA's headquarters, Oklahoma City.
Published: September 24, 2009
A quick update from the All-Armed Forces Softball Tournaments at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., shows two-time defending men's champion Army and women's champion Air Force in the driver's seat toward title three-peats, but by the barest of margins.
Army's men (6-1) are a game ahead of Air Force (5-2) with one game to play Thursday. Air Force holds the tiebreaker edge via run differential, having beaten Army 21-7 while Army beat Air Force in their first showdown 18-17.
Air Force women are tied with Navy at 5-2, but the airmen beat the sailors two of the three times they played. So, Navy must win both games it plays Thursday and get help from Army and/or the Marine Corps to beat Air Force for a shot at the title.
Published: September 24, 2009
A rise in H1N1 influenza cases at American School In Japan has forced the postponement, and perhaps cancellation, of Friday's Zama American at ASIJ football contest. No makeup date was immediately announced, and officials at ASIJ didn't sound too optimistic that it would be. The schools don't have matching open dates the rest of the season. And playing a mid-week game is not an option for ASIJ, athletics director John Smith said.
Published: September 23, 2009
Musings, mutterings and the occasional schmahts as we leave the gridiron for a moment and see what's happening on the courses and courts:
-- Don't look now, but Nile C. Kinnick's girls volleyball team has come of age. The litmus test came last Saturday and on Tuesday, when Mary Niemeyer, Shannon Jackson, Marina Nakayama and the Red Devils won at Seisen International, then swept defending Far East Class AA Tournament champion American School In Japan for the first time in school history. Kinnick has beaten both those teams before, but never in back-to-back matches in the same season. And never before had the Red Devils beaten the Mustangs in straight sets. Sounds to me as if coach Al Garrido's three-year plan (this is his third season) is taking full root.
-- Don't look now, but Seoul American senior Thomas Kim and freshman Siarria Ingram are looming as early-line favorites to capture individual gold at the Far East Cross Country Meet on Nov. 9 at Misawa Air Base's Gosser Memorial Golf Course. Kim beat his nearest rival by 55 seconds, clocking 16 minutes, 52 seconds, while Ingram's 19:25 was a full two minutes better than teammate Jessalyn Bialke. The Falcons have gone unbeaten in seven head-to-head matchups this season.
-- Don't look now, but preseason Okinawa Activities Council cross-country favorites Jacob Bishop and Chasity Cordova of Kadena have plenty of company at the top. In Wednesday's OAC meet at Camp Foster's Kishaba Housing Area, Powell overtook Cordova at the midway point to win her second race of the season and hand the two-time OAC champ and Far East runner-up Cordova her second regular-season loss in three years. Bishop placed third behind teammate Tomas Sanchez, who also won the season-opening race at Kadena's Jack's Place course. To be fair, Bishop did not run the opening race and briefly ran off the course during Wednesday's meet before righting himself.
Got a "don't look now" moment of your own that's not football-related? Hit me up! And remember, you've entered THE "No-Hate Zone." *smile*
Published: September 23, 2009
The Top Ten
The Top Ten teams in the Stars and Stripes' 2009 Far East high school football ratings, with records through Sept. 19, points and last season's final 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. Kadena, Okinawa 2-0 456 1
2. George Washington, Guam 4-0 452 2
3. Yokota, Japan 4-0 448 3
4. Father Duenas Memorial, Guam 2-1 436 4
5. American School In Japan 3-0 432 5
6. Zama American, Japan 2-1 428 6
7. Daegu American, South Korea 2-0 424 8
8. Guam High 2-1 416 7
9. Osan American, South Korea 1-0 404 9
10. John F. Kennedy, Guam 2-1 396 --
Week 4 grid honors
Yokota-Gerald McCloud 87 all-purpose yards, 2 touchdowns (55 yards, 2 touchdowns, 13 carries; 3 yards, 1 catch; 29 yards, 2 returns).
Kubasaki-Josh Bales 83 yards, 1 touchdown, 16 carries. Jalah Patton 2 interceptions.
Nile C. Kinnick-Elijah Gamble 163 all-purpose yards, 2 touchdowns (78 yards, 1 touchdown, 14 carries; 85-yard kick-return touchdown). Channing Meyer 16-for-25, 130 yards.
Zama American-Ryan Blackstock 177 yards, 4 touchdowns, 14 carries. Michael Spencer 133 yards, 2 touchdowns, 16 carries. Cory Peckins 2 interceptions.
American School In Japan-Hayden Jardine 7-for-11, 157 yards, 2 touchdowns. Hamish Denham 58-yard touchdown catch, field goal.
Robert D. Edgren-JaMaal Dennis 150 all-purpose yards, 1 touchdown (102 yards, 1 touchdown, 25 carries; 8 yards, 1 catch; 40 yards, 2 returns). Cheston Nurial-Dacalio 100 all-purpose yards (61 yards, 3 carries; 3 yards, 1 catch; 36 yards, 3 returns). James Ervin 7-for-15, 98 yards. Matt Linder 69 yards, 3 catches; 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery.
Daegu American-Antoine Feagin 143 all-purpose yards, 1 touchdown (86 yards, 1 touchdown, 13 carries; 57 yards, 3 returns); 13 tackles. David Martinez 88 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 catches; 1 interception. Tank Connie 12 tackles. Anthony Lampman 12 tackles.
John F. Kennedy Jacob Blas 100 yards, 1 touchdown, 12 carries. Moses Manibusan 80 yards, 1 touchdown, 10 carries. Jacob Torres 65 yards, 1 touchdown, 5 carries.
Simon Sanchez Jermaine Tenorio 65 yards, 15 carries.
Father Duenas Memorial Will Williams 133 yards total offense, 2 touchdowns (8-for-15, 100 yards, 1 touchdown; 33 yards, 1 touchdown, 6 carries. Kioni Pablo 78 yards, 6 carries.
George Washington Stephen Santos 4 total touchdowns, 134 yards total offense. Derek Santos 7-for-9, 168 yards, 3 touchdowns. Jesse Manglona 3 total touchdowns.
Week 5 lookahead
Nile C. Kinnick at Yokota, 7 p.m. Now that the Red Devils offense has come alive, this should be a closer contest than the season-opening 55-6 drubbing at Berkey. But how much closer?
Panthers 23, Red Devils 10.
Zama American at American School In Japan, 7 p.m. Though unbeaten, Mustangs defense showed a bit of vulnerability to a running game which the Trojans have in abundance. Upset special
Trojans 24, Mustangs 21.
Osan American at Daegu American, 6 p.m. Cougars size vs. Warriors speed. The key for the Warriors: Keeping everybody healthy. The key for the Cougars: Hoping theyve made up for lost preparation time due to late arrival of equipment.
Warriors 17, Cougars 15.
Guam High vs. Father Duenas Memorial at George Washington High School, 7 p.m. The Panthers have had two weeks to put the beatdown administered by George Washington behind them. This one will be closer, but GHS has a way to go yet
Friars 20, Panthers 12.
George Washington vs. Simon Sanchez at Okkodo High School, 3 p.m. Santos and Santos and the Geckos finally get a shot at avenging the Sharks surprising rise to the island championship last season.
Geckos 24, Sharks 6.
Southern at John F. Kennedy, 3 p.m. Islanders arch-rivalry game next Saturday against GW should be a truer measure of how far JFK has rebounded. Until then, the Islanders should fatten up well on the Dolphins.
Islanders 18, Dolphins 3.
Last week 6-1, .857.
Season 14-6, .700.
Published: September 20, 2009
Musings and mutterings as we gear up for Osan-Daegu go-round No. 1:
-- Well, you just never know what you're going to see. Seoul American seizes a 20-6 lead at Daegu American and one would think, same old story. In any other year, it would have. Not this time around. Demetrius Johnson's punt from Seoul's 5-yard line blew back into the end zone, where Daegu's Anthony Lampman fell on it to tie it 20-20. Trey Griffin then ran in the two-pointer to give the Warriors consecutive home wins over the Falcons for the first time, this one a 22-20 triumph at Camp Walker's Kelly Field.
-- "I'm so proud of these kids," said Daegu coach Ken Walter, who had good reason to be. "They never put their heads down. They never quit." The Warriors, he said, set two goals for Saturday's game: 1) Score more than 20 points, and 2) score on defense or special teams. They did both. And won.
-- This marks the first time the Falcons have lost to both Daegu and Osan American (12-0 on Sept. 12) in the same season. It marks the first time the Falcons have lost two straight and opened the season with two straight losses. It's also the first time Seoul has lost three times in less than two seasons.
-- Before the parade of second-guessing Falcons coach Alan Morton for passing up two field-goal opportunities commences, I quote Kubasaki coach Fred Bales: "There's no such thing as good or bad calls, just good or bad results." Ultimately, it rests with the coach what must be done on fourth-and-goal at the 5. What if the Falcons had made both touchdowns? Then Morton would be hailed as a genius. What if he did go for the field goals and shanked one or both? Then it would have been "What was he thinking? Why didn't he go for the touchdowns?" Some days, it works. Other days, it doesn't. For the two-time Class AA champions, it's not working ... yet. They'll turn the corner at some point.
-- Speaking of Kubasaki, the Dragons gave Yokota all it could handle Saturday at Bonk Field, forcing turnovers on three straight Panthers possessions and holding the Panthers to 7-7 at half. Things weren't looking good in Panther Nation, what with all-everything 5-foot-5, 125-pound senior Rainey Daley on the bench with an ankle injury.
-- But with Gabe Huizar filling in at middle linebacker, Ross Matsumoto and Anthony Mills on special teams and Kevin Eckert (54 yards, 9 carries) at fullback, the Panthers held it together. Gerald McCloud scored on consecutive possessions to power Yokota to a 21-7 win.
-- That's the second time Yokota has coughed up the ball on three straight possessions this season. Quite uncharacteristic.
-- Speaking of uncharacteristic, did you see where Father Duenas Memorial lost three fumbles and had 11 penalties for 95 yards? But for the grace of Will Williams (33 yards on six carries, 8-for-15 for 100 yards) and Kioni Pablo (78 yards, six carries), the Friars might have suffered an upset loss to Southern; as it was, FD won 21-6.
-- Speaking again of uncharacteristic, are the John F. Kennedy Islanders, 19-8 winners over Simon Sanchez, for real or have the defending Guam island champion Sharks fallen that far that quickly? Jacob Blas (100 yards, 12 carries), Moses Manibusan (80, 10) and Jacob Torres (65, 5) sort of call to mind JFK's "Three Caballeros" of the Islanders' 1990 and '91 island championship seasons.
-- Not much to say about George Washington's 70-0 pasting of Okkodo on Friday. Tends to happen when you're a startup team (Okkodo opened last year and is in its first season of football) and you play your first game on the field against an island powerhouse, after you had to forfeit your first two games because your equipment arrived late. Things will get better.
-- Things have gotten markedly better for a Zama American team that, to rename an old ZZ Top song, can't stop rushing -- try 1,171 yards' worth in three games. Ryan Blackstock ran 14 times for 177 yards and four (!!!) touchdowns and Michael Spencer returned from a knee injury to hit the end zone twice and gain 133 yards on 16 carries.
-- But that 41-27 victory over Nile C. Kinnick at Naval Air Facility Atsugi's Reid Memorial Stadium was anything but easy -- behind wunderkind quarterback Channing Meyer and Elijah Gamble scoring on offense and special teams (85-yard opening-kickoff touchdown), the Red Devils led 19-6 after one period. "We became a team," Kinnick coach Gary Wilson said.
-- I'm sure coach Chris Waite of Robert D. Edgren can relate well to Morton's frustrations. Despite outgaining American School In Japan 288-238 and holding the Mustangs to a season-low 81 yards and just 23 points, the Eagles came up empty on three second-half trips to the end zone, one to the six-inch line, and Matt Linder dropped a sure touchdown pass in the end zone behind the secondary.
-- The 23-13 defeat has Edgren at 1-3 for the first time since the 2005 season.
-- Might things have been different for Edgren with a healthy quarterback Zach Davis? We'll likely find out on Oct. 2 at Misawa Air Base, where the Eagles will try to return the favour to the Mustangs.
Published: September 19, 2009
Thus far, the new "all-in-one-location" Far East Class AA football playoff, slated for Nov. 9 and 14 on Okinawa, appears to be a hit with all parties involved. No more double-booking to three locales for coaches. Just focusing on the gameplan. Don Hobbs, now the Far East Activities Council's athletics coordinator, discusses that and a wide variety of topics in this week's Home Team page.
Published: September 19, 2009
Back in the day, a famous ice cream maker used to tout two of its flavours as "costs more and worth it." The same sort of logic applies to interarea regular-season competition, in this blogger's view. So far, Kadena High's tennis team has played interconference matches in Tokyo on Sept. 11. Kubasaki's football team visits Yokota and Nile C. Kinnick on Saturday and Oct. 3. Kadena football travels to Yokota on Oct. 17. And Osan American football flies all the way to Singapore for a game on Columbus Day weekend. Yes, it means parents and private booster clubs have to find the needed coin to fund such trips, since most times DODEA won't fund such ventures. Are they worth it? What's your take?
Published: September 19, 2009
-- Zama American 41, Nile C. Kinnick 27 -- Another huge rushing game for Trojans (426 yards on 54 carries, Ryan Blackstock 4 TDs, Michael Spencer 2 TDs), but signs of life in Red Devils Nation, as Elijah Gamble scores twice and freshman Channing Meyer is looking more and more the answer at QB.
-- American School In Japan 23, Robert D. Edgren 13 -- Hemmed in on the ground, held to 81 rushing yards, Mustangs went to the air as Hayden Jardine tossed two TD passes and Hamish Denham booted a FG. Eagles scored two rushing TDs, but came up empty on three second-half trips into ASIJ territory.
-- George Washington 70, Okkodo 0 -- Kind of what you'd expect when the perennial power Geckos go up against the startup Bulldogs playing their first game in school history. Stephen Santos scored four times and Derek Santos tossed three TDs for the Geckos.
Published: September 13, 2009
Can Zama American find somebody to fill the giant shoes vacated by All-American Andrew Quallio? Can somebody step up and be "the" girl for Nile C. Kinnick, after Red Devils Nadine Mulvany and Gee Mi Jorde won the last three Far East races? Do Seoul American and Kadena, which have won every Far East team title since 2002, have what it takes to keep their runs going? Click here to find out.
Published: September 13, 2009
The Top Ten
The Top Ten teams in the Stars and Stripes' 2009 Far East high school football ratings, with records through Sept. 12, points and last season's final 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. Kadena, Okinawa 2-0 456 3
2. George Washington, Guam 3-0 448 9
3. Yokota, Japan 3-0 444 6
4. Father Duenas Memorial, Guam 1-1 432 5
5. American School In Japan 2-0 424 7
6. Zama American, Japan 1-1 420 --
7. Guam High 2-1 416 10
8. Daegu American, South Korea 1-0 412 --
9. Osan American, South Korea 1-0 404 --
10. Simon Sanchez, Guam 1-1 400 3
Week 3 grid honors
Kadena -- Shariff Coleman 190 yards, 3 TDs, 15 carries. Aaron Ahner 3 sacks, FG. Jason Schmiege 2 sacks. Thomas McDonald 97 yards, 1 TD, 11 carries.
Kubasaki -- A.J. Watson 103 combined yards.
Yokota -- Gerald McCloud 169 combined yards, 2 TDs. Rainey Daley 98 yards total offense, 2 TD. DeEric Harvin 6-for-10, 136 yards, 1 TD; 44 yards, 3 returns. Bradley Forbes 133 yards total offense, 1 TD.
Robert D. Edgren -- Jazz Butler 99-yard interception-return touchdown.
American School In Japan -- Alex Busam 144 yards, 3 TDs, 17 carries. Andrew Stern 133 yards, 1 TD, 5 carries. Hayden Jardine 2-for-8, 107 yards, 1 TD. Hamish Denham 52-yard TD catch; 8-yard TD run.
George Washington -- Stephen Santos 165 combined yards, 3 TDs. Derek Santos 3-for-3, 87 yards, 1 TD. Jesse Manglona 85 yards, 15 carries.
Guam High -- Devon Jacobs 47 yards, 1 TD, 4 catches.
Father Duenas Memorial -- Will Williams 135 yards, 2 TDs, 17 carries; 1 TD pass. Anthony Aguon 7 tackles, 2 interceptions.
John F. Kennedy -- Jimmy Guerrero 2 sacks.
Week 4 lookahead
Nile C. Kinnick at Zama American, 7 p.m. -- We'll see if the host Trojans' Wing-T continues to operate at peak efficiency after a week's bye, especially if Michael Spencer (knee) comes back healthy. Red Devils' offense, meanwhile, needs to start getting going. ... Trojans 23, Red Devils 8.
Robert D. Edgren at American School In Japan, 7 p.m. -- Pretty much a mirror image of Zama-Kinnick, one team hitting on all cylinders, the other struggling, especially without QB Zach Davis. ... Mustangs 20, Eagles 7.
Okkodo at George Washington, 7 p.m. -- The Bulldogs got their equipment in, at last, but talk about a baptism of fire -- going up against Stephen Santos and a Geckos squad that clearly is on fire. ... Geckos 24, Bulldogs 6.
Kubasaki at Yokota, 7 p.m. -- Are we seeing a familiar pattern? Host Panthers have also been clicking, while the Dragons struggled mightily against Kadena last Friday. ... Panthers 22, Dragons 9.
Seoul American at Daegu American, 2 p.m. -- Thin Warriors hold the experience edge, but the Falcons will come in with a belly full of fire, wanting to better their effort against Osan. ... Warriors 16, Falcons 14.
Simon Sanchez at John F. Kennedy, 10 a.m. -- Much pride left in Sharks Nation, which still holds defending champion status. Can the Islanders regain the mojo they last had in the mid-1990s? ... Sharks 19, Islanders 11.
Father Duenas Memorial vs. Southern at Ramsey Field, John F. Kennedy High School, Upper Tumon, 3 p.m. -- Will Williams and the Friars have their mojo back. It's a question of when the Dolphins will find theirs. ... Friars 16, Dolphins 3.
Last week -- 3-3, .500.
Season -- 8-5, .615.
Published: September 13, 2009
Musings, mutterings and the occasional schmahts as Ornauer dashes his virtual crystal ball against the side of his office building on Camp Foster's south side:
-- OK, OK, the Geckos are back and badder than ever. And Guam High still has a ways to go before it can be voiced in the same Interscholastic Football League title-contender sentence. George Washington has been down for the last year or so, but Stephen Santos and the Geckos are back with a vengeance.
-- So, too, have the Father Duenas Memorial Friars reclaimed their spot as the Geckos' wingmen. Will Williams completed just 3 of 14 passes, but one was for a touchdown, and he added two rushing TDs, finishing with 135 yards on 17 carries to power the Friars.
-- Also for real are the Osan American Cougars, who christened their new field-turf digs by upsetting defending Class AA champion Seoul American 12-0, a fumble recovery in the end zone by Michael Gilliam and a short burst by Andrew Chestnutt providing the Cougars with all the points they'd need.
-- And how about that devastating Kadena running attack? Try 477 yards on 46 carries! Shariff Coleman led the way with 190 yards and three TDs on 15 carries, and James Nollie, Stanley Schrock, Thomas McDonald and Lotty Smith each found the end zone once as Kadena pounded Kubasaki 50-0 to go up 2-0 in the best-of-three Okinawa Activities Council championship series.
-- Somebody asked me late in the game if I felt Coleman was as fast or faster than 2006 speedster Sean Shattuck. I would give the edge to Coleman, simply because he's going to have more games to demonstrate his abilities than Shattuck had in the OAC's abbreviated schedule at that time. But boy, you talk about two backs with breakaway speed.
-- Another somebody asked if I felt Coleman was as fast or faster than former Yokota speedster Anthony McNeill. Prior to Friday, I'd have said, "Nobody runs like Ant." Now, I must wonder.
-- But the "it" player in Friday's game had to be Kadena defensive end/placekicker Aaron Ahner. Try three quarterback sacks, a field goal and rooting kickoffs so deep that Kubasaki started at the 20 or inside its 20 five of six times. James Schmiege bookended Ahner's sack-pack effort with two of his own.
-- No question, American School In Japan's rushing attack is going to be a handful for anybody to stop. Alex Busam (144 yards, 3 touchdowns, 17 carries) and Andrew Stern (133, 1, 5) complement well the quarterback play of Hayden Jardine, who tossed a TD pass to Hamish Denham in ASIJ's 45-6 rout of Nile C. Kinnick.
-- Maybe freshman jayvee promotee QB Channing Meyer can be the answer to the Red Devils' stalled offense. His 15-yard fourth-quarter TD pass to Jon Burress broke a 12-quarter scoreless streak by Kinnick's offense. And they celebrated like they'd won the Super Bowl. Maybe that's the start.
-- Another team looking like its old self was Yokota. Gerald McCloud racked up 169 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, DeEric Harvin passed for a score and Bradley Forbes rang up 133 yards total offense as the Panthers routed Robert D. Edgren 42-7. Uncharacteristic, this result was; the past three times Yokota played at Edgren, the Panthers won twice by a point and the Eagles once by one.
-- Had not Eagles QB Zach Davis suffered a shoulder injury on the game's first play, the outcome might have been somewhat different.
-- Not part of the regular-season schedule, but Daegu American opened its season by rallying past Kyongbuk National University 16-13. The Orange Fighters are the reigning Daegu-area champions. David Martinez tossed a 44-yard TD pass to Anthony Lampman and caught a 51-yard scoring pass from Trey Griffin. Antoine Feagin booted a 40-yard field goal which proved to be the difference. Darius Wyche picked off two passes. Nice tuneup for Osan's visit on Saturday.
-- Off the gridiron and on the cross-country courses, Sam Krauth of American School In Japan stamped himself the pre-Asia-Pacific Invitational Meet favourite by running the Tama Hills Recreation Center 2.9-mile course in 15 minutes, 25 seconds on Saturday. Up at International Christian-Uijongbu's 3.1-mile course, Thomas Kim of Seoul American posted a 17:25, winning by a group and leading the Falcons to a team sweep of Korea's opening meet.
Published: September 12, 2009
Ornauer without a doubt is tossing away his virtual crystal ball.
-- Yokota 42, Robert D. Edgren 7 -- Well, we didn't see Eagles QB Zach Davis getting injured on the first play from scrimmage. What we did see was what resembled the Panthers of old, with Gerald McCloud, Rainey Daley and Bradley Forbes on rush and DeEric Harvin on pass.
-- American School In Japan 45, Nile C. Kinnick 6 -- Alex Busam, complemented by Andrew Stern, picked up right where he left off a season ago, rushing for three TDs. Hamish Denham scored twice for the 'Tangs. Took 12 quarters for the Red Devils' offense to generate a touchdown, freshman Channing Meyer to Jon Burress.
-- Kadena 50, Kubasaki 0 -- Anybody see this coming, after the Dragons played the Panthers tough in last week's first half? Didn't think so. Shariff Coleman's touchdown hat trick and Aaron Ahner's sack hat trick doomed Kubasaki.
-- Osan American 12, Seoul American 0 -- Now, nobody saw this one coming ... except maybe the Cougars themselves, who christened their new turfed field in the best way possible.
-- George Washington 40, Guam High 7 -- Ornauer should have known better. Stephen Santos and the Geckos overwhelmed the Panthers in a style reminiscent of GW's domination earlier this decade.
Published: September 11, 2009
Squint wondered what my take is on this coming weekend's football games, and remarked about how difficult it must be to forecast because of all the changes this season.
Squint, you're spot on. In my 28 1/2 years of forecasting Pacific high school football, I've never happened upon such difficulty, the toughest time I've had with my virtual crystal ball, Ouija board and tea leaves.
But I'll give it a shot. First, the Week 2.0 grid honours:
Kadena (1-0) -- Shariff Coleman 71 yards, 2 touchdowns, 12 carries. Thomas McDonald 60 yards, 2 touchdowns, 10 carries.
Kubasaki (0-1) -- A.J. Watson 124 yards total offense (3-for-7, 82 yards, 1 touchdown; 42 yards, 17 carries).
Robert D. Edgren (1-1) -- Zach Davis 150 yards total offense (3-for-5, 80 yards, 1 touchdown; 70-yard touchdown run). Ja'maal Dennis 230 yards, 3 touchdowns, 21 carries. Cheston Nurial-Dacalio 110 yards, 7 carries.
Zama American (1-1) -- Ashton Norwood 261 all-purpose yards (206 yards, 30 carries; 27 yards, 2 returns; 28 yards, 1 catch). D.J. Ward 83 yards, 1 touchdown, 10 carries. Mike Jorgenson 67 yards total offense (39 yards, 1 touchdown, 6 carries; 28-yard pass completion).
Yokota (2-0) -- DeEric Harvin 111 all-purpose yards (8-for-13, 86 yards, 1 touchdown; minus-14 yards, 7 carries; 39 yards, 3 returns); 1 interception. Rainey Daley 175 all-purpose yards (142 yards, 2 touchdowns, 12 carries; 21 yards, 2 catches; 12 yards, 1 return). Kevin Eckert 2 sacks.
George Washington (2-0) -- Derek Santos 2-for-2, 25 yards, 2 touchdowns. Jesse Manglona 110 yards, 9 carries; 15-yard interception-return touchdown. Gregory Uncangco 2 interceptions.
Guam High (1-0) -- Jason Branson 109 yards, 1 touchdown, 7 carries. R.J. Bryand 8 tackles, 24-yard fumble-return touchdown.
Now, for the lookahead:
Kadena at Kubasaki, 7 p.m. -- Panthers' RB tandem of Shariff Coleman and Thomas McDonald are proof positive that if the right hand don't get you, the left one will. ... Panthers 21, Dragons 12.
American School In Japan at Nile C. Kinnick, 7 p.m. -- They may no longer have the A-11, but the Mustangs still have Alex Busam to carry the mail (239 yards, 2 touchdowns, 18 carries in a 42-16 win last Saturday over Nittaidai) and Hayden Jardine (8-for-14, 152 yards, 2 touchdowns) to toss the ball. Red Devils haven't scored on offense in two games. ... Mustangs 18, Red Devils 6.
Yokota at Robert D. Edgren, 7 p.m. -- Last three times the teams have met here, Yokota won twice by one point and Edgren once by two points. No question, each team has the needed weapons; question being, which team makes fewer errors ... Upset special: Eagles 22, Panthers 21.
Guam High at George Washington, 7 p.m. -- Branson and the Panthers' speed and finesse were too much for Simon Sanchez six days ago; can Guam High do it again to a perennial league power? ... Upset special #2: Panthers 17, Geckos 15.
Seoul American at Osan American, 1 p.m. -- Cougars christen their new turfed field against the two-time Class AA champion Falcons. Too many question marks loom over this one -- the Falcons implementing an intricate Wing-T offense with few experienced players, the Cougars having had barely two weeks in pads to prepare for this one. ... Falcons 19, Cougars 16.
John F. Kennedy vs. Father Duenas Memorial at George Washington High School, 7 p.m. -- Friars have had two weeks to stew over their season-opening loss to George Washington. Islanders are happy just to take the field, two weeks after the season opener. ... Friars 14, Islanders 7.
Last week -- 4-1, .800.
Season -- 5-3, .625.
Published: September 11, 2009
You want star power? Try the two-time reigning Far East High School Tennis Tournament boys singles champion, reigning boys doubles champion pair, a pair of former girls singles champions and half the reigning girls doubles champion pair. Click here to find out how they think they'll do this season, and what's in store for us.
Published: September 10, 2009
In the third year of his three-year plan to turn Nile C. Kinnick's spikers into winners, can coach Al Garrido and his Red Devils finally reach the Far East Class AA Tournament mountaintop? Can Osan American make it a Class A title three-peat with just two starters back and a third coach in three seasons? Click here to find out.
Published: September 10, 2009
After winning two Far East Class AA football titles in the last three years, Seoul American starts over again with a new-look offense, the Wing-T, and a new coach, Alan Morton, working toward getting his Falcons to become a self-starting bunch that can call its own signals and plays by midseason. Click here to find out all about it, plus meet Osan American's new head coach and view Daegu American's experienced but thin lineup.
Published: September 9, 2009
For the Kubasaki green and white, Wednesday proved to be a red-letter day in Dragon Nation.
First, sophomore Jessica Powell handed two-time Okinawa Activities Council champion and two-time Far East runner-up Chasity Cordova of Kadena just her second loss in OAC competition dating back to her first year. Powell ran Jack's Place course on Kadena -- her admitted favourite 3.1-mile course -- in 21 minutes, 59 seconds, 22 seconds better than Cordova.
Then, at the Risner Tennis Complex, Kubasaki's girls handed Kadena a rare team defeat, 4-3, the first such victory for the Dragons on second-year coach Stephanie Davis' watch. Sisters Tiajha and Miasha Nakahara each won singles ties, as did Monica Saldana, and Miasha and Monica later teamed to beat Katie Mundie and Emily Zaher 8-3 in the doubles tie that clinched it for Kubasaki.
Now, can the football and girls volleyball teams follow with victories Friday at Kubasaki?
Published: September 6, 2009
It didn't take long for Daegu American girls volleyball to start channeling the school's Far East Class A Tournament title team of four years ago.
The warning shot came last November, when then-sophomore middle blocker Kristina Bergman and the Warriors took third place on their home turf.
Well, Daegu picked up where it left off on Saturday, sweeping a doubleheader, taking Yongsan International-Seoul 26-24, 25-13, 25-21, then beating Seoul American for the first time since 2005, taking a four-setter 25-16, 19-25, 28-26, 25-16.
Published: September 5, 2009
UPDATED at 10:17 a.m. Sept. 6.
Musings, mutterings and the occasional schmahts as Ornauer beats the mud off his hightops after the Zama @ Yokota game on Friday and gets ready to hit the softball fields for the 5th Kanto Kup:
-- Yep, Guam High is for real. In one fell swoop, an 18-0 victory Saturday, Jason Branson, R.J. Bryand, Devon Jacobs and the Panthers finally solved the Simon Sanchez puzzle, beating the defending island champion Sharks for the first time in the school's 11-season history, and put the Interscholastic Football League on notice: They're true title contenders.
-- New coach Billy Henry won in his debut after transferring from Hohenfels, Germany. And what a way for the Panthers to inaugurate a home field they can call their own, with 300-plus joyous fans celebrating like it was 1999.
-- On Friday, they may have broken their own Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools winning-streak record with their 40th on Friday against Zama American, but Yokota, a 28-12 winner, had it anything but easy.
-- The Panthers needed a couple of big runs from Bradley Forbes (97 yards) and Rainey Daley (63) and a bend-but-don't break defense that halted the Trojans seven times in Yokota's red zone, three times on downs, four times on turnovers.
-- The fact that the Trojans outrushed the Panthers 345-265 tells me again, this Zama team is for real. They had all sorts of opportunities; they just didn't finish the way they did against Robert D. Edgren a week earlier.
-- Then again, protecting the football in those types of conditions (rain, slippery ground) is tough for any ballclub. Heck, Yokota committed five turnovers of its own, three on consecutive third-quarter possessions, which led the the Trojans' two touchdowns.
-- It could be argued that Zama not having injured FB-LB Michael Spencer in the lineup could have made a difference. But coach Steven Merrell -- indeed, most any coach -- will never fall back on that as an excuse.
-- Yokota won 39 straight KPASSP games from the fifth game of the 1983 season to the first game of the 1990 season, long before the Rising Sun Bowl, much less the Class AA playoffs, were a twinkle in DODDS-Pacific's regional office's eyes. Back then, all Yokota had was the Kanto Plain.
-- The Panthers' last KPASSP loss was the second game of the 2002 season, which they had to forfeit to Zama for using an ineligible player. Yokota's last home defeat was the final game of the 1999 season against now-defunct Matthew C. Perry.
-- Kadena's Panthers, seeking their fourth straight Class AA title-game bid, didn't have it any easier than Yokota, falling behind 10-7 in the second quarter before scoring 20 unanswered points to get their 11th straight Okinawa Activities Council win over Kubasaki 27-10.
-- Kadena coach Sergio Mendoza was particularly pleased with the performance of Shariff Coleman, saying the junior speedster really showed he wants to carry the mail this season. Coleman and Thomas McDonald may just be the best RB tandem Mendoza has coached since Keith Loving and David McCowan of the old Kadena Islanders split-squad team in 2004 (no disrespect to Brandon Harris, Ernest Carr, Roosevelt Payne, Sean Shattuck or Jeff Morton).
-- That Kubasaki took a lead on Kadena for the first time since 2006 is direct testament to innovation on the part of the Dragons' coaching staff. They kept the Panthers off balance for two quarters until Mendoza could make adjustments.
-- Nice that Kadena has a lighted field they can call their (almost) home stadium. Truth be told, the Panthers' real home field should have had lights installed back in 1981 when the school opened.
-- Nice bounceback by Robert D. Edgren, and I suppose the 40-24 loss Aug. 28 at Zama should be classified as a wakeup call. Ja'Maal Dennis ran 21 times for 230 yards and three touchdowns, including a 95-yarder, and Zach Davis passed for a score and ran for one as the Eagles pounded Nile C. Kinnick 51-0.
-- To be fair to Kinnick, it is getting great special teams play, mostly on punting and kick returning. But Kinnick has a whole Red Devil of a series of problems elsewhere. They can't move the ball, nor can they seem to stop anybody from doing so. Looks like a long season lying ahead for coach Gary Wilson and his staff.
-- Note to Wilson: Gary, I'm sorry things aren't working out better for you this season. You're a good man and you deserve better.
-- Purple reign, purple reign. There can be little doubt that after a subpar season (for them), the George Washington Geckos are back and badder than ever. The Geckos did it on both sides of the ball in crushing Southern 48-0 at GW Field in Mangilao.
-- John F. Kennedy had a bye week to start the season; now, it appears as if Saturday's home game against start-up program Okkodo has been scratched because of the Bulldogs' ongoing equipment issues.
Published: September 5, 2009
Typical start of the last three-plus years for Kadena, which beat Kubasaki 27-10 in Friday's historic first game at Ryukyu Middle School. Eleven straight for the Panthers over the Dragons. Can Kadena make it four Okinawa Activities Council titles in a row? Or can Kubasaki regain the mojo which helped the Dragons reach the Class AA mountaintop in 2005? Click here to find out.
Published: September 4, 2009
-- Yokota 28, Zama American 12. Trojans played well but couldn't finish, had drives end in Yokota's red zone and kept putting the ball on the ground. So did Yokota, which scored just enough in the first half to stay ahead.
-- Robert D. Edgren 51, Nile C. Kinnick 0. Nice bounceback for Eagles, who got 230 yards and three touchdowns from Ja'Maal Dennis. Woes continue to abound for Red Devils, except on special teams.
-- Kadena 27, Kubasaki 10. Panthers rally after falling behind Dragons for first time since 2006 season.
Published: September 3, 2009
Things seen and heard around Warrior football country, which hopes to break Osan American's near-stranglehold on Korea's Class A title game berths:
-- Amazingly, Ken Walter becomes the most senior high school gridiron coach in Korea, with Julian Harden stepping aside at Seoul American after six seasons. Walter is beginning his third year with Warriors green and white.
-- And Walter might have his most experienced team yet. Of the 19 players on his roster, 10 return, six of them having started the majority of Warriors games last season, including a historic win last October over Seoul American.
-- The line, in particular, is loaded with seasoned veteran players. They'll well complement the likes of returning skills positions players Antoine Feagin (RB) and Trey Griffin (QB).
-- But then, there's that number, 19. It may be as thin a roster as Walter has fielded. The first 11 is solid, but will have to ironman most of the way. The Warriors, Walter says, are an injury or two away from being "in serious trouble."
-- One thing's certain: Warriors football should be exciting, with Walter sticking with a spread attack. The question being, how quickly will newcomers David Silva and Josh Grossard develop as receivers and mesh with Feagin and Griffin.
-- Daegu opens at its home field, Kelly Field at Camp Walker, at 2 p.m. Sept. 19 against Seoul American.
Published: September 3, 2009
Things seen and heard around Cougars Field as the new field turf moved from rollers onto padding and Osan American Football Nation prepared for its home opener Sept. 12 against defending Class AA champion Seoul American:
-- Just call Mike Miano a football gypsy. In his three years in DODEA, Miano has been an assistant at Daegu American in 2007, then last year at Yokota before getting his second transfer in as many years, to Osan, where he becomes the head man for the first time.
-- That sort of mirrors his college football days, when he went from Meramec (Mo.) Community College to Highland (Kansas) Community College to University of Kansas to Southwest Missouri State before being drafted by the NFL's Chicago Bears.
-- Miano becomes the third coach in as many seasons for a Cougars team that has thrice gone to the Class A title game, winning in 2005 at home 16-14 over Robert D. Edgren.
-- A believer in continuous improvement, Miano hopes that the Cougars, with holdovers Mike Gilliam (RB) and quarterback Jake Mattison, can build on their successes of the last four years. And Miano definitely plans to stick with what has worked, sticking with the Maryland Power I that paced Osan to the Class A title game.
-- The Cougars do sport some experience in the interior.
-- Not helping was the fact that Osan didn't receive its pads from a reconditioning journey to the States until last Friday. They didn't get into pads until Monday. Things will definitely have to fall in place quickly for the Cougars,
-- Oh, and yes, Miano plans to stay at Osan for awhile yet. :)
Published: September 3, 2009
Things seen and heard around field-turfed Falcon Field, as Seoul American prepares to defend its second Far East Class AA grid title:
-- After four years of being somebody's assistant at either Yokota or Seoul American, Alan Morton steps into the shoes vacated by Julian Harden, who had been the Falcons' head coach since DODDS-Korea took over high school football in 2003. Morton brings a defensive mindset with him, along with a penchant for empowering players to step up, be self-starters and show initiative.
-- It might seem a bit ambitious, but Morton hopes that by midseason, his defensive captains will be calling coverages and the quarterback will be calling his own players, even audibling at the line. The idea being, players see things on the field from a better vantage point than coaches on the sidelines, and they can use that to the team's advantage.
-- It worked for Zama American last Friday against Robert D. Edgren; we'll find out how well Morton's Wing-T offense works in the Falcons' season-opening game Sept. 12 at Osan American's new field-tured stadium.
-- All that, calling coverages and signals and utilizing an intricate offense, might be more than this young team can chew, though. Only four starters are back from last year's Class AA champions. There's plenty of talent in the likes of two-way senior star Demetrius Johnson, along with plenty of JV moveups -- Morton has 52 players on his roster. But this is a young group. Everything will hinge on how quickly everything develops.
-- One thing this ballclub does have going for it -- the players love to hit, Morton said.
-- This season sees a new twist, the Falcons playing a Korean club team for the first (and second) times; they have two such games scheduled.
-- Seoul American also knows who its opponent will be in the Far East Class AA semifinals on Nov. 9. The Falcons face Guam High at 3 p.m., at either Kadena or Kubasaki, whichever team wins the Okinawa Activities Council title.
Published: September 1, 2009
Week 1 Grid Honors
- Zama American (1-0) -- Michael Spencer 253 yards, 2 touchdowns, 27 carries; 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery. Ashton Norwood 205 total yards (79 yards, 3 touchdowns, 13 carries); 26-yard interception-return touchdown. Tevin Johnson 2 sacks.
- Robert D. Edgren (0-1) -- Zach Davis 7-for-10, 209 yards, 2 touchdowns. Matt Linder 5 catches, 188 yards, 2 touchdowns. Cheston Nurial-Dacalio 178 yards, 2 touchdowns, 3 returns.
- Yokota (1-0) -- DeEric Harvin 7-for-9, 203 yards, 2 touchdowns; 1 interception. Gerald McCloud 164 yards total offense (119 yards, 2 touchdowns, 11 carries; 45 yards, 3 catches). Rainey Daley 193 yards total offense (156 yards, 1 touchdown, 16 carries; 37-yard touchdown catch). Bradley Forbes 90 yards total offense (9 yards, 1 touchdown, 4 carries; 81 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 catches).
- Nile C. Kinnick (0-1) -- Elijah Gamble 95-yard fumble-return touchdown.
- George Washington (1-0) -- Stephen Santos 89 yards, 1 touchdown, 5 carries; 76-yard interception-return touchdown.
Week 2 Lookahead
- Zama American at Yokota, 7 p.m. -- OK, so is Zama for real or was last Friday's 40-24 win over Robert D. Edgren a fluke? I say the former. Never in my 28 1/2 years of covering high school ball out here have I seen Zama run the ball as effectively and consistently. Yet, this is Yokota, with its passel of championships, and Yokota is always for real. ... Panthers 20, Trojans 16.
- Nile C. Kinnick at Robert D. Edgren, 7 p.m. -- Never mind what happened at Zama -- the host Eagles are still a very dangerous team in the air and on special teams. And the Red Devils' ground game oozes potential. Whichever way it goes, somebody is going to get better tonight. ... Eagles 17, Red Devils 14.