Published: October 31, 2011
Sometimes, it’s better for a volleyball team to have suffered a defeat or two during the regular season to right itself as the Far East Tournament approaches.
In fact, it may be the best thing for them.
Take reigning Far East Division I Tournament champion Seoul American and three-time Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools champion Nile C. Kinnick, for example.
The Falcons began the season 3-2, the two losses coming to Taejon Christian International, which hadn’t beaten Seoul American since 1989, and Yongsan International-Seoul, which had never beaten the Falcons. First-year Seoul American coach Lori Rogers was concerned that when her charges stepped on the court, nerves would take over and they’d play as tightly as if donning blue jeans five sizes too small.
So, what was the cure for what ailed them? How about a trip to Okinawa over the Columbus Day weekend for the Okinawa District Volleyball Festival? Matches that, while competitive, didn’t count for much other than getting on the court, working on things, getting strike lines in order, basic fundamental stuff.
A far more relaxed atmosphere than back home in Korea, an atmosphere that helped the team relax and play better.
Far better, in fact.
Since that journey, the Falcons have won 12 straight matches and behind MVP Tammy Garman captured the Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Council regular-season and tournament titles. “Oki mentality,” Rogers says of the team’s new motto.
Remember to relax. Don’t try to score all 25 points with one spike. Shake off the mistakes. Take it easy. Don’t reach back for that nonsensical something’s extra. Find your rhythm instead, and the rest will take care of itself.
As for the Red Devils, they’d been riding the crest of approaching their second unbeaten regular season in three years, opening 22-0, before falling Friday at American School In Japan in three sets.
Kinnick is 76-2 since the start of the 2009 campaign, the best regular-season run in school history, with three straight DODDS Japan titles as well as the Kanto crown.
All that, however, led to none better than sixth- and fourth-place finishes in the last two Far East tournaments, thanks to a quarterfinal defeat on Guam in 2009 and a semifinal loss last year at Seoul American that pretty much devastated the team, coach Al Garrido said.
On Friday? They could have hidden behind the fact that two starters, setter Jerimae Capuyan and outside hitter Valerie James, were out ill, but Garrido made no excuses. And if anything said the team’s demeanor in the wake of the loss was far more upbeat.
Better that it happened today than two weeks from now. Learn from it. Remember how it felt, because we don’t want to feel that way again in two weeks at Seoul American. Get better, stronger for it. Know that you are vulnerable, but good enough to know you can rebound and reach your peak when the time is right.
Published: October 31, 2011
Shirt-tailing onto the expert analysis by Bruce Carrick, just saying, that girls 3.1-mile individual race Monday in the Far East High School Cross-Country Meet is going to be amazing.
Anybody catch that game of “Can You Top This” last week between Alle Robles of Kubasaki and defending Far East champion Amanda Henderson of Seoul American?
En route to capturing their respective district championships, Robles the Okinawa Activities Council and Henderson repeating her Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference title, they each set Pacific bests.
First, Robles ran the windy, flat Bolo Point course in 19 minutes, 52 seconds. Which flabbergasted her, if her reaction was any indicator. “No way! Really? Wow! I don’t know what to say!” said Robles, who clearly had plenty to say, much of it with her fleet feet.
So, what did Henderson do when Falcons coach Steve Boyd told her of Robles’ feat. A shrug of the shoulders, almost as if to say, “Meh. Watch me come Saturday.”
And boy, did Henderson light up that International Christian-Uijongbu course, clocking a sizzling 19:32.
Throw those two into a very strong girls field, featuring Kanto Plain champion Fumi Kurihara, Yokota’s Abigail Wall, Nile C. Kinnick’s Carydaliz Fontanez, Robles’ and Henderson’s teammates plus a very strong Kadena girls contingent and that becomes quite a race.
Blog post interruption: In case you weren’t counting, that was Kubasaki’s first OAC overall meet title in 10 years.
It’s not like the boys race features a bunch of shrinking violets. Just wait until Kinnick’s Robert Beard and Kubasaki’s Erik Armes lock horns. Beard has a belly full of motivation after losing his way on the Citizens Park course in the DODDS Japan finals last week at Misawa.
And Armes has found his way into 16-minute territory. Then, you have Seoul American’s Ryan Parker, E.J. King’s Kento and Kiyoshi Reynolds, Robert D. Edgren’s Alan Thurmond (you think he’s happy he gave up football?), Matthew C. Perry’s twosome of Matt Smith and Yasuki Milsop. Fast runners call for sizzled cross-country courses.
Tama Hills Recreation Center better have a fire crew ready with some ice water to cool that course down on Monday.
Published: October 31, 2011
Musings, mutterings and the occasional schmahts as Ornauer prepares for what should be wet weather for Saturday’s Far East Division II football championship game at Daegu:
Though they may have seemed to be one-sided encounters on the scoreboard, Saturday’s Far East Division I football semifinals were far closer than they looked.
Yokota routed Kadena 42-6 at Yokota’s Bonk Field, while Kubasaki beat Seoul American for the second time in six weeks 22-7 at Mike Petty Stadium. Both games were played in flawless conditions, unlike the ones forecast Saturday for the Division II title game pitting Zama American at Daegu American.
But it wasn’t until late in the third quarter before Kubasaki finally overcame an early seven-point deficit. And not until Yokota used a trick play to close the first half did the Panthers secure enough breathing room against the dethroned two-time D-I champions, who also led by a touchdown early
In fact, both vanquished teams, the Falcons, who won the D-I title in 2006 and ’08, and Kadena, with D-I titles in 2007, ’09 and ’10, struck first.
Josh Dyer blocked a punt by Yokota’s Cody Trask, who bobbled the snap and was late trying to get off the kick. That set up Kadena at the Yokota 14; four plays later, Joseph Hermon crashed into the end zone from 2 yards out
Seoul American’s Harold Martin found his favorite target, Tomiwa Akinbayo, for a 30-yard pass that set up the Falcons at the Kubasaki 3, from where Tyrend White blasted past the goal line.
But the rest of the way belonged to the host teams. It just took awhile for them to pull away.
Blog post interruption: Given the results of Saturday’s games, especially Kadena at Yokota … now, how would people feel about seeing American School In Japan involved in the Far East Division I football playoffs? The Mustangs would have given each team in the Final Four a run for their money, in my view.
Monster games by Phillip Burnett (32 yards, 1 touchdown, 5 carries; 14 tackles, 3 blocked passes) and Scott Hanson (98 yards, 3 touchdowns, 16 carries) paved the way for the Panthers.
For the second straight week, they didn’t have a 100-yard rusher, but they piled up 271 yards on 58 carries – with a Bear Bryant-like 10 running backs taking turns handling the pumpkin – and outgained Kadena 351-171.
But the turning point of the game may have come with just under 15 seconds left, on a play called 38-Pass. Backup quarterback DeMonte Butler took a pitch from starter Stanley Speed, rolled right and flung a 33-yard halfback-option trickeration aerial to backup running back Donovan Ball at the Kadena 1-yard line. From there, Hanson scored his third touchdown, making it 20-6 at half.
A Speed 48-yard TD pass to Michael Litman and a 35-yard touchdown on Morgan Breazell’s reverse capped the scoring.
Breazell, Burnett and Hanson are quite the combination, with Raymond Butler, Litman and Trenton “Tractor” Traylor backing them. Breazell is that slashing, stylish-type running, gaining the yards flamboyantly and making opponents guess which way he’ll go. Burnett and Hanson leave no question marks – they bull straight ahead, daring you to stop them.
38-Pass. That took guts, Yokota coach Tim Pujol.
I say again, can there be any team out there that has accomplished so much with so little this season as Kadena? A youthful roster, a staunch defense that gave up just 42 points in its previous five games before facing Yokota, having to come off a four-week layoff due to the D-I playoffs beginning Oct. 3 to accommodate Guam High’s local playoff schedule. That Kadena got as far as it did is a tribute to coaches Sergio Mendoza and Steve Schrock – who had considered not coaching this season and had to be talked into it, then proceeded to do the best rebuilding job I’ve seen in awhile – to things you can’t coach, such as heart.
As for Kubasaki, the Dragons rode the experienced right arm of Cristian Rivera (11-for-15, 124 yards, 2 touchdowns; 30 yards, 5 carries, 1 touchdown) back into the game.
It didn’t help Seoul American much that White would go down with a leg injury soon after the touchdown. “We didn’t have a suitable replacement,” coach Rydell Wilkins said.
While the Falcons’ offense clearly suffered, the defense kept Kubasaki at bay until Rivera threw across the field to Isaac Garza for a 30-yard touchdown four minutes before halftime. Ahead the Dragons went to stay when Rivera struck again, this time for 26 yards to Brandon Crawford and a two-point run by Jace Johnson late in the third period.
But it took a 43-yard end-around run by Crawford, followed by Rivera’s quarterback sneak, to slam the door on the Falcons.
All that came without Dragons running back star Jarrett Mitchell, sidelined by an ankle sprain with his 744 yards on 66 carries.
But he’s given Rivera that extra balance the offense has needed. His 48-for-85 for 678 yards and 12 touchdowns and 203 yards and four touchdowns on 51 carries will be hard to replace next season, Dragons coach Fred Bales said.
Elsewhere on the gridiron, Zama American may have taken one on the chin 43-24 on Friday from American School In Japan at Naval Air Facility Atsugi’s Reid Memorial Stadium. But the Trojans did get some welcome news – junior fullback Andre Encarnacion returned to the lineup and bulled his way for a typical 91 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Looked like his old self, though he could be seen gimping a bit on his damaged left ankle. Mitchell Harrison (94 yards, 1 touchdown, 8 carries) complimented Encarnacion well. And David Coleman racked up 185 all-purpose yards, giving Daegu something to think about other than backfield menaces.
Blog post interruption: Dear Ma Nature: Please see about making that bad weather move through Korea a day or two earlier than forecast? Thank you.
Another team I think we’d like to see in the Far East playoffs is the Singapore Falcons. They bounced back nicely from that 33-0 loss on Oct. 22 at Kubasaki to take care of business 39-13 at home against Osan American. Andrew Roberts went 12-for-18 for 205 yards. Dennis Chan had seven backfield tackles. Backfield powers Josh Dowe (two touchdowns), Jeff Scott, Erik Van Tilberg and Tim Merritt – folks at Nile C. Kinnick should remember that name – also shined. Great way for them to end their season.
Published: October 30, 2011
The Pacific fourth-rated Kubasaki boys, second behind Zion Christian in the Okinawa Activities Council Championships, will head to Tama Hills Recreation Center in western Tokyo for the Far East meet with no one to challenge them except No. 5 Kadena.
However, the hilly course might just give No. 9 St. Mary’s International an opportunity, should Kubasaki's Erik Armes, Michael Brown, Nick Barker, Dalton Atkinson, or Alex Otero stumble or falter.
Seoul American (No. 12), fresh from its fifth-place finish in the Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference finals, is unlikely to challenge for first, but they may be the equal of St. Mary's and have more firepower than No. 17 Christian Academy Japan (eighth at Asia-Pacific Invirtational). Like Seoul American at KAIAC finals, CAJ finished behind four international-school squads from South Korea at API last week.
This year’s Kanto teams have just not recorded high-quality times like Kubasaki, Kadena, and Seoul American, and so along with a downsized St. Mary's, CAJ and Nile C. Kinnick will not be repeating last year's 1-2-3 Kanto sweep at Far East. In fact, Kanto may wish that Robert D. Edgren and Matthew C. Perry could be their proxy. Perry boys team was the victor over Yokota (Pacific No. 23), and Kinnick (Pacific No. 41) at the DODDS Japan finals on Saturday.
Kanto will have some individuals to watch, however. Kinnick's Robert Beard was not too happy with his sixth-place finish at Kanto finals, and expect him to be seeking redemption; he was 13th last year at Far East and is much improved. Like Beard, Yokota's Michael Faulkner has improved greatly this year. He is out to erase the memory of his 50th-place finish in 2010 Far East; and his time at Kanto finals this year was 40 seconds better than last.
Beard broke 17 minutes (16:24.9), but on a short course at Ikego Heights, and Faulkner has not broken 18:00 minutes. Kubasaki's Erik Armes (16:47) and Kadena's Andrew Kilkenny (16:59) have gone beyond. The closest Far East participant to them is St. Mary's Koh Terai, fifth at API in 17:12; the question for him is whether he is still in cross-country mode or has gone on to winter sports.
The girls race once looked like it belonged to Seisen International, but this week's Okinawa Activities Council Championships have vaulted Kubasaki to the top and Kadena to third in the Pacific ratings. No. 2 Seoul American will have to fight to get the top spot back. Kadena is just a shadow away and in a position to show that Seoul American cannot ignore them either. Meanwhile, Seisen will have to pin its hopes on fielding a completely healthy team, getting a couple into the top 10 and maybe slipping past Kadena into third.
What a week for the ladies! First, on Wednesday, Alle Robles of Kubaski announced that she was the person to beat with a major 1:26 improvement to set a Pacific-leading 5,000-meter time of 19:52, winning the OAC gold medal. Teammate Allie Reichburger similarly improved 1:30 over the previous week to finish second and take fourth on that list.
Then on Saturday, while Kubasaki supporters may have thought that Amanda Henderson of Seoul American might end up wedged between the Alle and Allie, Amanda managed her own 30-second jump at KAIAC finals, at 19:32, and is now a full minute ahead of herself from last year. The end result is that Alle and Allie may at best hope to split the Henderson sisters, Pamela and Amanda.
Seisen's Fumi Kurihara (season-best 20:49) will have to look over her shoulder at Kadena's Teylor Phetkhamyath (season-best 20:50) in hopes of not being squeezed out of the top five, having already lost to Seoul Foreign's Hannah Madden at API.
It is not good news for anyone that in winning the KAIAC girls team trophy by a score of 25, the next three Seoul American girls after Amanda Henderson, namely Pamela Henderson, Monica Paulk and Yolu Rodriguiz, were way off their season-best times; only fifth runner Jennifer Chan charged to a personal best, by nearly 1:30. If all five have their best race at Tama Hills, they will dominate.
Last year's Far East fourth-place finisher, Carydaliz Fontanez of Kinnick, will need to elbow her way past a several runners from Kubasaki, Kadena, Seoul American and Seisen just to stay in the top 10 (she is currently ranked 69th in the Pacific). Cary has not posted any top-challenging 5,000-meter times this season, but she did finish seventh in the Kanto finals and first at DODDS Japan finals, a step ahead of Yokota's Abigail Wall. Cary and Abigail have run times on the Kanto course which are no worse (in fact slightly better) than last year, which shows how much tougher this year's competition from Okinawa and Korea will be.
Yokota, DODDS Japan champion, is rated 18th and the runner-up Kinnick girls are 26th. Sophomore Runa Suzuki of CAJ, 10th at both Kanto finals and API but 33rd on the Pacific list, will find this year's collection of Far East teams much harder to keep up with. She and her No. 22-rated Knights teammates will have to settle for trying to catch up to Yokota and No. 20 Guam High, while worrying about Kinnick. CAJ girls do not want to repeat last year's last place finish
Far East big schools will count the top four finishers, so if the race merely involved the fourth runner, the girls team order of finish would be: Seisen (21:19), Kubasaki (21:24), Seoul American (21:33), Kadena (21:48), Guam (23:43), Yokota (24:06), Kinnick (24:14), CAJ (24:28) and Academy of Our Lady of Guam (30:22).
For the boys, the order of the fourth-place finisher would be: Kubasaki (18:28), St. Mary's (18:45), Seoul American (19:10), CAJ (19:13), Kadena (19:31), Yokota (19:44), Guam (20:06), Edgren (20:22), Father Duenas Memorial (20:40), and Kinnick (21:04).
Small schools count the first three runners; the projected girls order of finish would be: EJ King (24:19), Edgren (24:28), Perry (25:14), Osan American (26:25) and Zama American (28:39).
Small school boys order of finish: Perry (19:33.5), Edgren (19:33.7), EJ King (19:57), Osan (20:20), Zama (21:08).
St. Maur International, last year's girls runner-up and boys champion, has not competed on a 5,000-meter course this season.
Published: October 27, 2011
The Top Ten
The Top Ten teams in the Stars and Stripes' weekly Far East high school football ratings, with records through Oct. 15, 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 7-1 460 1
2. George Washington, Guam 8-0 456 2
3. American School In Japan 5-1 452 2
4. Kubasaki, Okinawa 5-1 448 4
5. Kadena, Okinawa 4-1 428 5
6. Seoul American 5-2 424 6
7. Guam High 5-4 396 7
8. Simon Sanchez, Guam 6-3 380 8
9. Zama American, Japan 3-5 316 9
10. Okkodo, Guam 3-6 296 10
Week 10 grid honors
Guam High—Sean Sweet 10-for-15, 132 yards; 9 yards, 2 carries; 1 interception. Matt Eaton 119 yards, 5 catches. Tyree Willis 2 fumble recoveries. Logan Dimmick 18 tackles, 3 sacks. Theartris Eaton 14 tackles. Nijee Smith 11 tackles.
Kubasaki—Cristian Rivera 12-for-19, 91 yards, 2 touchdowns; 48 yards, 5 carries; 70-yard touchdown catch. Brandon Crawford 54 yards, 4 catches; 70-yard touchdown pass. Richard Allen 77 yards, 2 touchdowns, 4 catches.
Zama American—Mitchell Harrison 43 yards, 10 carries; 63 yards, 3 returns; 1 fumble recovery.
Yokota—Tre Bailey 76 yards, 3 touchdowns, 8 carries. Michael Litman 82 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 carries; 27-yard touchdown catch. Morgan Breazell 64 yards, 8 carries; 30 yards, 2 returns; 1 interception.
Seoul American—Ty White 122 yards, 1 touchdown, 13 carries.
Daegu American—Xavian Washburn 1-yard touchdown run; 16 tackles.
Nile C. Kinnick—Dustin Kimbrell 177 yards, 3 touchdowns, 18 carries; 40 yards, 1 return; 1 fumble recovery, 1 blocked kick. Marcus Boehler 4-for-6 on extra-point kicks, Kinnicks'first field goal since 1993.
Week 11 outlook
Osan American at Singapore Falcons, 6 p.m.—Falcons thought Cristian Rivera and Jarrett Mitchell were a load? B.J. Bryant will be tough to stop, but Falcons should reverse the outcome of their trip last week to Okinawa. … Falcons 14, Cougars 13.
American School In Japan vs. Zama American at Reid Memorial Stadium, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, 7:30 p.m.—Title on the line for Mustangs, going for share of Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools crown; protection on the line for Trojans, keeping stars healthy for Division II title game next week. … Mustangs 16, Trojans 8.
DODDS Pacific Far East Division I playoffs
Kadena at Yokota, 7 p.m.—On paper, this looks like a mismatch. On the field, expect nothing of the sort. Kadena’s had trouble finding the end zone offensively; defensively, they’ve allowed just four touchdowns this season. Youngish roster is finding ways to win. Yokota has overpowered its Japan opponents, but has yet to beat Kadena in the Far East playoffs since their inception in 2005; this could be the one. … Yokota 16, Kadena 15.
Seoul American at Kubasaki, 2 p.m.—Third straight year that playoff opponents met each other during the regular season, this one at the same site as the previous encounter. Kubasaki’s 41-17 victory on Sept. 16 may have seemed one-sided, were it not for three big plays that broke it open. If the Falcons can ensure ball security and play better on special teams, this should be much closer. … Dragons 18, Falcons 15.
Last week—6-0, 1.000.
Far East Division I playoff capsules
Published: October 25, 2011
A sad day it was on the Zama American High School campus on Tuesday, when principal Candice Wojciechowsky sent word that Barry Huitema, a longtime DODDS educator and coach and Zama’s athletics director a year ago, died from complications of a massive heart attack suffered last Wednesday.
With his wife Erna, a Shirley B. Lanham Elementary School educator, at his side, Huitema passed away at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday at Ebina Hospital, near Camp Zama and Naval Air Facility Atsugi.
Huitema was a teacher at Yokota Middle School from 2000-04, left DODDS for a few years and returned to AFNORTH in August 2008. He then transferred to Zama in 2010-11. Huitema is also survived by a son and daughter.
I got to know Barry when he was the director of the 2004 Far East High School Wrestling Tournament, along with Yokota head coach Mark Hanssen and then-JV coach Brian Kitts. Barry was a smart, efficient and kind man, a big ol’ teddy bear of a guy.
He will be missed.
Published: October 25, 2011
Questions have come up in the last day or so as to which school will host the Far East Division I football championship game scheduled for Nov. 12. To clear up any confusion, here are the scenarios, coming straight from DODDS Pacific’s Far East athletics coordinator Don Hobbs by phone Tuesday:
-- A Yokota victory over Kadena at 7 p.m. Saturday makes Yokota the title-game host no matter what happens in the other semifinal.
-- If Kadena beats Yokota and Kubasaki beats Seoul American in Saturday’s other semifinal at 2 p.m., Kubasaki would host Kadena on Nov. 12.
-- If Kadena beats Yokota and Seoul American beats Kubasaki, Kadena would host the title game. That would seem logical, since Kadena beat Seoul American earlier this season, though Hobbs did not make any direct connection or even allude to that.
Hope that helps.
Published: October 24, 2011
Well, it’s official. Coach Jon Fick of Kubasaki’s boys basketball team, the defending Hong Kong International School and Far East Division I Tournament champion, sent an e-mail to organizers of next month’s 42nd Hong Kong tournament indicating the Dragons’ intent to not attend the event.
That means no DODDS teams at Hong Kong for the first time in seven years.
The reasons now are all too familiar: DOD rules and regulations prohibit DODDS student-athletes from homestaying with families of players on the host Hong Kong International Dragons or others with students who attend the school, unless background checks are conducted on those families.
I’ve already vented my feelings about this silly rule that points the finger of fate at the upper crust of society, which lives in gated communities with full security staffs; people can’t enter these compounds without a pass code that they must type into a digital key lock. Rarely do you find residences as safe as these. Rarely do you find families as wholesome, caring and generous.
I just hope that whichever official – be it within DOD, the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Education, whichever department of our government – saw fit to make this rule understands the long-term consequences for what has been an outstanding venue for high school students of all walks to compete against each other in what is a true northwest Pacific/southeast Asian event.
“We’re just looking out for the safety of our student-athletes” may be the line of reasoning in the short term.
That’s fine. But remove three teams each from what are normally eight-team boys and girls fields less than six weeks before the tournament begins – Yokota’s and Kadena’s teams also bowed out, citing the combined cost of airfare and finding hotel rooms which are at a premium during Thanksgiving weekend – and that leaves organizers Sharon Leung, the school’s athletics director, and activities coordinator Vipin Chopra scrambling to find last-second replacements.
And what of the future? Other regulars at this tournament, Taipei American of Taiwan, St. Mary’s International of Tokyo and Singapore American, might no longer view the event as worth their time and investment, and may look elsewhere for what amounts as a season-ending tournament for them. Another regular, Faith Academy of the Philippines, has already announced this is its last year at the tournament, but for different reasons.
Not since 2003 has the HKIS tournament faced this – coincidentally, the last time there were less than eight boys and girls teams attending.
Leung as much as confessed her concern about the future of the tournament when she told me via phone conversation this morning: “This could be the end of an era.”
Gad, I sure hope not. And it shouldn't be. Not in the 17 years that DODDS teams have played in the tournament has there ever been one incident that this rule could have prevented. No need for it, truly.
Whoever decided that it was in DODDS student-athletes best interests to deny them the chance to play in this tournament for what are short-sighted reasons at best and wrongheaded reasons at worst, rethink your position. Think of the long-term consequences, on the tournament, the student-athletes’ high school athletics experiences on all sides of the aisle, and how you’ll be viewed by these same students in years to come.
Published: October 24, 2011
Kanto Plain Finals/Invitational are done and results are published. APAC schools and IASAS schools have had their finals and results are in. API results are in. Guam schools have had their finals; results are not available, but all Guam schools ran at API, so they are appropriately represented below. Okinawa and KAIAC finals are about to happen, but the results of their many regular-season meets have been entered.
The following rankings are based on a hypothetical Pacific meet, scoring five placers and assuming all five runners on each team duplicate their season-best time. Of course, cross country is a sport greatly affected by attrition due to injury, so team health is a great variable.
Represented are schools from all northwest Pacific and southeast Asian leagues: The Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools; Okinawa Activities Council; Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference; Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam; Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools; Asia-Pacific Activities Conference; and DODDS Pacific.
The Asia-Pacific Invitational and DODDS Pacific Far East large schools meets use four places to score a meet; Far East small schools will score three runners. Some teams without depth for five solid runners may do well in meets scoring four or three runners. Some teams have benefited from fast times from fast, flat and or short courses during the season, so the following ranking should not be accepted as absolute. St. Maur and Yokohama International Schools did not attempt 5,000-meter races this season. (FE = likely going to Far East).
For more, click here.
1 61 American School In Japan (Kanto)
2 173 Seoul Foreign (KAIAC)
3 186 Jakarta International, Indonesia (IASAS)
4 215 Singapore American (IASAS)
5 239 John F. Kennedy (IIAAG) and Zion Christian Academy (OAC)
7 258FE Kubasaki, Okinawa (OAC)
8 271 International Christian-Uijongbu (KAIAC)
9 296FE St. Mary's International (Kanto, in four-man scoring at API, St. Mary's placed ahead of JFK and ICS-Uijongbu)
10 357 George Washington (IIAAG)
11 394 Korea International (KAIAC, in four-man scoring at API, KIS placed down between Harvest Christian Academy [IIAAG] and Faith Academy, Philippines)
12 398FE Kadena, Okinawa (OAC)
13 404 International School Beijing (APAC)
14 452 International School Manila (IASAS)
15 492FE Christian Academy Japan (in four-man scoring at API, CAJ placed ahead of GW and KIS)
16 507 Yongsan International-Seoul (KAIAC)
17 508 Okkodo (IIAAG, in four-man scoring at API, Okkodo placed ahead of ICS-Uijongbu and YIS-S)
18 568 American International School Guangzhou, China (APAC)
19 617 Hong Kong International (APAC)
20 642 International School Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (IASAS)
21 646 Gyeonggi Suwon International School (KAIAC)
22 649 International School Bangkok (IASAS)
23 665 Harvest Christian Academy (IIAAG)
24 672FE Seoul American (KAIAC)
25 680 Taipei American, Taiwan (IASAS)
26 689FE Guam High (IIAAG, in four-man scoring at API, Guam High placed ahead of Harvest)
27 740 Okinawa Christian School International (OAC)
28 807FE Yokota, Japan (Kanto)
29 830 Simon Sanchez (IIAAG)
30 834 Taejon Christian International, South Korea (KAIAC)
31 844 Southern (IIAAG, in four-man scoring at API, Southern placed after St. John’s)
32 868 Brent International, Philippines (APAC)
33 869 Concordia International School Shanghai (APAC)
34 891 Faith Academy, Philippines
35 893FE Robert D. Edgren, Japan (DODDS Japan)
36 898 Shanghai American Puxi, China (APAC)
898FE E.J. King, Japan (DODDS Japan)
38 913 Seoul International (KAIAC)
39 927 St. John’s (IIAAG)
40 946FE Father Duenas Memorial (IIAAG)
41 1011 Shanghai American Pudong
42 1034FE Osan American, South Korea (KAIAC)
43 1198FE Zama American, Japan (Kanto)
44 1216FE Matthew C. Perry, Japan (DODDS Japan)
45 1228 International Christian Hong Kong
46 1304 Southern Christian Academy (IIAAG)
47 1473 St. Paul Christian (IIAAG)
1 91 Singapore American (IASAS)
2 102FE Seisen International, Japan (Kanto) and FE Seoul American (KAIAC)
4 110 American School In Japan (Kanto)
5 210FE Kadena, Okinawa (OAC)
6 251FE Kubasaki, Okinawa (OAC)
7 260 International School Bangkok (IASAS)
8 294 George Washington, Guam (IIAAG)
9 361 Seoul Foreign (KAIAC)
361 Taipei American, Taiwan (IASAS)
11 365 International School Manila (IASAS)
12 399 International School of the Sacred Heart (Kanto, in four-person scoring at API, ISSH placed higher than Seoul Foreign)
13 401 John F. Kennedy, Guam (IIAAG)
14 405 International School Beijing (APAC)
15 417 Jakarta International, Indonesia (IASAS)
16 480 Hong Kong International
17 503 Shanghai American Pudong, China (APAC)
18 507FE Guam High (IIAAG)
19 544FE Christian Academy Japan (Kanto; in four-person scoring at API, CAJ placed higher than Guam High, JFK and Seoul Foreign)
20 546 Simon Sanchez, Guam (IIAAG)
21 547 Shanghai American Puxi, China (APAC)
22 568 Korea International (KAIAC)
23 570 International School Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (IASAS)
24 611 Yongsan International-Seoul (KAIAC)
25 665 Concordia International School Shanghai, China (APAC)
26 690 International Christian-Uijongbu, South Korea (KAIAC; in four-person scoring at API, ICS-Uijongbu placed higher than Simon Sanchez and Korea International
27 724FE Yokota, Japan (Kanto)
29 855FE Nile C. Kinnick, Japan (Kanto)
30 857 Harvest Christian Academy, Guam (IIAAG)
31 858 Zion Christian Academy, Okinawa (OAC)
32 938 St. John’s, Guam (IIAAG)
33 944FE Academy of Our Lady of Guam (IIAAG)
944 Okkodo, Guam (IIAAG)
35 960 Seoul International (KAIAC)
36 974 American International School Guangzhou, China (APAC)
37 994FE E.J. King, Japan (DODDS Japan)
38 1098FE Osan American, South Korea (KAIAC)
39 1126 Taejon Christian International, South Korea (KAIAC)
40 1134 Brent International, Philippines (APAC)
41 1156FE Matthew C. Perry, Japan (DODDS Japan)
42 1196 Southern, Guam (IIAAG)
43 1210 Okinawa Christian School International (OAC)
Published: October 24, 2011
Although Madeline Strandemo of Fargo South ran her best time ever (14 minutes, 46 seconds) in the 2.4-mile North Dakota state Class A cross-country meet, she finished a distant sixth place to now three-time state defending champ Tarin Lachowitzer of Fargo Davies.
Tarin’s time of 14:16.7 was, I think, 14 seconds faster than her career best time, and equal to the top times in Minnesota, which is really good in cross-country. Maddie, the No. 3-ranked runner in the state prior to the race and former two-time Asia-Pacific Invitational meet champion out of Hong Kong International, was disappointed with her finish, but not her time.
Perhaps Maddie is still learning how to run the four-kilometer, and I think she would have a better chance in the 5-K because of her strength (she’s a basketball player first – just ask her – hah). Well, she still has next year, and with Lachowitzer off to college on a cross-country scholarship, maybe a chance for a state title.
Maddie still has a big regional meet, the Nike Regional XC meet, in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Nov. 3. It brings together a lot of the top high school cross-country runners in the Midwest, so a good opportunity to showcase her talents, but basketball will be on her mind now.
The race developed a bit different than previous races for Maddie against Tarin and the rest, and young runners Jordan Jacob of Bismark Century and Alison Allmer of Jamestown bolted from the starting gates and made it a bit more of a sprint than a tactical race.
Maddie said she was winded after the first 200 meters, but couldn’t let up or she would have been toasted. Others, like No. 4-ranked runner Alex Backlund of Shanley-Oak Grove and No. 5 Brittany Brown Otter of Bismark, were toasted, and fell well back-in-the-pack, although still with decent times.
Click here to read more.
Published: October 24, 2011
OK, so this isn’t exactly suited for a sports blog. But hey, a goodly number of the 120 students in attendance at last week’s DODDS Pacific Far East Journalism Conference at Tokyo’s New Sanno Hotel are student-athletes as well as student-journalists.
Here’s a rundown of the award winners (with sport in parentheses) announced at last Thursday’s closing ceremony:
1, Trisha Dring, Zama American; 2, Leanne Quizon (volleyball), Daegu American; 3, Gaku Lange (soccer), Matthew C. Perry.
1, Demi Kelly, Daegu American; 2, Luke Travis (football), Seoul American; 3, Sarah Swatzell, Guam High.
1, Marie-Stefanie Meneses, E.J. King; 2, Caroline Loynd, Guam High; 3, Lilly Crown (tennis), Yokota.
1, Shikha Gautam, International School of the Sacred Heart; 2, Stephanie Mobley (soccer), Kadena; 3, Raven Calloway (volleyball), Daegu American.
1, Youheum Son, Seoul American; 2, Alyssa Sellers, Matthew C. Perry; 3, Susannah Iles, Osan American.
1, Gaku Lange, Matthew C. Perry; 2, Leanne Quizon, Daegu American; 3, Marie-Stefanie Meneses, E.J. King.
1, Rachel Bloom, Yokota; 2, Mildy Briones, Osan American; 3, Shikha Gautam, International School of the Sacred Heart.
1, Luke Travis, Seoul American; 2, Maryam Tehranie, Nile C. Kinnick; 3, Ashley Cheatham, Guam High.
Sports layout DPS
1, Zach Lewis, Matthew C. Perry; 2, Marianne Diaz, Kubasaki; 3, Jazele Pegues, Seoul American.
1, Madeline Mastriano, Kubasaki; 2, Victoria Lombardi, Kadena; 3, Maryam Tehranie, Nile C. Kinnick.
1, Team 6; 2, Team 4; 3, Team 8.
1, Junta Tokunaga, Nile C. Kinnick; 2, Seth Wall (cross country), Yokota; 3, Christine Toldeo, Seoul American.
1, Ryan Lattanzi, Daegu American; 2, Stephanie McDole (soccer), Osan American; 3, Marina Pavek, Seoul American.
1, Len Jon Cadavos (tennis), Matthew C. Perry; 2, Michael Delfin, Guam High; 3, Sunil Clark, E.J. King.
1, Alex Hauter (volleyball), Osan American; 2, Zoey Coppa, Kubasaki; 3, Malia Makaneole, Guam High.
1, The Face of Tokyo; 2, New Sanno News; 3, Tokyo Travelers.
1, Momo Miyazaki, International School of the Sacred Heart; 2, Savannah Soule, Kubasaki; 3, Stephanie Mobley, Kadena.
1, Grant Loftesnes, Kubasaki; 2, Nikita Nagras, International School of the Sacred Heart; 3, Sanskriti Mehta, International School of the Sacred Heart.
1, Ben Panasiewicz and Aryssa Livica, Yokota; 2, Malachi Diaz, Kadena; 3, Travis Higgs, Seoul American.
1, Ariel D.S. Gosso, Daegu American; 2, Vivian Park, Seoul American; 3, Kirsten Kwon (tennis), Seoul American.
1, Anna Ramos, Kubasaki; 2, Sanskriti Mehta, International School of the Sacred Heart; 3, Gerald Dasal, Nile C. Kinnick.
1, Lindsey Bramnen, Seoul American; 2, Danielle Rosales (soccer), Matthew C. Perry; 3, Ashlynne James, Kubasaki.
Overall spread challenge
1, Tokyo Echo; 2, The Edo Endeavor; 3, Pacific Pulse.
Staffers’ choice awards
1, Samur-Eye, Matthew C. Perry.
1, The Wingspan, Seoul American; 2, Samur-Eye, Matthew C. Perry.
1, Yokota; 2, Kadena; 3, Robert D. Edgren.
1, Matthew C. Perry.
Published: October 24, 2011
United Services for Korea Officials Association will hold its annual basketball rules and certification clinic on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Mustang Club on Osan Air Base, USFKOA officials announced Monday.
Referees who wish to officiate basketball this year (from youth sports to post level) can certify and learn of changes to the 2011-2012 rules at the clinic, according to USFKOA's Area III co-assigner Reginald L. Wyche.
USFKOA referee and clinician, Jesse Thompson, will cover rule changes,2011-2012 points of emphasis, and referee techniques. This is one in a series of clinics performed by Thompson on the peninsula but this one is specific to Area III.
USFKOA was founded in 2008 by Alan Morton, a DODDS educator in Korea. It's been awarded the contract for military and youth sports in Korea, has entered into agreement with the Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference and is soon expected to acquire the DODDS Korea sports officiating contract, Morton said.
This replaces the pact between KAIAC-DODDS Korea and the Korea Sports Officials Association, which had been active in Korea for more than 35 years.
For more, contact Wyche at 010-8696-2109 or e-mail at email@example.com for more information.
A group of Nile C. Kinnick High School alumni dating back to the Class of 1985, including lettermen jacket-wearing football player Bill "Bong" Baumann, Class of 87, and head cheerleader Shellanie Trinidad, Class of 93, prepare to view the Red Devils 43-0 football rout of Robert D. Edgren. Dave Ornauer/Stars and Stripes
Published: October 23, 2011
Musings, mutterings and the occasional schmahts as Ornauer prepares to vault headlong into the Far East football playoffs:
Ah, nothing like a parade and the big game to highlight a homecoming week, or “Spirit Week” as it’s known in many circles. One thing that Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools do well is homecoming. Zama American may have lost its homecoming game 33-0 to Yokota, but for three years now, the garrison has hosted what I consider the finest homecoming parade in the Kan-to, because of the full participation of the base command, U.S. Army Japan command and their entire support staffs. Everything from fire trucks to flat beds have a part. Firemen and MPs participate. Maj. Gen. Michael Harrison, whose junior son Mitchell plays for the Trojans, presided over the pre-game coin toss. It gets no better than that.
Unless, of course, it rains, which it did all game long, drenching the mood of the home denizens, who still turned out wearing plastic covering, bearing umbrellas, anything to stay dry. I would venture to guess more than several cheerleaders needed to be wrung out when they got home. But that was after both Yokota’s and Zama’s cheerleaders joined together in a dance at halftime on the track; even the mascots joined in. Good sportsmanship as well as spirit.
As to the game itself … riddled by injuries and with the trip to Daegu American for the Far East Division II championship game looming in two weeks, Zama probably did the smart thing in sitting at least two of its running backs, Andre Encarnacion and Richard Castillo, and allowing Harrison to see limited action. The Nov. 5 title game at this point means far more for the Trojans. Trade a couple of late regular-season games for a chance at a banner? If I’m coach Steven Merrell, I feel somewhat conflicted; you don’t want to wave a white flag, but you also want that title.
Yokota, meanwhile, for the first time since last year’s Division I title game went without a running back going over 100 yards … and still won. Part of that, of course, is due to the Panthers’ rolling up a 33-point lead at halftime, triggering the mercy rule and running clock.
But one thing the Panthers did that they hadn’t done all season was reel off several big plays. This was a team that was scoring on a short burst here, an off-tackle dive there; on Friday, Stanley Speed threw 27 yards for a touchdown to Michael Litman, who also ran 72 yards for a touchdown. Tre Bailey added a 48-yard touchdown run, and Scott Hanson’s 58-yard burst set up Bailey’s first of three touchdowns.
Thus, that balance has returned for Yokota. It can score on big plays, it can score in the air and it can score on short plays.
Friday wasn’t homecoming at Nile C. Kinnick, but it sure felt like one given a look at the more than 20 Red Devil alumni dotting the field, along with a surprise guest – former Kinnick principal and DODDS Japan district superintendent Bruce Derr. The multi-year reunion featured graduates from as far back as 1985, and included football luminary Bill “Bong” Baumann, Class of 1987, and head cheerleader Shellanie Trinidad, Class of 1993. I’d seen neither since they graduated. Trinidad is back working at Yokosuka, by the way.
And boy, you talk about timing. Did the Red Devils pick the right time to break out of a four-game slump. Dustin Kimbrell, who’d also been battling injuries, scored three times and finished with 177 yards on 18 carries in Kinnick’s 43-0 romp over Robert D. Edgren. Quinton Holden, Dustin Wilson and Aaron Stravers each rushed for a touchdown. Marcus Boehler was good on four of six extra-point tries and became the first Kinnick kicker in 18 years to boot a field goal.
If you think about it, Guam High really could have excused itself and mailed in this season after graduating 20 seniors and welcoming yet another new head coach; that post has resembled a revolving door over the years.
Well, given the Panthers’ return to the Interscholastic Football League’s Bamboo Bowl title game for the second time – they lost 14-0 to a George Washington team that avenged its 7-6 defeat against Guam High in the same game a year ago – one could think that maybe Guam High is becoming a program.
Jacob Dowdell, the Panthers’ first-year coach, says he’ll be in place for some time to come. Most of the Panthers were underclass players. While Keanu Lujan and the Geckos were the team of choice this season, enjoying their first perfect season in six years, it could be Guam High that rules the roost next season and well into the future.
Cristian Rivera looked like his old self of a season ago on Saturday in Kubasaki’s homecoming game against Singapore. He tossed two touchdown passes, each to Richard Allen, and caught an option pass for a score from his favorite target, Brandon Crawford, for 70 yards in the Dragons’ 33-0 shutout of the Falcons. Jarrett Mitchell scored a touchdown, but was held to his lowest total of the season, 68 yards on six carries.
Despite the relatively one-sided victory, Kubasaki coach Fred Bales feels Singapore, which hosts Osan American of Korea on Saturday, “will give Osan fits.” Singapore’s Falcons are an All-Star group culled from its two regular-season teams, the Oilers and Vikings; Saturday’s loss was their first action as an All-Star unit. Saturday’s game with Osan kicks off at 7 p.m. at Singapore American School.
It took a staunch,Herculean defensive effort in the fourth quarter, especially on a 70-yard drive that ended in a missed 22-yard field goal, but Seoul American prevailed over a prideful former two-time DODDS Korea champion Daegu American 10-7 in Friday’s homecoming game for the Warriors.
It was a far cry from the Falcons’ 16-0 home victory over the Warriors on Sept. 23. But for coach Rydell Wilkins, who got a 53-yard touchdown run from Ty White which proved to be the game winner, playing a close game just prior to the Falcons’ trip to Kubasaki for the Division I semifinal on Saturday was “not a bad thing for our team,” he said.
Coach Ken Walter, whose Warriors lost to Kubasaki 24-6 on Sept. 3, believes the Falcons, 41-17 losers at Kubasaki on Sept. 17, will give the Dragons problems. “Man for man, they (Falcons) have as much talent as anybody else out here,” Walter said.
Published: October 23, 2011
SportsBlog Nation's cross-country analyst Bruce Carrick breaks down the second and last day of the Asia-Pacific Invitational Cross-Country Meet:
Saturday's API Day 2 Beach-Road relay brought the the 8th Asia-Pacific Invitational to a conclusion. The boy-girl pairs of each school completed the 2.5-kilometer circuit four times, beginning at Ypao Beach Park.. Each school had five pairs, with the first four pairs counting in scoring. The beautiful clear sunrise was a welcome respite from Friday's rain. There were mixed feelings about the outgoing tide however. The beach run includes figuring a way to negotiate a rocky outcropping, with three options: Up and over on stairs, through a small meter-high tunnel or around in the water. The water course is the most fun, but low tides meant there would be very little splashing through the surf. Getting wet would have to wait for the massive post-race schooling-of-runners in the shallow bay waters.
The first two pairs to finish the 10-kilometer relay were from American School In Japan, making their lock on yet another relay trophy and overall meet championship, the Mustangs' fifth in API's eight years. It ended the two-year run on relay and overall championships by the combined St. Mary's and Seisen International teams of Tokyo. The Titans and Phoenix combined for second overall and in the relay.
Seoul Foreign repeated its fine performance of Friday and took third in the relay and overall. It takes a balanced performance for both boys and girls to finish in the top third of this field of 20-plus schools, and there is no doubt that the top three schools displayed exactly that balance.
George Washington, bouncing back from a disappointing boys race and building on the strength of their girls team, took fourth in the relay and overall. Right behind the Geckos, with the reverse profile of a strong boys team, John F. Kennedy took sixth in the relay and fifth overall. Christian Academy Japan (seventh), in being beaten by JFK in the relay, had give up hope of tying JFK and had to settle for sixth overall.
A team that really outperformed their Friday results was International Christian-Uijongbu of South Korea. Despite finishing 10th and sixth in the girls and boys races, the Eagles put it together for an impressive fifth-place finish in the relay and nearly overtook CAJ in the overall standings. They finished seventh overall. Guam High, with nearly the same numbers as ICS-U on Friday (seventh and 10th), was not quite as productive on Saturday, settling for eighth in the relay and eighth overall, tied with Yongsan International-Seoul by points but ahead by virtue of placing ahead of YIS-S in the relay.
Fifteen schools (or pairs of schools) competed for the relay and were thus eligible for the overall standings. In last place was cross-country newcomer Southern High, just behind Father Duenas Memorial and Academy of Our Lady of Guam. Hats off to this squad of first-year students and volunteer coach. As the Dolphins mature, they will surely rise in the ranks.
Most of the 12 schools below the top three may have exceptionally fine boys team or a good girls team, but their challenge in future years is to find balance. It seems especially that the the perennially strong teams from the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools have found a way to produce outstanding girls teams, a model that Guam and Korean schools would do well to consider carefully.
Revisiting the Friday race, a slight clerical correction in scoring moved CAJ girls up to fifth and Seoul Foreign down to sixth, an unexpectedly high finish for the CAJ girls. The Knights did not even bring a girls team in 2010.
Looking back on those Friday results, here are a couple of thoughts:
The course appears to be about 100 meters longer than 5,000 meters, which with the rain and mud, makes the athlete accomplishments that much more remarkable. The vast majority of the top 40 boys set season bests at 5,000 meters. The same is true of the top 20 girls. However, in the next 20, most of the girls were off their game, many nearly a minute off. These are the finishers who went into the race with high hopes, only to meet disappointment, be it a frustrating injury or unrealistic fast marks in earlier races. They did well still, considering that there were over 100 girls in the race; just not what they were hoping for perhaps. Coaches from Korea explain that the fast times in their athletes portfolio is due to the fact that they run on concrete-road races. For them especially, Guam's API is a unique and enriching chance to actually have a cross-country race. Same for Kanto, except that API is a unique experience to run on a flat course as well as on grass. As always, the teams that think to run in spikes always do well. All the coaches loved the course, and unanimously express their appreciation to the Okkodo principal and athletic director, with hopes for returning to Okkodo for next year.
Next up on the calendar is the Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference finals on Saturday at ICS-U. From that race, we can better project how Seoul American and Osan American will fare when they come up against Guam High, Father Duenas, Academy of Our Lady, St. Mary's, Seisen, CAJ, St. Maur International, Yokota, Nile C. Kinnick, Zama American, Matthew C. Perry, E.J. King, and Robert D. Edgren at Far East, on the Tama Hills Recreation Center course Nov. 7-8. We don't have any cross-over links to the Okinawa schools of Kadena and Kubasaki, so it will be quite difficult to predict their outcomes in the Far East competition.
Published: October 22, 2011
At 21-0 this season and 75-1 in the regular season since the start of the 2009 campaign, with three straight Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools and DODDS Japan league titles, Nile C. Kinnick continues a run unprecedented in school history.
Emily Stith and Mashiya McKinney continue to star at middle blocker, Val James and Michayla Robinson are dangerous as ever outside, Kaile Johnson gets to everything defensively, she and Robinson each bear dangerous jump serves and Jerimae Capuyan sets for a Red Devils outfit that’s playing better TEAM ball than either of its predecessors.
A good bet to make as deep a run at the Far East Division I Tournament title next month at Seoul American as we’ve ever seen out of Yokosuka Naval Base.
Now, as for the team the Red Devils vanquished in the DODDS Japan tournament final, it would be quite easy to view the E.J. King Cobras as Ashley Rock setting Katie Rock, Katie Rock setting Ashley Rock and a supporting cast .
Don’t believe what they say for a minute. Yes, it’s pretty clear the two daughters of Fleet Activities Sasebo commanding officer Capt. Charles W. Rock, Ashley a senior and Katie a junior, are the ones who drive the Cadillac. They’re AAU and junior-national trained in the States, played for Yorktown High in Arlington, Va., and Metro American club in Washington, and have years of experience on their Cobra teammates.
But these two aren’t about themselves. They impart as much knowledge and wisdom as they can on their teammates, encourage them at every turn, and make them feel as much a part of the Cobras’ success as anybody. They’ve only lost four matches, to Kinnick and Yokota this season, and will enter next month’s Division II Tournament at Daegu American High as one of the favorites, if not the favorite.
Injuries are as much a part of the game as anything else. But to lose libero Becca Warren (left shoulder, right finger) and middle blocker-setter Kathryn White (mild concussion) were key to Yokota’s fortunes in the tournament. Warren and White should be healthy in time for the Far East D-I tournament.
Matthew C. Perry, with middle blocker Courtney Beall and setter Sam Herritt, is a good team waiting to happen. … Robert D. Edgren, with Alexis Farrow and Xala Sledge, and Zama American, with Nelly Chitamin, should find the D-II experience to be a good learning one.
Published: October 22, 2011
Ma Nature was far from kind to the participants in the DODDS Japan tennis tournament at Yokota High School. Rain washed out play in each of the boys and girls singles and boys doubles championship matches; only the girls doubles, with Yokota’s Anju Yamanaka and Misa Brophy prevailing, were complete before the rains fell on Friday.
Thus, Sam Cadavos of Matthew C. Perry and Tia Burke of Zama American, who were leading their respective singles matches when play was halted, each was awarded the gold.
Which has to, at best, feel rather hollow as a victory.
So, why not do the following: Finish the outstanding matches after the finals of the Far East Tournament scheduled for Nov. 7-10 at Kadena Air Base’s Risner Tennis Complex on Okinawa?
You’re talking three matches, each of which was near completion; Cadavos and Yokota’s Arlo Taylor were four games away, the boys doubles was a game or two shy and Burke and Yokota’s Erika Ettl were near completion in the first set.
That should take no more than 90 minutes to complete on one court. An hour and a half to reach a true, honest, non-truncated conclusion to these very important league championship matches.
To Far East tournament director Amie Woo: Please consider.
Published: October 22, 2011
Now that it’s rather apparent that this very curiously recently-discovered Department of Defense rule will prohibit students from homestaying with host families at next month’s 42nd Hong Kong International School Holiday Basketball Tournament, it is more than time to not only revisit the rule, but make an exception for this tournament.
To be fair, the rule, which apparently mandates that students and teams hostel in on-base billeting or off-base hotels under direct supervision from coaches and chaperones, is in place as a safety and liability safeguard.
The recent attention being paid to it, I’m told, had something to do with an event in Europe, at which students engaged in misconduct, the nature of which I’ve not been told.
I’ll say again: Homestaying with host HKIS-attached families is as ironclad an insurance policy as Prudential. These families are as upper-crust wholesome as they get. They reside in gated communities, with full security staffs and can’t even enter the compounds without a passkey or a lock combination.
DODDS teams have participated in this tournament since the early 1990s without incident. The Red Hill area is well to the south of the downtown districts. Violent crime is virtually non-existent in this area of Hong Kong, and the crime rate for such a large city, of 7 million, is rather low, anyway.
I know this is being discussed at the highest DODEA levels. These things do take time to null out. But the longer the talk, the sooner tournament organizers Sharon Leung and Vipin Chopra will seek other teams to fill the shoes of Yokota, which played in the event for the first time last year, and Kubasaki and Kadena, regulars since the mid-1990s.
And the better the chances none of the above will ever be invited again. Which would be a shame. It’s a great tournament, perhaps the best I’ve ever been to.
I'm beyond worrying at this point about whether this or other posts on the subject will anger authority, for it is what is standing in the way of the high school student-athletes' experience in this particular case. We've never had a problem up until now. Why create drama where it doesn't exist?
To paraphrase President Reagan when he visited Berlin in the late 1980s: “Mr. DOD, tear down this rule!”
Published: October 21, 2011
The 8th annual Asia-Pacific Invitational Cross-Country Meet, held this year at the Okkodo High campus in Guam, produced the expected rematch of Seisen International and American School In Japan girls.
If the results of the girls race and the boys race are any testament, then Tokyo’s Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools can feel very good.
In a repeat of last week's Kanto finals, Seisen survived the challenge of ASIJ girls, 29-32. What is notable here is that ASIJ was without their number one girl. Seisen, to be fair, is nursing some injuries, but perhaps that could be said of a number of schools. Third was Guam's George Washington, with 72, just ahead of Tokyo’s International School of the Sacred Heart (90) to break up a sweep of the top three team places by Kanto schools. Seoul Foreign (fifth, 95) helped out in that task by placing ahead of Christian Academy Japan (sixth, 107). Guam High and John F. Kennedy came next. Sixteen girls teams were entered.
Individually, a surprised Seoul Foreign coach cheered on Hanna Madden to a season best and an Amanda Henderson-challenging 20:15. Defending runner-up Fumi Kurihara of Seisen was second, nearly matching her season best (20:50.0, despite back pains the severely limit her training). Her two teammates followed: Therese Kern (21:04, a 27 second improvement) and Lisa Kwak (21:11, matching her season best). Then began the ASIJ challenge: placing fifth, seventh, ninth and 11th. Those four runners all improved their season best, averaging a 12-second improvement.
Before the second Korean runner could finish (Julia Byun, ICS-Ujongbu, 20th, nearly a minute slower than her season best back in Korea) and before the fourth Seisen girl (Megan Koehane, 21st, 22:34), the ASIJ pack was joined by Naomi Blas of JFK (sixth, 21:31), Theisen Peres (Academy of Our Lady of Guam, seventh, 21:40), Runa Suzuki of CAJ (10th, 21:46.2, matching her season best despite a sprained ankle suffered in the course tour), Charlotte Uden of ISSH (11th, 22:14) and a pack of three George Washington runners (Sierra Daughtry 12th, 21:46.6; Jeashalyn Fejeran, 14th, 22:15.0; and Rachel Walker, 15th, 22:15.8).
Confusing issues during the race was an unauthorized middle school runner on the course, according to an apologetic meet director Jay Antonio. It quite detracted from the high school meet.
If horses had wings, they would need them to stay ahead of the ASIJ boys Mustangs. The Mustangs scored the low score of 24 points on a field of 19 teams, way outdistancing their nearest competitors, Seoul Foreign School (77) and St. Mary's International (83). Host Okkodo finished fifth (110), just behind their rival down the road, John F. Kennedy (fourth, 92). International Christian-Ujongbu and Yongsan International-Seoul were next, followed by CAJ (without the services of their fourth and fifth runners for this meet), George Washington and Guam High to finish out the top 10.
Boys individual results were tempered by a steady rain that soaked the course and competitors all morning, and the girls race reduced the course to slippery mud. Still, a lot of the lead runners posted season-best times. Leading the field of 146 boys was Brandon Fell of St. John's (Guam) who all season posted times that had been the source of not a little disbelief. Today there are believers. While some of his earlier marks are on short courses, on this fully 5,000-meter course his time of 16:16.3 is clearly the best in the Pacific.
Forty seconds back was Trevor Maggart of ASIJ (16:56.6, improving his season best by 14 seconds), then Luke Seaborn of Faith Academy 17:07.0, season best unknown), Jay DeVries of ICS-Uijongbu (17:10.0, about 15 seconds off his season best) and Koh Terai (St. Mary's, 17:13.0, 46 seconds better than his season best). Four of the next five were from ASIJ (that's right, five in the top 10; all of them 25-35 seconds faster than they had done in previous races this season). In ninth was Gerald Asuncion of nearby JFK (17:23.8, season best unknown). Guam High's first boy was Aaron Russ (nineteenth, 18.09.3).
As is usual, the Kanto runners post 5,000-meter times at API much faster than would be predicted by earlier season results. Korean peninsula runners in the top half of the field were just the opposite, typically the boys being 20-30 seconds slower than their previous marks. Perhaps there are some course measurement issues here. Observation about Guam results is too sketchy.
A determination by the National Parks Service that athletic competition at Asan War Memorial Park is out of keeping with the somber significance of the memorial forced the Asia-Pacific Invitational hosts to find a new race site. It is sad to say goodbye to the Asan course, but the new course for the 8th API, at Okkodo, is a wonderful course in its own right. What visiting school could feel anything but envy for having a place such as this to train and compete on? The three-lap, 5,000-meter course is great spectator course.
Saturday morning's relay races should prove a tight race for first and second between ASIJ and the combined squads of Seisen and St. Mary's. The winner would take all in the overall team trophy. Seoul Foreign has the inside track for third (both relay and overall) with a fifth (girls) and second (boys) performance Friday. JFK, GW and Okkodo have unbalanced squads, strong in one gender but week in the other. CAJ comes at it with more balance (a 6th and 8th finish). These four would hope to challenge SFS, but the challenge will be great.
Published: October 20, 2011
The Top Ten
The Top Ten teams in the Stars and Stripes' weekly Far East high school football ratings, with records through Oct. 15, 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 6-1 456 1
2. George Washington, Guam 7-0 452 2
(tie) American School In Japan 5-1 452 2
4. Kubasaki, Okinawa 4-1 444 4
5. Kadena, Okinawa 4-1 428 5
6. Seoul American 4-2 420 6
7. Guam High 5-3 412 7
8. Simon Sanchez, Guam 5-3 372 8
9. Zama American, Japan 3-4 344 9
10. Okkodo, Guam 3-5 312 10
Week 9 grid honors
Kubasaki—Jarrett Mitchell 174 yards, 2 touchdowns, 11 carries; 28 yards, 1 return. Cristian Rivera 8-for-14, 130 yards, 2 touchdowns; 32 yards, 2 touchdowns, 8 carries. Jace Johnson 54 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 catches; 5 yards, 2 carries. Brandon Crawford 51 yards, 2 catches; 36-yard fumble-return touchdown, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception.
Zama American—David Coleman 84 yards, 1 touchdown, 7 catches; 74 yards, 5 returns.
Nile C. Kinnick—Dustin Kimbrell 102 yards, 11 carries. Alex Banks 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception.
American School In Japan—Hayden Jardine 6-for-14, 96 yards; 26 yards, 1 touchdown, 6 carries; 44 yards, 2 returns; 34-yard interception-return touchdown, 2 interceptions. Ken Yajima 51 yards, 1 touchdown, 11 carries; 42 yards, 4 returns; 48 yards, 2 catches. Haru Kent 111 yards, 2 touchdowns, 8 carries; 8 yards, 1 catch.
Guam High—Sean Sweet 7-for-15, 165 yards, 1 touchdown; 32 yards, 6 carries; 1 interception. David John Cruz 46 yards, 2 touchdowns, 11 carries. Tegan Brown 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery. Nijee Smith 13 tackles. Theartris “T-Rock” Eaton 12 tackles, 1 sack.
Osan American—B.J. Bryant 305 yards (Pacific single-game high for season), 3 touchdowns, 21 carries. Jacob Ives 2 touchdowns.
Daegu American—Lee Wright 229 yards, 2 touchdowns, 24 carries.
Yokota—Tre Bailey 173 yards, 3 touchdowns, 14 carries. Stanley Speed 65 yards, 2 carries, 3-for-7, 64 yards.
Robert D. Edgren—Tristan Jefferson 4-for-7, 120 yards. Louis Murphy 123 yards, 4 catches.
Week 10 outlook
Robert D. Edgren at Nile C. Kinnick, 7 p.m.—Pride on the line here in the latest installment of the Toku Horse series. … Red Devils 15, Eagles 9.
Yokota at Zama American, 7:30 p.m.—Panthers’ rising freshman star Tre Bailey could be biggest luminary; Yokota’s Morgan Breazell coming off illness, Trojans’ backfield decimated by injury. … Panthers 21, Trojans 7.
Seoul American vs. Daegu American at Kelly Field, Camp Walker, 6 p.m..—League titles and playoff berths already settled, but a very important game in terms of momentum entering playoffs for each team. … Falcons 16, Warriors 13.
Guam Interscholastic Football League playoffs
Okkodo vs. Simon Sanchez at Ramsey Field, John F. Kennedy High School, Upper Tumon, 3 p.m.—Will Sharks regain their late-season magic? … Sharks 13, Bulldogs 10.
Guam High at George Washington, 7 p.m.—Panthers have plenty of talent but Geckos’ experience factor will ultimately reverse last year’s outcome. … Geckos 18, Panthers 15.
Singapore Falcons at Kubasaki, 2 p.m.—Second inter-area game for Dragons in two weeks; second win in two weeks, another big outing for Mitchell. … Dragons 19, Falcons 11.
Last week—5-1, .833.
Published: October 16, 2011
Might have jumped the gun with last night’s post about the lack of wide knowledge of Pacific high school football “mercy rule” and also who may or may not be eligible for the Far East Division I football playoffs and the reasons why.
First, the “mercy rule.”
According to Don Hobbs, DODDS Pacific’s Far East athletics coordinator, the current rule reads as follows:
Whenever there is a 30-plus point lead, the following will become effective:
-- The team ahead will substitute non-starters for starting players.
-- The team ahead will not attempt forward passes.
-- The team ahead will attempt only point-after-touchdown kicks (no two-point attempts).
-- There will be a running clock, and it will be stopped only for injury or when the losing team is awarded a timeout.
-- When the lead decreases to less than 21 points, the restrictions will be lifted until the 30-point differential is re-established.
Policies from the school year 2010-11 manual apply to the current season until the 2011-12 manual is sent out, which Hobbs says he expects to be distributed in about 10 days. In the meantime, all DODDS Pacific coaches and athletics directors should know where the rule can be found and how it reads, he said.
That said, the widest dissemination possible needs to happen with the "mercy rule" to avert situations like we had Saturday at Zama, especially to the various officials associations which referee our Pacific high school games.
Next, the Far East Division I football playoffs
Scratch what I posted about eligibility tracking and accounting; Hobbs states that has never been an issue with non-DODDS schools' participation.
The Far East playoffs are a work in progress, continually evolving, Hobbs said. For now, only DODDS Pacific teams will participate, though they’ve not completely ruled out non-DODDS schools’ participation at some point.
DODDS Pacific has historically admitted schools to their athletic activities by the following invitation priority:
-- DODDS Pacific schools.
-- Schools participating in existing leagues with DODDS Pacific schools, to include the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools, Okinawa Activities Council and Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam, which have football as part of their constitutions. Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference schools do not play football, other than its DODDS Pacific schools.
-- Other schools that have recently participated in the activity.
-- Other schools participating for the first time.
As to American School In Japan, Hobbs said the schools stated it had another activity this school year and would not be available for this year’s football playoffs.
The IIAAG playoffs stretch over three weekends this month, concluding with Saturday’s Bamboo Bowl pitting Guam High at George Washington.
“We cannot and will not have teams participate … when it is only convenient for them. … A long-term commitment will be necessary, especially for football,” Hobbs said, adding that DODDS won’t schedule its football playoffs around a non-DODDS league’s postseason.
Had Guam High won the Oct. 3 play-in game at Kadena, it could conceivably have had 12 games this season. Same would have held true for George Washington had it participated in the Far East postseason. Hobbs said one goal of his is to get more games for DODDS Pacific teams.
Published: October 16, 2011
The rain and mud pulled down on Carydaliz Fontanez, slowing her 28 seconds from her personal record the week before, but Fontanez held on for a 36 second margin over the second DODDs Japan girls finisher, Abigail Wall of Yokota, at the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools cross-country finals on Saturday at Tama Hills Recreation Center.
Fontanez placed seventh overall and Wall 15th. The third DODDs finisher was Madeline Cotton of Robert D. Edgren (21st).
On this day, times were quite irrelevant in the wind, rain, mud and slick moss. Fontanez' personal record-effort the previous week (13:53.8) had placed her 49th on the all-time 2.1 mile course list, which has more than 1,300 runners dating back to the 1980s.
The downpour and flowing rivers of mud proved such an obstacle that few runners could reach their goal of setting a personal record on the course on this last meet of the regular season.
However, the torrid rain was matched by the intensity of the front 12 girls, eight of whom did manage PRs. They included Marika Fujisaki (of first-time participating Senri Osaka International, second), Lisa Kwak (Seisen International, fourth), Aki Bowers, Michelle Stolle and Mina McClure (all American School In Japan, fifth, eighth, 12th), and Runa Suzuki and Ria Kitaura-Rachmin (both Christian Academy Japan, 10th, 11th). Matthew C. Perry and E.J. King each had four girls who set PRs.
Fontanez' teammate, boys favorite Robert Beard (sixth), finished 10 seconds back of a tight bunch that included two ASIJ and two St. Mary's International runners, and 20 seconds back of upset winner senior Daniel Buckley of Yokohama International School.
Buckley was three seconds ahead of senior Trevor Maggart of ASIJ. Maggart was third in 2010 and had a PR set in 2010, 36 seconds faster than Saturday. Buckley's win should not have been too much of a surprise – in his previous three races, he stalked the lead group, placing himself in contention for Saturday's win. He was seventh in 2010.
A greater surprise in the race was the closing in on ASIJ by two St. Mary's runners, who were able to join Buckley and Beard in finishing ahead of ASIJ's third runner -- a disappointment but no problem for ASIJ, which took four of the next five spots. E.J. King's Kento Reynolds slipped in among them for 10th place and Yokota's senior Michael Faulkner followed, taking 12th.
There were few PRs set on this muddy day by the young men, but notable PRs were achieved by Buckley, Reynolds, St. Mary's junior Koh Terai (5th) and Kinnick's senior Stephen Magnusson (15).
In team scores, ASIJ boys were Kanto League champions (29), followed by St. Mary’s (72), CAJ (102), YIS (126) and St. Maur International (154). CAJ packed four tightly just outside of the medals, but as always struggled at fifth position, which allowed St. Mary's to overcome their own weakness in their Nos. 3, 4 and 5 runners to take the runner-up team award. YIS, despite placing two ahead of CAJ's first (14th), suffered even more from a lack of depth in the Nos. 3, 4 and 5 positions.
Kinnick and Yokota finished out the Kanto League team scoring; Zama was incomplete. When adding the outlying DODDs schools for the Kanto Invitational scoring, only Edgren and King had full squads and they finished below Yokota.
While even the most casual observer could have called out the boys score, the girls’ competition was anything but clear. Seisen coach Matt Granger congratulated ASIJ coaches, only to find out later that second place finisher belonged to a guest team (Fujisaki) and everyone's team score tally was off. Seisen escaped with a one point victory, 36-37. A distant third was International School of the Sacred Heart.
Kinnick and CAJ tied for 4th with Kinnick winning the tie-breaker. A few points back were Yokota and then St. Maur and YIS. When adding the outlying DODDs teams for the Kanto Invitational scoring, Kinnick actually beat CAJ (128-136), and Edgren and E.J. King slipped in ahead of St. Maur, and M.C. Perry finished ahead of YIS.
Next: Asia-Pacific Invitational meet preview
Published: October 16, 2011
Six years ago, Margaret Nurse capped a stellar volleyball and basketball career with Osan American and Seoul American of the Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference by capturing MVP honors in the Far East Division I basketball tournament, when her Falcons beat Kadena 60-49 in the championship. Now, Nurse is playing outside hitter for Our Lady of the Lake, an NAIA Division I school in San Antonio. Click here to see her player page.
Published: October 16, 2011
Year after year, I hear the same thing: Why aren’t Pacific international and Guam public/private school teams invited to play in DODDS Pacific’s Far East Division I football playoffs?
I for one have long advocated it. Non-DODDS schools in Tokyo, Guam, Hong Kong, Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore and elsewhere have long been invited guests at Far East tournaments in a variety of sports, and there’s never been a problem with the issues that keep being brought up as obstacles to such a football playoff: Different eligibility tracking and accounting systems.
Here’s how DODDS can, should and must do it: Insist to Guam island power George Washington or Tokyo’s independent American School In Japan or the Singapore American Community Action Council (fancy name for MWR) Falcons that they follow the same eligibility requirements as teams that play in Far East basketball, soccer, wrestling, tennis, cross-country, baseball, softball and track and field meets.
-- Eight semesters clock ticking once a student enters the classroom for his freshman year.
-- No fifth-year seniors.
-- No students aged 19 before Sept. 1 of that school year.
-- Students must maintain a 2.0 grade-point average with no Fs.
If they do that, they should be more than welcome.
History shows that non-DODDS schools are more than compliant and accountable when it comes to such issues. One example: In 1986. ASIJ’s boys basketball team fielded a 6-foot-7 fifth-year senior, Bryan Nelson (now a Tokyo-based TV producer). Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools policy permitted him to play regular-season games, but he could not – and did not – suit up for the Mustangs in the Far East D-I basketball tournament.
Quarterback Derek Santos and running back Keanu Lujan and the Interscholastic Football League regular-season champion George Washington Geckos (7-0), 36-12 winners Saturday against Okkodo in the IFL semifinals, deserve a shot at Far East glory as much as anybody.
Quarterback Hayden Jardine (41-for-93, 555 yards, 3 touchdowns this season), running backs Ken Yajima (379 yards, 4 touchdowns, 57 carries) and Haru Kent (328, 4, 48) and receiver Sam Hopkins (213 yards, 2 touchdowns, 17 catches) and American School In Japan’s Mustangs – 35-6 winners Saturday over Nile C. Kinnick at homecoming, and the only team to beat Yokota this season – also deserve a shot.
Let's give them one!
Is there anybody out there who can produce an updated, total-issue-addressing, fully encompassing copy of the Pacific high school football “mercy rule,” which dictates things like a running clock when the winning team opens up a huge lead?
Didn’t think so. No such thing exists currently, at least to my knowledge.
This issue came up Saturday night at Camp Zama, where Kubasaki, en route to a 48-9 victory over Zama American, took a 32-point lead with 3:52 left in the third quarter and officials signaled for the clock to run after the ensuing kickoff.
Coaches on both sides seemed to disagree on what several of the “mercy rule” nuances were, which players had to come out, whether they could blitz or pass, etc. There was even disagreement over whether teams could use timeouts to change personnel, etc.
Guam’s Interscholastic Football League has no such rule; league president Martin Boudreau says at a certain point, the officials ask the coaches if they agree to a running clock.
What the “mercy rule” actually says, I think, varies from officiating crew to officiating crew.
As far as I know, the magic number is 30. Once a team assumes a 30-point lead, the clock becomes a running clock; regulation clock resumes once the lead diminishes to 20 points.
That issue should be addressed and those fine points clarified and published far and wide after the next DODDS Far East Athletics Council meeting in May on Okinawa.
There should be one standard “mercy rule” for DODDS football leagues in Korea, Okinawa and Japan, at the very least: 30-point lead, running clock; diminish back to 20 points, regulation clock; starters must leave the field when possible, if a team has enough players to substitute for the starters; no blitzing or stunting on defense, no passing on offense. And the substitution rule should apply to BOTH teams.
The intent of the “mercy rule” was to speed up games that get out of hand, reduce injuries and prevent the possibility of tempers spilling over, especially from the losing side.
How about some clarification, eh?
It took a few years, but I’ve finally seen a running back with the same breakaway speed as Jared Warner of Nile C. Kinnick in 1996 and Sean Shattuck of Kadena in 2006.
Kubasaki’s Jarrett Mitchell, the sophomore of the 676 yards and five touchdowns on 60 carries this season, is certainly the most dangerous running back the Dragons has possessed since David Motu in Kubasaki’s 2005 Far East D-I title season.
Exhibit A: Mitchell’s last carry of the evening in Saturday’s romp over Zama, in which he gained 174 yards on 11 carries and scored two touchdowns. Quarterback Cristian Rivera ran right down the line, then tossed an option pitch to Mitchell, who turned the right corner and cut in the afterburners, almost like Carl Lewis leaping out of the blocks at the sound of the start gun. He was absolutely gone, passing some Zama defenders like they were standing still.
The bad news for the rest of the Pacific: Mitchell is a sophomore and the dependent of a DODDS educator. He’s lived on Okinawa all his life. He’s not going anywhere.
Speaking of young speedsters, how about Yokota freshman Tre Bailey, he of the 567 yards on 43 carries with nine touchdowns in just the last four games? This team isn’t just about Morgan Breazell; you have to account for Bailey as well as Scott Hanson, Michael Litman, Trenton “Tractor” Traylor, Preston Brooks, a whole gaggle of backs. And the Panthers continue to pass the ball effectively.
Need any more proof that Amanda Henderson is in good position to defend her title in the Far East cross-country meet’s 3.1-mile girls individual race? Saturday in a Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference meet at Namsan Park in Seoul, Henderson clocked the fasted 3.1-mile time in the Pacific this season, 19 minutes, 56 seconds, finishing nearly two minutes ahead of teammate Monica Paulk (21:40). The KAIAC season-ending meet is in less than two weeks at International Christian School-Uijongbu, followed by Far East. Her time indicates that she’s peaking at the right time.
Gotta love those pink socks that Kubasaki’s football players wore on their right legs during Saturday’s football game at Zama. Breast cancer awareness is the thing in October, and the Dragons to a man were in full support. They know what’s up.
And gotta love those maroon blazers seen in the lobby of Tokyo's New Sanno Hotel at the start of Far East Journalism that Matthew C. Perry mandates their athletes, in fact all types of traveling teams in any vocation, wear while on bus or plane trips going anywhere. Very ABC Sports 1970s-ish. Made me launch into my old Howard Cosell voice impressions from back in the day.
Seriously, the wear of uniforms by teams should be viewed as a point of pride for those teams. They represent and stand for something. They’re expected to rise to a certain standard as a result, body language, conversation, the whole smash Sure, they’re probably uncomfortable to wear in the late summer heat of September, but overall, I’ve liked the whole civilian uniform concept since black slacks, white shirts and black bow ties were mandated for Zama American’s football team road trips in 2007.
Homecoming at Mustang Valley is always a treat, if nothing else because of all the people you run into whom you only thought you’d forgotten. Among the visitors, Robert Winer, ASIJ’s old headmaster until 1993, when he retired; he hadn’t been back to Japan since. Dan Bender was ASIJ’s elementary school principal when three of my children went there. Mayumi Nakayama, Class of 1996, was the Mustangs’ baseball manager whom I would continually pester for stats and game information; she’s now an ASIJ parent. I know I forgot about 50 others whom I saw there, but those three stood out.
Published: October 16, 2011
Move over, Kanto Plain. There’s a new girls team tennis champion in town, and a totally unexpected boys cross country finals champion at the top of the heap.
With their top two singles seeds, Erika Ettl and Emily Beemsterboer, and top doubles crew of Anju Yamanaka and Misa Brophy leading the way, Yokota captured its first Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools girls tennis team title in school history.
You think those four won’t make Yokota an early favorite, or at least keep the Panthers in the conversation, regarding the Kanto Plain tournament on Nov. 1 at Shirako Tennis Complex in Chiba Prefecture, and the Far East Tournament Nov. 7-10 at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa?
In Saturday’s rainy Kanto Cross Country finals at Tama Hills Recreation Center, with all eyes on the two league favorites Trevor Maggart of American School In Japan and Robert Beard of Nile C. Kinnick, Daniel Buckley of Yokohama International turned the tables on the entire field, edging Maggart by almost three seconds for a surprising finish to the boys 2.9-mile race. Beard slipped to sixth.
No surprise on the girls side. Fumi Kurihara of Seisen International , as much of a favorite at this week’s Asia-Pacific Invitational on Guam and the Far East meet Nov. 7-8 at Tama as was Kelly Langley of St. Mary’s International last year, easily cruised to victory by nearly a half-minute, staying unbeaten on the season.
ASIJ won the boys team title and Seisen the girls.
Published: October 16, 2011
Since the early 1990s, DODDS Pacific teams have been fixtures at the Hong Kong International School Holiday Basketball Tournament.
That is very likely to change, given DODDS Pacific’s policy, implemented last spring, barring student-athletes from home-staying with host-school families at events in which they participate.
There are no U.S. bases or military billeting facilities in Hong Kong, and hotel rooms come at a premium and are quite distant from the school, well to the south on Red Hill Road near the American Club and Stanley Market and Waterfront.
What that does is push the price per head from about $550 for just airfare to well over $1,000. Given today’s economy, in which many relatives of Pacific-based servicemembers are out of work and with some depending on them for financial help, that’s a bit of an undertaking.
Yokota, whose boys and girls tournaments participated for the first time last year, sent word to tournament organizers a few days ago that the Panthers were withdrawing.
It’s very likely that Kadena and Kubasaki, who began playing in the tournament as long ago as 1994, will follow suit in the next few days.
It’s a shame, really. This tournament was the one “true” Far East, with teams representing the DODDS Pacific Far East circuit, Asia-Pacific Activities Conference and International Association of Southeast Asian Schools.
On short notice, organizers might now be forced to plug in replacements to fill out the eight-team boys and eight-team girls fields, either with local Chinese teams, or with schools who have participated in past years when the tournament was held closer to Christmas but fell by the wayside when the tournament moved to Thanksgiving weekend.
Published: October 12, 2011
The Top Ten
The Top Ten teams in the Stars and Stripes' weekly Far East high school football ratings, with records through Oct. 8, 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 5-1 452 1
2. George Washington, Guam 6-0 448 1
(tie) American School In Japan 4-1 448 3
4. Kubasaki, Okinawa 3-1 440 4
5. Kadena, Okinawa 4-1 428 5
6. Seoul American 4-2 420 6
7. Guam High 4-3 404 7
8. Simon Sanchez, Guam 5-2 388 9
9. Zama American, Japan 3-3 368 8
10. Okkodo, Guam 3-4 328 --
Week 8 grid honors
Yokota—Tre Bailey 127 yards, 2 touchdowns, 15 carries. Morgan Breazell 92 yards, 10 carries; 43 yards, 2 returns; 3 yards, 1 catch. Stanley Speed 5-for-8, 71 yards, 1 touchdown; 1 touchdown run. Michael Litman 2 touchdown runs.
Guam High—Sean Sweet 6-for-9, 78 yards; 2 touchdown runs. Matt Eaton 95 yards, 6 catches. Logan Dimmick 10 tackles.
Seoul American—Ty White 146 yards, 2 touchdowns, 12 carries. Harold Martin 3-for-5, 65 yards, 2 touchdowns.
Week 9 outlook
Yokota at Robert D. Edgren, 7 p.m.—Should not be much different from the outcome at Yokota’s Bonk Field three weeks ago. … Panthers 24, Eagles 7.
Daegu American at Osan American, 6 p.m.—A repeat of the pattern of Daegu winning big in September but Osan playing the Warriors tough in October won’t repeat itself this year. … Warriors 20, Cougars 6.
Nile C. Kinnick at American School In Japan, 1 p.m.—Last homecoming for quarterback Hayden Jardine should be a happy one. … Mustangs 21, Red Devils 8.
Kubasaki (Okinawa) at Zama American, 6 p.m.—Another battle between three of the most productive running backs in the Pacific. This one goes to the visitors, but not by much. … Dragons 18, Trojans 16.
Guam Interscholastic Football League semifinals
Simon Sanchez vs. Guam High at Ramsey Field, John F. Kennedy High School, Upper Tumon, 3 p.m.—This is a much different Sharks team than the Panthers blanked 27-0 in the second week of the season. … Panthers 16, Sharks 15.
Okkodo at George Washington, 7 p.m.—No contest, very much like the regular-season finale. … Geckos 25, Bulldogs 11.
Last week—5-1, .833.
Published: October 12, 2011
Madeline Strandemo keeps edging closer to two-time North Dakota Class A state cross-country champion Tarin Lachowitzer.
The former Hong Kong International distance specialist and two-time Asia-Pacific Invitational champion, now running for Fargo South, took second in the Eastern Dakota Conference race, clocking 14 minutes, 56 seconds over 2.4 miles.
That's 17 seconds behind Lachowitzer, who changed tactics for this race, most likely to keep Strandemo at bay.
Normally, Lachowitzer charges to the front of the pack, as did Andrew Quallio, the two-time DODDS Far East champion out of Zama American three years ago.
Instead, Lachowitzer, who runs for Fargo Davies, chose to run behind early race leader and fast-starting sophomore Alex Backlund for the first mile. Then when Backlund faded, Lachowitzer charged to the finish.
Strandemo was named to the All-Conference team, in her final tuneup for the Dakota Class A championship race at Fargo's Rose Creek Golf Course -- Oct. 22, the same day as the Asia-Pacific Invitational at Asan War Memorial Park on Guam.
Published: October 12, 2011
Not only was Stanley Schrock a solid performer in basketball, soccer and football, earning Stars and Stripes Athlete of the Year honors in 2009-10, he's not a bad student, either, if the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference has any say in the matter.
Schrock, a sophomore striker at Colorado-Mesa University, a Division II school, was named to the conference's Honor Roll, among six Mavericks teammates so honored by the RMAC in a release dated Oct. 11.
Schrock starts at midfield and forward for the Mavericks, and has scored two goals and totalled four points in 12 caps for CMU. He majors in journalism and has stated as a goal that he wants to come back to the Pacific to write stories about high school sports.
Schrock played for his father, Steve, Kadena varsity football's longtime offensive coordinator. Steve also coached wrestling at Kadena on and off since 1997. Stanley's older sister Helen plays goalkeeper for Hawaii-Hilo.
Published: October 11, 2011
Musings, mutterings and the occasional schmahts (OK, so these are 10 days late) as Ornauer takes a look back at the Oct. 3 Far East Division I football play-in games and sees in the winners past D-I champions with plenty of pride and winning know-how left in ’em:
-- Something tells me Kubasaki will be playing a Seoul American team that’s vastly different from the one the Dragons beat 41-17 in the rain at Mike Petty on Sept. 16.
-- Behind Ty White’s boffo running numbers, Harold Martin’s economical passing, Tomiwa Akinbayo’s athletic ability and a defense that reminds one of Falcons of old, Seoul American marches on toward an Oct. 29 D-I semifinal rematch at Kubasaki a team playing with purpose.
-- That’s four straight wins, if you were scoring at home. Their only two losses were to Okinawa teams. But in so saying, this is a vastly different Seoul American team that hit the abyss the last two years and appears to be well on its way out of that valley.
-- White, Korea’s rushing leader, continues to do it on all sides of the ball, three rushing touchdowns and a 70-yard punt return for a score. Martin and Akinbayo continue to be an excellent pass-catch combo; five of Martin’s six completions went to the big senior wideout.
-- No doubt, Akinbayo’s basketball ability continues to serve him well on the football field.
-- A sad episode it was for Nile C. Kinnick’s football program; one of their players, Charlie Cruz, a junior fullback-linebacker, lost his father, David, a civilian contractor with Yokosuka Naval Base’s ship repair facility. David died over the weekend, just before the Red Devils were to suit up and play the Falcons.
-- “I don’t think football was on their minds,” KInnick coach Dan Joley said. And understandably so. No question, their thoughts were with the bereaved, the player, the father, the family. All of whom are a part of Red Devils football nation.
-- Solid defensive performances by Quinton Holden, who scored Kinnick’s lone touchdown and had 11 tackles, while Aaron Stravers had 15 tackles, a forced fumble and two kick blocks.
-- Kadena doesn’t score points seemingly at will the way the Panthers did the past several seasons with Brandon Harris, Ernest Carr, Vince Coronado, Stanley Schrock, Thomas McDonald and Shariff Coleman handling mail-carrying duties.
-- Yet somehow, with a majority of underclassmen on their roster, the Panthers have somehow found ways to win every game they’ve played except one. That’s 4-1 with a roster that screams rebuilding on paper, but shouts resourcefulness on the field.
-- The anchor of this ballclub? Defense, defense and defense in no particular order.
-- The Panthers held the aforementioned White to a season-low 31 years on 12 carries and kept all but Akinbayo out of the end zone (5-yard scoring pass from Martin) in Kadena’s 21-7 win at Seoul American on Sept. 3 – Kadena’s first victory ever at Sims Field, something those high-scoring Panthers teams of yore never did accomplish.
-- With Daegu American up 8-2 and things looking grim for Kadena in the matchup of Far East Division I and II champions of 2010, again the Panthers found a way to win. Justin Sego’s 18-yard run and Joseph Hermon’s two-point conversion boosted Kadena over the Warriors 10-8 on a wind-blown Sept. 16 in the Panthers’ first game on its home field in more than 10 years.
-- That came a week after the Panthers held Kubasaki to just 85 offensive yards in a 15-14 win at Mike Petty, the 15th straight win for Kadena over the Dragons.
-- That streak came to an end on Sept. 23, the lone blip on Kadena’s win-loss ledger and the first shutout loss in Kadena Panthers history, 13-0 to Kubasaki at Panthers Field, when Kadena allowed a season-high 211 yards, including 142 on 23 carries by Dragons rising-star running back Jarrett Mitchell.
-- But the big eye-opener came in the Oct. 3 play-in game, when Kadena hosted Guam High. A battle of small, young but proud defending Division I players against Guam High’s bigger, beefier team that won its island championship last year and was looking to end a futility streak in the D-I playoffs stretching back to their inception in 2005.
-- Again, Kadena’ s defense rose to the challenge. Overcoming their own six first-half turnovers, Kadena recovered five fumbles and recorded two quarterback sacks of their own, keeping a Guam High team that had outscored its foes 164-43 on the field (two games were lost to forfeits) out of the end zone.
-- The second-most potent offense on Guam, behind league champion George Washington, was held to just 62 yards on 55 plays. The closest the blue and gold came to scoring came in the second quarter when Nijee Smith recovered a fumble and returned it 48 yards to the Kadena 12 in the second quarter.
-- This is by no means a perfect Kadena team. They’re not spectacular – and they do need to find the key to the end zone, which has eluded Kadena the past two games. But they do draw a line in the sand defensively. And they do find ways to win. In the Guam High case, two Josh Dyer second-half field goals proved to be enough.
-- Bottom line with regard to the Oct. 29 semifinals, Seoul American at Kubasaki,2 p.m., and Kadena and Yokota, 7 p.m.:
-- Don’t sleep on the Falcons or the Panthers.
-- Seoul American is on a roll now, having allowed just 6.3 points per game in the Falcons’ last four games. Offensively, they’ve gone back to the future, the line simply plowing the road for White in the same manner the Falcons did when they featured Trinadai Stansel or David Smalls in the backfield.
-- Kadena-Yokota might not end up the 55-6 or 50-23 runaways you saw the last two seasons. Not by a long shot, perhaps. But don’t expect Kadena’s defense to permit gaudy point totals like the 65 Yokota rang up against Robert D. Edgren or the 47 against Zama American. If Kadena can hold Yokota to, say, two touchdowns, maybe three, and if Kadena can find a way to unlock the end-zone door, it should be a much closer game than people might think.
Published: October 10, 2011
It’s been a few years, but Seoul American football is starting to look like its old championship self again.
Ty White’s 611 yards and five touchdowns on 95 carries have boosted the Falcons to at least a tie for their first DODDS Korea title since last winning the Far East Division I crown in 2008. That’s been the common denominator for both of the Falcons’ D-I title seasons – a solid running back, David Smalls in 2006 and Trinadai Stansel in 2008, stingy defense and solid line play.
Talk to Rydell Wilkins, the Falcons’ first-year head coach, and you get the feeling the guy comes from the same coaching school that produced those two previous titles. “We’re trying to be more competitive,” he says. “We’re doing better, but we still have a lot to work on.”
Almost like listening to the coach of those 2006 and ’08 teams, Julian Harden, voicing up. “If better is possible, good is not enough,” Harden always told his charges, whether they be football, wrestling, softball … and it sure seems as if Wilkins is imparting that same wisdom on the current Falcons.
Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars, Casey Kasem used to say years ago on American Top 40. No doubt, Wilkins and Harden subscribe to the same school. Work hard, enjoy the triumphs, but always remain humble.
Thanks to a newfound passing flair, Yokota got back on a winning track on Friday at home against Zama American, in what turned out to be a happy homecoming in the wake of the Panthers’ first loss of the season 13-9 the week before at American School In Japan.
Yokota’s two-pronged ground machine did much of the mail carrying, freshman Tre Bailey 127 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and junior Morgan Breazell 92 yards on 10 attempts; the Panthers ran for six touchdowns overall in a 47-7 romp over Seoul American.
But it was Stanley Speed who surprised everyone. Prior to Friday, Yokota had completed just one pass the entire season. Going an economical 5-for-8 for 71 yards, Speed threw 44 yards to Jarred Morgan for the Panthers’ first touchdown pass of the season. Speed also ran a 1-yard sneak for a touchdown.
Yokota can now count its 12th DODDS Japan and Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools football titles since Tim Pujol, the best coach in Panthers history, in 1999 took the reins of a program that had gone 1-17 the two previous years.
At 105-19, Pujol holds the best winning percentage in Panthers history behind 1980s coaching icon Bud Blevins, holds the school record for most victories and most DODDS Japan and Kanto league titles – in fact, is believed to be second all-time in Pacific high school football coaching wins behind Loring Cruz of George Washington on Guam.
As for Zama, their two-pronged attack of juniors Mitchell Harrison and Andre Encarnacion, who entered the game with a combined 1,275 yards and 17 touchdowns on 133 carries, were held to 69 yards total on 13 attempts.
Too many mistakes, penalties, turnovers, plenty of defensive stops by Yokota, and the Trojans’ three-game winning streak went by the boards. They’ll get another chance on Oct. 21 at Zama.
So, Guam High lost its shot at a Far East D-I title and fell to 0-6 in first-round D-I playoff games since their inception in 2005?
Quite all right. After fading 6-0 last Monday at Kadena in the D-I play-in game, the Panthers simply began going about the business of defending their Guam Interscholastic Football League title by opening the IFL postseason with a 20-0 shutout of Southern, the second shutout win by Guam High over the Dolphins this season.
Sean Sweet, who had a rough afternoon at Kadena, picked himself up, dusted himself off and ran for a pair of TDs against Southern, and also went 6-for-9 for 78 yards. Matt Eaton caught six passes for 95 yards, just a day after being named runner-up for MVP on the IFL All-Island team.
But it was the same defense that kept Kadena out of the end zone, held the Panthers to 95 yards and just two field goals, which ruled the day against the Dolphins as well. Nijee Smith and T-Rock Eaton combined for 25 tackles, and brothers Damian and Logan Dimmick cobbled together 19.
Now, Guam High will host in Saturday’s semifinal a Simon Sanchez team that they’d better expect to be far different from the one the Panthers shut out 27-0 on Aug. 27.
Published: October 10, 2011
I said it last year and I’ll say it again this year – they need to hold the Okinawa District Volleyball Festival, Okinawa Invitational Volleyball Tournament, whatever you want to call it, every year.
A terrific event, featuring Okinawa’s and South Korea’s finest DODDS schools (the latter three with seven Far East tournament titles between them), and three Japanese teams making their way to Kubasaki High School on Sunday for the grand finale.
Competition led off the three-day event, with co-hosts Kubasaki and Kadena taking on Seoul, Osan and Daegu American for six matches each on Friday and Saturday, with the reigning Far East Division I Tournament champion Falcons coming away with the best record, 4-0, in the unofficial American pool-play standings.
But Sunday put the event’s deeper meaning on display. Nearly 200 players, coaches and family members packed Kubasaki’s Dragons Den, which was divided into two courts most of the day with just Japanese and American teams facing each other over a good eight hours. American power vs. Japanese defense and finesse.
Okinawa’s Futenma Senior and Gushikawa Senior and Commercial High Schools ruled the day with their solid display of court coverage and ball placement.
But it was what each of the teams, Japanese and American, took away with them after the closing social at the Camp Foster Food Court.
Just as the Americans were impressed with the Japanese court coverage, so, too, were the Japanese taken with the American’s joy and team spirit on the court.
Keep in mind, Japanese players take up sports from around the time they’re 9 or 10 years old and play them year-round.
Thus, it can become “work ball” for the Japanese as opposed to “play ball” for the Americans.
It was also fun to see Japanese and American players exchanging bumping, setting and hitting tips, without so much as a word spoken; volleyball being the international language that it is.
Even culinary delights became culturally exchangeable. Japanese players sampled pizza from the Kubasaki Dragon Inn concession stand. And when offered, American players tried on some Japanese onigiri, or rice balls wrapped in dried seaweed.
Yes, they need to do this again. Often. And invite international schools from Tokyo and DODDS Japan power Nile C. Kinnick as well.
One would think when Seoul American and reigning two-time Far East Division II Tournament champion Daegu American bid farewell to a coaching icon (Denny Hilgar) and several top-tier players (Liz Gleaves, Destinee Harrison, Kristina Bergman, Angie Robinet) that the shingles outside the coaches’ offices read: “Rebuilding.”
Well, the star power may be gone, along with some thunderous hitting and Gleaves’ 43-inch vertical leap. But from watching those two teams perform over the weekend, I didn’t see that much of a dropoff in terms of scoreboard accomplishment.
Seoul’s senior triad of setter Tiffaney Mitchell, outside hitter Hannah Swafford and middle blocker Tammy Garman aren’t as spectacular as their predecessors, but they’re workmanlike and they as a team get along fantastically. Definitely a reflection of their coach, Lori Rogers, who has assumed the helm from Hilgar, now at Rota, Spain.
Same can be said of Daegu American under coach Joanna Wyche. Maleah Potts Cash’s hitting and blocking have ramped up considerably, sophomore Kaitlyn Nott is coming into her own as backup middle and sisters Leanne and Michelle Quizon continue to sparkle on defense and at setter.
Can you mark Seoul up for a D-I repeat and Daegu for a D-II three-peat? May be too early to tell, but if they keep improving, they’ll make a ton of noise when they host their respective tournaments next month.
Speaking of teams potentially on the rise, don’t sleep on Kadena. They came away winless during the festival, but by Sunday, they were holding their own with their Japanese counterparts, even leading in two matches. “I was beaming, like a proud parent. It was so exciting,” coach Sara Corley said. Arissa Alvarez is coming into her own at setter, Nia Rodriguez can block with the best of them, Heather Brown bears considerable watching at the net. Just don’t sleep on them.
Kubasaki’s another team that can be dangerous if you take the Dragons lightly. Good defense, a pair of jump servers and solid outside hitting. If coach Michael Hogen could just develop a middle blocker …
Oh, and those matching Panther Paw socks worn by the Kadena Panthers? Those came courtesy of Corley, who ordered them from Team Cheer.com; she used to be Kadena’s cheerleading coach. “I wanted the girls to have them” as a show of spirit and unity, “and they agreed,” Corley said.
Events such as these can bring out the “small world” in DODDS. Take Tony Alvarado, for example. Kubasaki’s football defensive coordinator used to be Osan’s head football coach from 2004-08 and knows Hogen quite well from their days of working together. Alvarado remembers a couple of Osan’s players, such as senior Alex Hauter, who used to babysit Alvarado’s children, and Ivy de la Cruz, who was with Alvarado at Ansbach, Germany, where he transferred for three years prior to coming to Kubasaki. “I still remember the Pacific. I feel like I’m back home now,” Alvarado said.
Wyche, too, spent a trip down memory lane over the weekend. Formerly a math teacher at Okinawa’s Lester Middle School, she was Kadena’s assistant volleyball coach from 2006-07 before taking Daegu’s reins. Her elder sons, David (class of 2006) and Daniel (2007) played football and basketball and ran track for the Panthers. “They always ask me about when I go to Kadena,” Wyche said. “I tell them, ‘Yes, I saw the banners, I saw their pictures in the hall.’ They’re Panthers for life. It’s always special to come back. I love it.”
Published: October 10, 2011
It’s a work in progress, but it’s happening. Coach Ron Geist, in his second year at the helm of a Kubasaki wrestling program with a Pacific-record 21 Far East tournament team titles and 84 gold medalists to its credit, plans to honor that legacy with a new Wall of Fame to decorate the school’s new wrestling practice room.
The old wrestling room was converted into a classroom over the summer. “Unfortunately, by error, the Wall of Fame was painted over,” Geist said. Thus, Geist and his assistant Justin Cook have formulated the plan to build a new Wall in what used to be an industrial arts classroom that’s being converted into a wrestling room
It will “serve … as a beacon of pride and history and as a goal for those who are worthy to join the great wrestlers on this Wall,” Geist said, pointing to the newest additions, 101-pounder Steven Walter, 141-pounder Jon Goddard and 180-pounder Matt Payne who joined the pantheon last season.
“We are hopeful this year we can continue the great tradition” created by Geist’s predecessors, Ed Davies, Bruce Derr, Jim Feller, Jerry Weekes, Jeff Pellaton, Terry Chumley and Ken Gipson. “It is our goal as the current coaches to kep the Kubasaki wrestling tradition strong and vibrant."
They’ll go through old yearbooks and school newspapers, contact the former coaches among other methods to locate the names of the previous 81 gold medalists as well.
Published: October 6, 2011
Brandon Fell of St. John’s (Guam) appears to be the new phenom – at least he wins by wide margins. His home course is sub-distance, so we'll have to wait to see if his 1- or 2-minute margins of victory hold up in stiffer competition with off-islanders.
As for the other boys out front in their respective venues, including Jay DeVries (International Christian-Uijongbu) and Erik Armes (Kubasaki), match-ups with American School In Japan’s Trevor Maggart (at Asia-Pacific Invitational) and Nile C. Kinnick’s Robert Beard (at Far East) to make clear the significance of the marks they have posted.
Kento Reynolds (E.J. King) has posted a quick 5-kilometer in Nagasaki, but it seems out of proportion with his Tama Hills times. But he will get his chance to prove the validity of his time at Kanto finals.
The "Amanda Henderson (Seoul American) vs. Fumi Kurihara (Seisen International)" duel coming up in Far East in a few weeks should be a dandy. And if anyone besides ASIJ can break up the Seisen front four, it will be up to Amanda and Pamela Henderson, Alle Robles of Kubasaki and Runa Suzuki of Christian Academy Japan.
While dozens of many meet results languish on ADs' in-trays across the Pacific, we have some very telling late September results. In a key head-to-head in with Guam High, John F. Kennedy takes first place by 30 seconds in both races with strong individual performances by Gerald Asuncion and Naomi Blaz.
The Guam High girls, with a 2-minute spread from first to fifth, defeated JFK (5-minute spread) despite yielding first and third in the race. This meet makes the Guam High girls a must-watch team at API and Far East. The question is, have they closed the gap on the George Washington girls, who finished 1-6 in a dual matchup with them five weeks ago?
The JFK boys did just the reverse of the girls race, triumphing over Guam High (with exactly the same results as the George Washington boys had in their win over JFK five weeks ago).
While the Seoul American boys (with the exception Ryan Parker of and Eugene Stayt) displayed little improvement through the month of September, the girls made an Oct. 1 declaration that they are back and strong. We can see 45- to 90-econd improvements for each of the top six girls. Their vulnerability is still that the spread from one to five (in fact one to four) is still over 3 minutes.
Although Pamela Henderson and Amanda Henderson get most of the attention, it is Yoli Rodriguiz, Monica Paulk and Stephenie Wentzel who will determine if Seoul American’s girls are a contender at Far East.
Joel Navam of Gyeonggi Suwon International has set himself apart. On Oct. 5, he distanced himself from the field by 1:20. The next three boys (from GSIS, Osan American and Taejon Christian International) easily moved ahead of last year's best times on the Techno Valley course (distance unknown). On the girls side, Osan American's Nicole Solmonson was just a few seconds behind last year's best time on the course, Amanda Henderson’s, but the rest of the field was considerably slower than last year's race on the same course.
Looking ahead, the league finals in Korea should be a real dandy for the boys. Just about everybody (GSIS, ICS-U, TCIS, Yongsan International-Seoul, Korea International and Seoul Foreign) could slip two or three guys ahead of SAHS's second, but the team with the most to pack in there seems to be Seoul Foreign. If any of these teams are going to Asia-Pacific Invitational, they will be quite competitive.
The league finals for the girls, after Seoul American, could see several schools challenge Seoul Foreign for second place. With Julie Byun, Nicole Solmonson, Kimmie Casto and Sophia Yu, that makes six schools with girls potentially in the "top 10" (caveat, distances uncertain).
The incredibly tight race between all the Kubasaki and Kadena squads ought to be worth a large crowd of spectators. And the emergence of the Zion Christian boys team must have plenty of people talking as well. Mashu Wakita and Akira Shavers were competitive last year, but they have been joined by three more; that makes them seem to me to be the favorite for the island championship. Is anybody ready for both Kadena and Kubasaki to not win the boys championship? The Zion crew really should be raising funds to go to API or lobbying for inclusion in Far East. They deserve some kind of post-season competition.
Kanto Plain-DODDS Japan
Although Yokota boys beat the CAJ boys for the first time ever in their long series of dual meets in the hills of Ome, in their other match up at the 2.9 mile Tama Hills course, CAJ set the pace. Sadly for Kinnick, unless the boys can close the 3½-minute spread from first to second, they won't be a contending force this season. This should give some hope to Zama American. Yokota needs to be careful, because St. Maur International and Yokohama International boys could score high as teams; they could beat Yokota in invitational scoring based on early Tama Hills performances.
Also based on Tama Hills running, the Yokota and Kinnick girls are in a close battle with CAJ for fourth place, and if International School of the Sacred Heart has a bad showing, any of these three teams could move up to third place in Kanto. No one need dream of overtaking ASIJ or Seisen. On the other hand, while Zama boys can dream to taking Kinnick, the Zama girls should set their sights on YIS and St. Maur.
The only boy this season to break up ASIJ's potential 1-5 boys Kanto sweep is Beard. He came very close to beating Maggart in their meeting a few weeks back. Since then, Maggart has set a pretty good 5-kilometer mark (17:10) that Beard has broken, but on shorter courses.
So far CAJ's Suzuki and Kinnick's Carydaliz Fontanez have been the only girls to break up the Seisen-ASIJ girls sweep, but Yokota's Abigail Wall is agonizingly close to a top 10 finish in a 5-kilometer race. Fontanez has performed more strongly than Wall in the shorter, more hilly Tama Hills venue and shown potential for a top 10 finish at the upcoming Kanto finals. Since Wall has done better on longer courses, who will prevail in November on the longer Far East course on the same hilly Tama Hills course?
We are entering league championship season, but the curious among us wonder how teams stack up against the rest of the region. Cross country is one of those sports that allow a very quick answer to that question. Pit 30 or 40 teams together for a couple hours over two days and the matter is solved. Very neat and tidy tournament.
We used to have that certainty and finality but now we have divided the Pacific world into API and Far East. If these two meets can't be merged, that leaves distance and time as the only way we can really judge teams against each other. The athletes provide the times. Coaches, it's up to you to provide one accurate, standard distance.
Published: October 6, 2011
Sophomore wide receiver-safety Matt Eaton has been named first-team All-Island and runner-up Most Valuable Player by the Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam at a meeting of its coaches and athletics directors staff on Monday.
The selections were released Thursday in an e-mail by IIAAG president and Interscholastic Football League commissioner Martin Boudreau.
Eaton was the lone first-team selection for the Panthers, who finished 5-1 on the field but were forced to forfeit their first two victories of the season for turning in an incomplete roster to the league prior to the start of the season.
The player left off the roster, senior running back David John Cruz, was named second-team All-Island kicker. He was joined on the second team by sophomore quarterback Sean Sweet, junior running back-linebacker Damian Dimmick, sophomore fullback Tegan Brown and senior defensive end Nijee Smith.
Honorable Mention selections from Guam High were: sophomore punter Lordon Aguon, Sweet at safety, senior linebackers Gavin Santos and Logan Dimmick, senior defensive end Theartris Eaton, junior defensive tackle Brandon Saville; and junior wide receiver Marcus Domingo.
Guam High opens the IFL playoffs by hosting Southern at 7 p.m. Friday.
On the hardwood, three Guam High girls volleyball players, outside hitter Kara Guerrero, middle blocker Zaria Kelly and weak side hitter Tiffany Unsiog were named Honorable Mention All-Island for the Panthers, who went 7-9 and placed fourth in the Gadao Division.
The Panthers visit Taga champion Simon Sanchez, which has the league’s best regular-season record at 15-1, in Friday’s quarterfinal match.
Published: October 5, 2011
The Top Ten
The Top Ten teams in the Stars and Stripes' weekly Far East high school football ratings, with records through Oct. 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. George Washington, Guam 6-0 448 2
(tie) Yokota, Japan 4-1 448 1
3. American School In Japan 3-1 444 4
4. Kubasaki, Okinawa 3-1 440 3
5. Kadena, Okinawa 4-1 432 6
6. Seoul American 3-2 416 7
7. Guam High 3-3 400 5
8. Zama American, Japan 3-2 392 --
9. Simon Sanchez, Guam 4-2 380 9
10. Father Duenas Memorial, Guam 3-3 356 --
Week 7 grid honors
Seoul American—Ty White 121 yards, 3 touchdowns, 18 carries; 70-yard punt-return touchdown. Harold Martin 6-for-9, 91 yards, 1 touchdown; 20-yard interception-return touchdown. Tomiwa Akinbayo 91 yards, 1 touchdown, 5 catches.
Nile C. Kinnick—Quinton Holden 29 yards, 17 carries; 140 yards, 5 returns; 11 tackles. Aaron Stravers 15 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 2 blocked kicks.
Kadena—Gabriel Ahner 14 tackles, 3 for losses, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble. Josh Dyer 2 field goals. David Padilla 2 fumble recoveries.
Zama American—Andre Encarnacion 153 yards, 3 touchdowns, 16 carries. Mitchell Harrison 80 yards, 8 carries; 30 yards, 2 catches. James Liker 7-for-10, 136 yards. Richard Castillo 67 yards, 2 touchdowns, 13 carries; 26 yards, 2 catches.
Robert D. Edgren—Sean Gammel 8-for-14, 114 yards, 1 touchdown; 40 yards, 7 carries. Louis Murphy 77 yards, 1 touchdown, 3 catches; 63 yards, 3 returns; 1 sack. Steven Wildar 7 yards, 5 carries; 11 yards, 1 catch; 85 yards, 2 returns.
Daegu American—Lee Wright 163 yards, 3 touchdowns, 24 carries. Ronald McLean 58 yards, 7 carries; 3-for-4, 39 yards.
Osan American—Brett Hammontree 12 tackles, 3 for losses.
American School In Japan—Hayden Jardine 9-for-23, 131 yards, 1 touchdown, 3 third-down conversions, 2 fourth-down conversions; 1 rushing touchdown.
Yokota—Tre Bailey 115 yards, 1 touchdown, 13 carries; 50 yards, 2 returns. Morgan Breazell 125 yards, 16 carries; 35 yards, 2 returns.
Week 8 outlook
Robert D. Edgren at American School In Japan, 7 p.m.—Mustangs’ balanced attack should handily overcome Eagles and their lack of depth. … Mustangs 21, Eagles 7.
Zama American at Yokota, 7:30 p.m.—Pacific’s top three running backs, combining for 1,978 yards and 24 touchdowns, spotlighted in this game. Just a question here of which line wins the trench battle. … Panthers 18, Trojans 16.
Osan American at Seoul American, 6 p.m.—Ty White and the Falcons are starting to resemble their old selves from the late 2000s. … Falcons 20, Cougars 6.
Guam Interscholastic Football League playoffs
Southern at Guam High, 7 p.m.—Second time around for the Panthers against the Dolphins … similar result. … Panthers 23, Dolphins 9.
Guam Interscholastic Football League playoffs
Simon Sanchez at John F. Kennedy, 3 p.m.—That’s two schools found to have fielded ineligible players. Shouldn’t change the outcome of these teams’ first encounter. … Sharks 30, Islanders 12.
Okkodo vs. Father Duenas Memorial at George Washington High School, Mangilao, 7 p.m.—What should be the third of three one-sided IFL playoff games sees the Friars giving the Bulldogs a quick exit. … Friars 19, Bulldogs 3.
Last week—4-4, .500.
Published: October 2, 2011
Warriors on the ground path: They’d been outscored 50-14 in their first three games, and hurt themselves with penalties, turnovers and inefficiency in the passing game. Injuries to key players didn’t help, either.
In years past, Daegu American’s football team might have turned to Jarel “Tank” Connie to get them out of trouble. As big as he was, just give to him four times and he’d lean for three yards at a time.
Well, the Warriors don’t have anybody quite that big. So, they turned to Lee Wright, same height as Connie but about 60 pounds lighter, and asked him to contribute the same things Connie did.
The results were similar. Wright had 163 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries as the Warriors righted the ship, blanking Osan American 26-0 and taking their first step back toward their third straight Far East Division II title-game berth and fourth in five years.
“We traded some size for some speed and it paid off,” Warriors coach Ken Walter said. Wright and Darius Wyche are the Warriors’ speed backs, and should one of them get even a blink of a hole to run through, “look out.”
Another tactic that worked well for Daegu was pooch-kicking on the opening kickoff and twice after scoring touchdowns. The short kicks were each recovered by the Warriors, one each by Xavian Washburn, Monnie Mitchell and Romar Banzon, and Daegu converted each into points and “denied them (Osan) three possessions,” Walter said.
Then, there’s sophomore placekicker Haley Claiborne. The second girl kicker (Joanne Youngblood was the first) to suit up for the Warriors in six seasons, Claiborne made good on two extra-point kicks.
I’m sure girls soccer coach Ed Thompson would just as soon Claiborne not put herself in harm’s way like that, but Walter’s gotta be happy about it.
Sidebar to this: Daegu’s not the only team to have had girls on its varsity in recent years. Zama American’s Monica Holman placekicked and even rushed for a touchdown during the 2003 season, and eight years before that, Liz Dolan went a perfect 7-for-7 on extra-point tries and just missed a 29-yard field goal in the Trojans’ season finale, a 7-0 win over Kanto Plain champion Nile C. Kinnick.
All Daegu needs to seal host rights to the D-II title game Nov. 5 is a win over Osan or a loss by 25 points or less on Oct. 14.
Ole ASIJ: Can there be any doubt now that American School In Japan football is now a program, not just an activity, something for young men to do after school?
Aside from having beaten Yokota at Mustang Valley three years running, including their 13-9 win Friday, ASIJ has put together the best four-year run in school history, 19-8, including 3-1 this season, a Kanto Plain title in 2009 and a 4-2 mark vs. Yokota, after going 0-6 in 2007.
That’s called consistency. ASIJ has historically not had that, maybe putting a good season or two together followed by some mediocre or just plain bad ones.
Give coaches Craig Karnitz and John Seevers a second chance against anybody and they’ll make life miserable for you. And ASIJ is tough to beat at Mustang Valley.
The big quarterback, Hayden Jardine, provided the points. The defense did the rest, at times stacking 11 men in the box and daring Yokota to throw the ball.
But it’s not just Jardine doing the damage. Over the years, ASIJ has had some beef in the line, along with plenty of complementary skills-positions players such as Hayden’s brother Tom, Chris Kleindl, Charlie Seno, Haru Kent, Ken Yajima, Nathan Kwon, Andrew Stern and others.
That said, Hayden is very much Division I college quarterback timber. He’ll be one of 20 seniors to graduate this year. That usually signals a down year next year, but I get the feeling ASIJ won’t be down for very long.
Blog post interruption: That 19-8 could just as easily be 21-6, given the two games ASIJ lost to cancellation due to a flu that rampaged through the school two seasons ago.
Woe Yokota: It’s one thing when Yokota, featuring the biggest line the Panthers have had in 10 years, are running the ball so efficiently that they don’t have to throw it. It’s another when a team is so efficient at keeping the Panthers out of the end zone, that they have to throw the ball … and it doesn’t work.
Honest truth, I watched a Yokota practice earlier this season in which they put in some pass plays for the Panthers’ first game vs. ASIJ, a 41-20 win at Bonk Field last month.
But when push came to shove, and the Mustangs’ defense bent (331 yards on 43 carries) but didn’t break (just one touchdown allowed), especially in the red zone, Yokota was forced to throw, and not successfully.
Dollars to dimes, coach Tim Pujol will work on some pass plays rigorously this week, provided he’s able to get everybody to practice – this is, after all, Yokota’s homecoming week, and a great many players have their time divided due to class responsibilities.
But it’s not just the pass game that needs a bit of a jump start. The running game is utterly sound, if not spectacular, efficient to get the job done four out of five times so far this season.
One of the things that made the Panthers of the early 2000s so successful was a succession of dynamic leaders, players who could make their teammates walk over hot coals for 18 miles if necessary to win.
Guys like Michael Wright, “Big Mike,” who in 2002 sounded what became an anthem for the Panthers after they were forced to forfeit their first two games for using an ineligible player: “We’re still the headbusters.”
Guys like Mike Chamberlain, “Little Mike,” who that same season vowed that the Panthers “will never lose another game as long as I’m here,” after the forfeitures.
While Yokota has many good players, many of whom will return next season, that one dynamic leader or two seems to be missing. Once they step forward, things will change for the better.
Kanto race update: There is no tiebreaker provision in the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools constitution, so if Yokota (4-1 overall, 3-1 league), which has two Kanto games left, and ASIJ (3-1, 2-1), which has three, win the rest of their league games, they’ll share the Kanto title at 5-1. Apropos because ASIJ won the league in 2009 and Yokota won its 11th Kanto title in 12 years last season.
Thunder and Lightning have company: One team that is starting to feel its oats in the air is Zama American, winner of three straight after an 0-2 start, including Friday’s 41-7 Far East Division II DODDS Japan play-in game at Yokosuka Naval Base’s Berkey Field.
Yes, the Trojans have a dynamic running-back duo in juniors Andre Encarnacion (664 yards, Pacific-leading 13 touchdowns, 83 carries) and Mitchell Harrison (611, 4, 50). But don’t sleep on sophomore quarterback James Liker, who feasted on Robert D. Edgren’s secondary to the tune of 7-for-10 for 136 yards.
All seven of those completions helped keep alive three Zama touchdown drives:
-- Liker started by going 2-for-2 for 48 yards, a first-half drive capped by Encarnacion’s first of three touchdowns, a 3-yard run 2:57 into the second quarter for the game’s first points.
-- He was 3-for-3 for 36 yards on a drive capped by Encarnacion’s 1-yard TD run to put Zama ahead for good 13-7 with 1:20 left before halftime.
-- And he went 2-for-2 for 52 yards to set up Richard Castillo’s 10-yard touchdown run on the Trojans’ first second-half possession, which sparked a pullaway.
Oh, and Liker’s other three pass attempts? Dropped. Liker could have had a 10-for-10 night.
Now, this is not to say Edgren didn’t put up a fight. After Encarnacion’s first touchdown, Edgren answered right back, with Sean Gammel finding Louis Murphy from 42 yards out to knot the contest. And the Eagles did manage 240 offensive yards, something that should give Zama cause to pause as they prepare to visit Yokota on Friday.
But the Eagles simply ran out of gas in the second half. They don’t have the depth that other teams have; the school doesn’t have a jayvee program this season.
What’s to play for?: One thing DODDS Pacific must do after this football season is over is revisit the early playing dates of the Far East Division I playoff play-in games, this coming Monday, and having just one game in Japan to decide which school plays for the Division II title five weeks before the D-II title game itself.
The loser of each of those games … really don’t have anything left to play for (except Guam High, which has a full island playoff still to come). Kadena, which Guam High plays on Monday, has no games on its schedule the rest of the season other than the D-I semifinal on Oct. 29 and title game on Nov. 12 – IF Kadena wins on Monday. Kinnick and Edgren would need a minor miracle to stay in the Kanto and DODDS Japan races, and the Eagles have already lost the D-II play-in game.
What I’m saying is … what’s to prevent some players from simply hanging up the shoulder pads and not risk injury when they have a basketball or wrestling season coming up? One would hope that would not be the case, but it is a possibility. And even if they did stay, with all that time left with few meaningful games, coaches will have their hands full keeping players motivated.
Published: October 1, 2011
All around the tennis courts Saturday at Yokota High School, the question was murmured: When was the last time Yokota’s girls beat American School In Japan in a Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools tennis tie?
Beats me. Second time in less than two weeks I’d been stumped on something so historical, it either predated me or plumb evaded me (apologies to Jimmy Buffett).
Blog post interruption: Just FYI, yes, Kubasaki’s 13-0 victory over Kadena in Game 2 of the Okinawa Activities Council’s football championship series was, in fact, the first time the Panthers have ever been shut out in school history.
To find out if Yokota’s girls tennis team’s 3-2 victory Saturday over ASIJ was, in fact, an historic first, I turned to Ron Dirkse, a longtime ASIJ teacher and coach now retired and still living in Japan.
“WHAT????? Never, I would say,” Dirkse replied to me via Facebook.
To be fair, coach Jen Brown’s Mustangs are in something of a rebuilding phase. Her entire senior-laden lineup graduated, including two former Kanto and Asia-Pacific Invitational champions, powerful Max Negami (now at University of Redlands, Calif.) and crafty Kelsey Leon (Edinburgh, England), and ASIJ’s four-year girls doubles pair of Saaya Imura (Dickinson College, Pa.) and Nicole Cho (Loyola Marymount, Calif.).
Only one player in Brown’s girls lineup, Arisa Toyosaki, is a senior. And Yokota’s girls team is one of those once-in-10-years DODDS programs that are strong top to bottom, with reigning Far East girls singles runner-up Erika Ettl, No. 2 Emily Beemsterboer and three-year doubles pair Anju Yamanaka and Misa Brophy.
So, the Panthers’ girls victory over the Mustangs might on the surface be something of a surprise, except perhaps to the Panthers themselves.
But let me tell you … Brown’s boys lineup is something to behold. And it’s FAR from rebuilding mode.
Leading that pack is a sophomore transfer from Orlando, Fla., named Kentaro Ishihara. Unbeaten thus far this season, the former age-group No. 2 in the state of Florida in successive weekends demolished reigning Far East singles champion Kent Shikama of St. Mary’s International 6-0, 6-1, then survived a tight first set to undo reigning singles runner-up Arlo Taylor of Yokota 6-4, 6-0.
Trust. This is a young man you’re going to hear much about. And it should make the Kanto tournament Nov. 1 on the omni courts at Chiba Prefecture’s Shirako Tennis Complex one for the ages, given the talented singles players from Christian Academy Japan as well.
The girls race should be interesting as well. In addition to Ettl, who survived a one-set deficit against Leon’s successor as top seed Anni Takigawa, Seisen International’s girls team should make it a good run, along with Tia and Natalie Wiriyachon of Zama American, transfers who are really, really good.
I can’t wait to see it.
Shame, though, that ASIJ won’t be able to showcase its newly crafted lineup in the Far East Tournament Nov. 7-10 at Kadena Air Base’s Risner Tennis Complex.
Likewise, it’s a shame we won’t also get to see Jeff and Jae-hyun Kim, the unbeaten sophomore guidon bearers for Seoul Foreign at Far East.
A note to ASIJ’s new athletics director Brian Kelley: Please make sure Far East is on the school’s calendar for School Year 2012-13.
And a note to Seoul Foreign’s administration: I know the school is committed to the Asia-Pacific Activities Conference, but just one time, let Far East see the likes of those solid players you have. Then, we’ll see a Far East tournament. :)
Published: October 1, 2011
For years – heck, for decades – it was as much a rite of passage as tax deadlines in April and World Series played in October. Invariably, you’d find Seoul Foreign or Seoul American atop the Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference Division I girls volleyball standings, or vice versa.
Can’t find them up there these days? That’s because this isn’t your grandfather’s KAIAC Division I.
Two teams on the rise, Taejon Christian International and Yongsan International-Seoul, have turned the league’s premier division on its ear. Thrown the chessboard against the wall and assembled it anew.
Paced by hitter and serving specialist Sarah Waldrop, setter Joelle Kim and defensive whizzes Sarah Kim and Essie Pae, YIS-Seoul’s Guardians have forged a school-best 9-2 start, their only losses coming to TCIS and early in the season to two-time reigning Far East Division II Tournament champion Daegu American.
“YIS-S is definitely the team to beat. Great team!” said coach Lori Rogers after her Seoul American squad fell to the Guardians 25-13, 25-20, 25-15 on Saturday.
That was three days after the Falcons lost to TCIS for the first time since 1988-89. The Dragons have kept pace with the Guardians thanks to the all-around play of junior Alex Zickefoose and senior Becca Roberts, “definitely unbelievable athletes,” Dragons coach Ashleigh Houlton said.
These two teams clearly bear considerable watching. I would surmise that the KAIAC D-I Tournament at Seoul American might be one for the ages.
Published: October 1, 2011
Longtime Pacific cross-country observer Bruce Carrick, gatekeeper of information on Far East meets and individual performances for Athletic.net, offers his view on how teams can improve their chances of winning team titles in major meets:
While a great deal of uncertainty hangs over the real distances of most courses around the Pacific (just how many centimeters to you really have to have in a meter?), one statistic that can meaningfully be shared is the time spread from first to fifth runner.
Looking at 18 schools who have a male or female runner in the top 20 listings, one can say that the tight finish of their five scoring runners is good news for the Group A teams: (boys) American School In Japan, St. Mary's International, John F. Kennedy, George Washington and Guam High, and (girls), ASIJ, Seisen International, JFK, GW, Guam High and Kadena.
All these squads are at or under a 2-minute spread. In major meets, the wider the spread, the more bloated the score. A slow fourth or fifth runner can totally erase a high finish of the first two runners. The young programs of Korea are particularly susceptible here.
In the 2- to 3-minute spread zone, Group B, are (boys) Christian Academy Japan, Yokota, Seoul American, Yongsan International-Seoul, Kadena and Kubasaki; and (girls) Simon Sanchez and Kubasaki.
The remaining Group C, most notably Nile C. Kinnick boys and Seoul American girls, might place an individual or two in the medals, but the prospects of a high finishing team score diminishes as the number of teams increase.
This statistic set will need to be revised as late season meet results are posted and processed.
Following are season-best spreads, first to fifth runners among teams that have a runner in the top 20 of the All-Pacific 5,000-meter list:
American School In Japan, :47, Sept. 30
St. Mary’s International, 1:14, Sept. 30 (1:50 Sept. 24).
Christian Academy Japan, 2:26, Sept. 30
Yokota, 2:40, Sept. 3
Nile C. Kinnick, 3:00, Sept. 24
E.J. King, 4:32, season compiled
John F. Kennedy, :42, season compiled
George Washington, :42, season compiled
Guam High, 2:02, season compiled
Simon Sanchez, 4:30, season compiled
St. John’s, 5:33, Sept. 9
Seoul American, 2:30, Sept. 7
Yongsan International-Seoul, 2:30, Sept. 7
International Christian-Uijongbu, 3:37, Sept. 7
Kadena, 2:47, Sept. 14
Kubasaki, 2:22, Sept. 14
American School In Japan, :39, Sept. 30
Seisen International, 1:53, Sept. 30
Christian Academy Japan, 5:58, Sept. 30
Yokota, 4:04, Sept. 3
Nile C. Kinnicki, 5:13, Sept. 24
E.J. King, 3:38, season compiled
John F. Kennedy, 1:44, season compiled
George Washington, 1:04, season compiled
Guam High, 1:36, season compiled
Simon Sanchez, 2:45, season compiled
St. John’s, 9:00, Sept. 9
Academy of Our Lady of Guam, 9:30, season compiled
Seoul American, 3:25, Sept. 7
Yongsan International-Seoul, 4:14, Sept. 7
International Christian-Uijongbu, 5:37, Sept. 7
Kadena, 1:45, Sept. 14
Kubasaki, 2:31, Sept. 14