Weather dampened weekend sports scene
Patch High School's Connor Hartzell, left, and Galen McCarver of Ramstein High School lock hands in a 170-pound match Saturday morning at Ramstein Air Base, Germany in a DODDS-Europe wrestling meet.
Five things we learned from the second weekend of DODDS-Europe winter sports:
1. Winter weather proved a formidable opponent.
An aggressive start to winter in Central Europe put a handful of DODDS-Europe events on ice last weekend.
AFNORTH’s six-school wrestling meet was called off Saturday, keeping busses from boarding in Kaiserslautern, Bitburg, Baumholder, Brussels and SHAPE. Heidelberg and Wiesbaden missed the marksmanship in Stuttgart.
Early-season basketball momentum was stalled at Kaiserslautern and Ramstein, among other sites. Patch turned its planned two-day visit to K-Town into a single Saturday game, while Bitburg’s Friday trip to Ramstein was scuttled entirely.
DODDS-Europe Athletic Director Karen Seadore will decide this week on make-up dates, if any.
2. Italian basketball made a fashionably late entrance.
Basketball teams based in temperate Italy have had only an observer role as their counterparts to the north battled each other and the swirling elements. That changed this weekend as the Region IV members of the DODDS-Europe field launched their campaigns.
Defending Division II boys champion Naples showed no signs of slippage in a pair of comfortable wins at rival American Overseas School of Rome (AOSR), leaning on a 29-point outburst from D.J. Stockman on Friday and two double-digit scoring efforts from Isaiah Wesby. Vicenza, meanwhile, won its first two games by a combined 118 points.
The action in Italy heats up further next weekend as AOSR visits Aviano, Sigonella hosts Vicenza and Florence travels to Naples.
3. Sigonella continued to surprise.
A few weeks ago, the Sigonella girls volleyball team shook up the DODDS-Europe Division III championship tournament with a surprising second-place showing. The oft-overlooked Jaguars have kept that momentum intact to start the winter.
The Sigonella girls basketball team delivered a convincing mission statement in Friday and Saturday routs of Marymount. With standouts Tenia Strobridge and Sydney Moore controlling the action in the paint, the Jaguars are poised to improve on their fourth-place finish of a year ago.
4. Patch and Ramstein lived up to the wrestling hype.
How evenly-matched was Saturday’s meeting between wrestling front-runners Patch and Ramstein? A few numbers:
Of the 14 weight classes in the six-team meet, a wrestler from Patch or Ramstein won 11. In four of the six weight classes won by a Patch wrestler, a Ramstein wrestler finished second. Four of the five classes won by Ramstein saw a Patch participant finish as runner-up.
Ramstein and Patch competitors comprised three of the top four finishers in 10 weight classes.
Four-time defending champion Patch won the Ramstein-hosted meet 247-244.5 over the runner-up Royals.
5. Early candidates abound for basketball athletes of the year.
Multiple-time Stars and Stripes basketball athletes of the year Janelle Loney and Tre’von Owens have graduated, and more than a few players have made convincing early cases to replace them.
Seventeen DODDS-Europe boys have scored at least 20 points in a game, while every girls team that’s played has produced a double-digit scorer at least once.