Army, Navy flag football teams ready to do battle in Far East
Mirroring their stateside counterparts who’ll battle for the Commander in Chief’s Trophy in Philadelphia, Army and Navy flag football squads in Japan, Okinawa and South Korea will duke it out for service bragging rights Saturday in games that have become as traditional out here as turkey on Thanksgiving.
Games are scheduled for 10 a.m. at Seoul American High School’s Falcon Field on Yongsan Garrison; 11 a.m. at Berkey Field on Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan; and 1 p.m. at Torii Station on Okinawa. The latter game starts 15½ hours before Annapolis’ Midshipmen and West Point’s Black Knights face off in Philadelphia.
Sailors and Marines from throughout South Korea will battle soldiers from Seoul’s Area II Support Activity for the Peninsula Commander’s Trophy. Soldier and sailor cheerleaders will perform at halftime.
Each service plans its own bonfire and pep rally at 6 p.m. Friday — with the Army’s adjacent to Commiskey’s restaurant on Yongsan Garrison’s South Post and the Navy’s at Field 4 on Camp Coiner. No pregame parade is planned this year, organizer Bennie Jackson said.
Opening ceremonies at Berkey start at 10:30 a.m., organizer Josh Davis said.
The game pits Camp Zama soldiers against Yokosuka sailors and Marines. Halftime activities will include 7th Fleet Band and Army band performances. A post-game reception for both teams is scheduled at the Arleigh Burke Officers Club on Yokosuka.
Festivities, including an appearance by the Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders, will stretch over three days at Okinawa’s Torii Field starting Friday, organizer James Perry said.
A pep rally is slated for 3:30 p.m. Friday, with vendors assembling in the parking lot above the field for a three-day holiday bazaar and craft mart. A punt, pass and kick youth competition begins game-day activity at 9 a.m., followed by opening ceremonies at noon. Halftime will feature Colts, Navy and Army cheerleaders and a $10,000 football toss competition.
Army teams in the Pacific have dominated this series the last three years, winning seven of nine games since 2003. Last Dec. 3, Army prevailed over Navy 27-3 on Okinawa, 12-6 at Yongsan and 13-12 in overtime at Camp Zama.