With eight titles and a 25-point victory margin as a team in Saturday’s meet at Camp Zama, Nile C. Kinnick proved, at least for now, they’re the best on the DODDS Japan wrestling mats.
How that will translate over to Far East, and the challenge that Okinawa’s two power programs present, remains to be seen, coach Gary Wilson said.
“I worry about Kubasaki and Kadena” which finished 1-2 at the “Beast of the Far East” Tournament earlier this month, Wilson said.
“We still have to continue to get better, fine tune some of our stuff. We give up points when we don’t need to. We’ve seen improvement out of some of our young guys and veterans. We’re a good team; we can be a great team.”
Even with all work in front of them, the Red Devils scored a solid victory in the five-team tournament at Zama American High School.
Kinnick, which finished third at “Beast,” scored 51 points as a team at Zama. Taking titles were Eddie Sheridan (101 pounds), Jianni Labato (108), Nate Abrennilla (115), Brady Yoder (122), Givon Connor (129), Zach Yoder (141), Keith Grogg (148) and Alex Banks (168).
Yokota was next with 26 points and championships from Kalik Battle (135), Jake Jackson (215) and Jesse Hogan (heavyweight). For third place Zama (23 points), reigning Far East Tournament Outstanding Wrestler Chad Wilder (158) and Mitchell Harrison (180) took the remaining two titles.
In the fourth DODDS Korea tri-dual of the season Saturday at Osan American, Seoul American improved to 8-0 and captured the regular-season title. The Falcons beat Osan 45-15 and Daegu 38-16; Osan downed Daegu 35-15.
On the basketball courts, Matthew C. Perry’s boys, behind a monster performance by Jarrell Davis, captured the Western Japan Athletic Association tournament title, downing host Canadian Academy 69-58 in the final.
Davis averaged 14.8 points and 13.8 rebounds in four games over the weekend. Jon Cadavos scored a region-high 37 points to pace the Samurai.
“I’m very proud of them,” coach Dewayne Pigge’ said of his Samurai, adding that using a 2-3 zone to clog the inside and cutting off the perimeter to cut down on opposing three-pointers made a big difference. “We still have a long way to go. Today was a very good test for us.”
E.J. King’s girls came up just short in the girls final, losing 56-46 to Yokohama International at Senri Osaka International School. Perry’s girls took home the bronze medal, while King’s boys finished fourth.
In Korea, Seoul American’s boys righted themselves after falling Friday at Daegu, thrashing Taejon Christian International 62-19. The Falcons girls remained unbeaten in league play, topping the Dragons 50-23.
The 7th Okinawa-American Friendship Basketball Tournament saw three of four DODDS teams clinch their respective round-robin pools, Kadena’s boys and girls and Kubasaki’s girls.
The Dragons girls had gone winless in 10 games all season before breaking through for a 64-31 win over Yokatsu. Later, Kubasaki held off a late charge by Chatan for a 34-32 win.
“It’s nice to see all their hard work pay off,” coach Casey DeBord said.
Another girls team securing its first win was Osan American. Led by Trellini Lunsford’s 18 points and 18 rebounds, the Cougars vanquished International Christian-Uijongbu 35-33 in two overtimes.