Pacific Athletes of the Week: Oct. 4, 2012
Last week — Caught the game-winning touchdown pass that rallied the 2011 Far East Division I runner-up Dragons from a 7-6 deficit to beat their Okinawa Activities Council arch-rival Kadena Panthers 14-7 on Friday at Kubasaki’s Mike Petty Stadium. The game was played in sideways rain and heavy gusts caused by oncoming Typhoon Jelawat, which battered the island over the weekend.
Key, a junior, caught and ran a pass from sophomore quarterback Tyler Smith for a 91-yard touchdown with three minutes left. Key also contributed six tackles on defense. The victory kept Kubasaki in a two-way tie for first place in the chase for berths in and host rights to the Nov. 17 Far East D-I title game
Coach Fred Bales says Key has been at the field or in the weight room every minute of every practice starting with two-a-days on Aug. 6. “He’s as good as the gold standard,” Bales said. “Good student, great character guy. If we had a dozen Kareem Keys, we would never lose a game.”
Last week — Went unbeaten in three singles and four doubles ties, helping the Panthers girls remain unbeaten this season by sweeping Okinawa Activities Council island-rival Kubasaki and a series of weekend matches against Tokyo-area DODDS and international-school teams.
Howard, a sophomore and Kadena’s No. 3 singles seed, beat Allie Powers 8-0 on Tuesday as Kadena swept the Dragons 9-0. On Thursday, Howard topped Teri Cho 8-5 in Kadena’s 5-3 win over American School In Japan. Friday saw Howard beat Ashley Hirata 8-3 and Kadena topping Yokota 7-2. The victories kept Howard unbeaten in four singles and five doubles ties thus far this season. Kadena also beat Christian Academy Japan 3-2 on Saturday in which Howard did not play singles.
“She’s a steady player,” said coach Robert Bliss of Howard, who teamed with her sister Kristin to win one doubles match and with Christina Thompson to win three others. “She goes about her business, she’s a solid No. 3, she’s always battling hard, she has a good attitude, she gets the job done.”