Team capsules, key dates
Pacific high school baseball season dates to rememberIn-season tournamentsThursday, March 24-Saturday, March 26DODDS Japan tournament, Rambler Field, Camp Zama, Japan.
Thursday, April 7-Saturday, April 9Kubasaki High School Spring Fling, Seoul American, Kadena and other teams to be determined vs. Kubasaki at Field 9, Gunners Fitness & Sports Complex, Camp Foster, Okinawa.
Monday, May 23-Thursday, May 262010 DODDS Pacific Far East Baseball Tournament, Rambler Field, Camp Zama, and Bandy Field, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan (hosted by Zama American High School).
Baseball capsulesDivision ISouth KoreaSeoul American Falcons2010 Far East Tournament finish — Seventh.Coach — Robert Heckerl, fourth season.Key performers — Colton Heckerl, Sr., All-Far East P-IF; Greg Morris, Sr., P-IF; Casey Donovan, Jr., P-IF; Chung Winchip, Jr., OF; Chris Horton, Jr., P-UT; Will Catineau, So., OF-UT; Ryan Bittner, So., OF-UT; Harold Martin, Jr. (transfer from Europe); Andy Weber, Jr. (transfer from Annandale, Va.).Outlook — Reloading-contending. With Kubasaki and Kadena down in numbers and experience from last season, and with experience and leadership on the Falcons’ side, it might be the right time for Seoul to become D-I title contender.
OkinawaKadena Panthers2010 Far East Tournament finish — Second.Coach — David Compton, first season.Key performers — Jayce Moore, Sr., P-IF-OF; Michael Correa, Sr., OF-1B; Luke Carey, So., IF-P; Cody Prince, Fr., C-OF (transfer from Germany); Dominic Shea, Fr., IF-P (transfer from Georgia); Josh Arvizu, Fr., IF-C-P.Outlook — Rebuilding. Only three varsity players and Panthers have their fourth new coach in six seasons. Compton hopes his team can evolve into contender status by May.
Kubasaki Dragons2010 Far East Tournament finish — First.Coach — Randy Toor, sixth season.Key performers — Andrew Estes, Sr., All-Far East P-IF; Richard Allen, Jr., P-IF; Tommy Warren, Fr., IF; Jaren Blesset, Fr., IF; Shoichiro Vivas, Fr., CF.Outlook — Reloading. Roster was decimated by graduation and transfer, but enough remains that Toor can rebuild into a winner, next year if not this season.
JapanYokota Panthers2010 Far East Tournament finish — Third.Coach — Kevin Fremgen, first season.Key performers — Devin Day, Sr., OF; Jesse Christmas, Jr., C-IF; Kei DePont-Briand, Jr., P-IF; Victor Madaris, So., IF; David Peterson, So., C-IF; Dominique Evans, Sr., IF-P (transfer from Guam).Outlook — Rebuilding. New coaching staff for the third straight season, just five returning players, only two seniors in the lineup.
Nile C. Kinnick Red Devils2010 Far East Touranment finish — Fifth.Coach — Michael Valenzuela, third season.Key performers — David Mason, Sr., 1B-2B-C; Donald Ross, Jr., P-C; Daniel Ross, Fr., 1B-P (transfer from Japanese school).Outlook — Rebuilding, but could evolve quickly into a contender behind the Ross arms, who combined to strike out 29 batters in their season debuts. Still, experience is rather thin.
Division IIJapanRobert D. Edgren Eagles2010 Far East Tournament finish — Sixth.Coach — Brett Lehner, fourth season.Key performers — Sayer Austin, Sr., P-IF; Xavier Major, Sr., 2B-OF; Jesse Rice, Jr., All-Far East SS; Zach Davis, Sr., 1B-OF.Outlook — Rebuilding. More veteran blood on the team, but as always, hampered by having to practice indoors to start the season. Once they get outdoors, they should rapidly catch up and perhaps contend for the D-II title.
Zama American Trojans,2010 Far East Tournament finish — Fourth.Coach — Riki Martin, first season.Key performers — Matt Freeman, Sr., All-Far East P; Alec Holt, So., P-OF; Dominic Labrador, Sr., OF; Michael Spencer, Sr., OF; Michael Torres, So., 1B; Stephen Ferrer, Jr., C; Matt Cole, Sr.; Christian Venzlauskas, Fr.; Edward Runyon, So., 3B.Outlook — Reloading for DODDS Japan and Kanto Plain; contending for D-II title. The coaching post tends to resemble a revolving door, but the talent remains for the Trojans to make a title run, especially at the newly implemented D-II level.
South KoreaDaegu American Warriors2010 Far East Tournament finish — Eighth.Coach — Michael Downes, third season.Key performers - Christian Dawes, Sr., 3B-LF-P; Ayrton Hilton, Jr., P-OF-1B; Sean Lattanzi, Jr., P-IF; Jonathan Philley, Jr., 2B-RF; Ryan Lattanzi, So., IF.Outlook — Rebuilding-reloading. A good core of solid players, but still young and developing. New D-II tournament should help Warriors’ title chances, though.
Osan American Cougars2010 Far East Tournament finish — Ninth.Coach — Carmen Velazquez, second season.Key performers — J.P. Horton, So., P-3B; Joseph Arocho, Sr., CF; Matt Treb, Jr., LF; Kyle Desautels, Fr., SS; Patrick Lunsford, Jr., C-OF; Charles Washington, Jr., C-3B; Alex Collette, Fr., C-2B.Outlook — Rebuilding. Much new blood this season but more of a cohesive unit than last year. Velazquez says she’s “actually feeling very optimistic” about the Cougars’ chances.
Pacific high school softball dates to rememberIn-season tournamentThursday, March 24-Saturday, March 26DODDS Japan tournament, Bonk Field, Yokota High School.
League championship tournamentFriday, April 22-Saturday, April 23DODDS Japan tournament, Sasebo Naval Base, Japan (hosted by E.J. King High School).
Far East tournamentMonday, May 23-Thursday, May 262010 DODEA Pacific Far East Divisions I and II Girls Softball Tournaments, FourDiamonds Complex, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa (hosted by Kadena High School).
Softball capsulesDivision IJapanYokota Panthers2010 Far East Tournament finish — Eighth.Coach — Kat Naish, first season.Key performers — Ashley Bellmore, Sr., 2B; Tia Burton, Sr., RF; Elyse Chang, Sr., CF; Tjaden Cornell, Sr., P; Julia Marrin, Sr., All-Far East, C.Outlook — Reloading. The coaching job continues to consume candidates at an annual rate, but there are plenty of senior leaders and talent who have all played at last year’s Far East to make a run at a much higher spot than last year.
Nile C. Kinnick Red Devils2010 Far East Tournament finish — Sixth.Coach — Katrina Kemper, first season.Key performers — Michayla Robinson, So., SS-2B (transfer from Kubasaki); Cheyenne Tullos, Sr., All-Far East P-C; Dusty Keolanui-Wilson, Sr., C-P; Tayannah Rivers, Jr., IF-P.Outlook — Reloading-contending. New coach, new system, but good solid core of veterans and the addition of Robinson and Rivers should make the Red Devils a strong DODDS Japan contender, perhaps a deep run in Far East.
OkinawaKubasaki Dragons2010 Far East Tournament finish — Third.Coach — Stephanie Davis, second season.Key performers — Abbygail Kennedy, So., P-C; Alex Morvant, Jr., OF; Shadah Stansel, Sr., CF; Valerie Velasquez, Sr., P; Jacinta Wiggins, Sr., 1B-OF; Sasha Strehlow, Sr., RF; Janine Singson, Jr., P-RF; Kiara Negron, Jr., 3B; Shuri Seamans, So., P-3B-SS.Outlook — Rebuilding-reloading. A plethora of seniors and transfers have left the cupboard somewhat bare, but Davis should mold this group in plenty of time to be contenders. Still, they have to get past that mental bloc that is nine-time island champion Kadena.
Kadena Panthers2010 Far East Tournament finish — First.Coach — Jesse Costa, third season.Key performers — Desirae Seals, Jr., P; Dominique Holcomb, Jr., CF; Taniesha Hodges, Sr., 2B-3B; Kelly Kaneshiro, Jr., P-RF; Jessica Rucinski, Sr., SS-C; Lauren Young, Jr., P-3B-SS.Outlook — Rebuilding-reloading. Graduation and transfers hammered this roster, too, but the Panthers have for a long time dominated the island softball scene, and Costa should have her remaining troops and new ones to replace the departed ready to go by May. Seals, the reigning Far East MVP, transfers at season’s end, so this could be a now-or-never scenario for Costa & Co.
South KoreaSeoul American Falcons2010 Far East Tournament finish — Fifth.Coach — Julian Harden, 18th season (took last season off).Key performers — Katie Darby, Sr., P-SS; Deidre Jones, So., C; Leilani Shak, Sr., P-SS; Jenna Jackson, Jr., 2B-OF; Brandi Kendall, Jr., OF.Outlook — Rebuilding. Just two players return from last season, but one of them - hard-throwing right-hander Darby - is being looked at by Division I universities. If Harden is able to keep a young roster together, it may spell contention for the Falcons for years to come.
Division IISouth KoreaOsan American Cougars2010 Far East Tournament finish — Ninth.Coach — Rainetta Brown, second season.Key performers — Brittany Chappell, Sr., P-1B; Ashley LaFortune, Jr., C-SS; Makayla Hockenberry, Sr., LF; Sydney Barker, Jr., CF; Tiffany Mackin, Fr., C.Outlook — Reloading. A lot will rest with the seniors and leaders such as LaFortune, and the addition of Division II to Far East should give the Cougars a much better fighting chance.
Daegu American Warriors2010 Far East Tournament finish — 11th.Coach — Tim McDaniel, first season (coached at E.J. King in the 2000s).Key performers — Anya Proctor, Sr., IF; Alexis Kimble, Sr., P-UT; Hazel Sison, Jr., IF.Outlook — Always rebuilding. Smallest DODDS high school in Korea’s spring sports teams is in a constant battle to fill rosters, especially now with track and field a varsity sport. Adding Division II to Far East gives the Warriors a better shot.
JapanE.J. King Cobras2010 Far East Tournament finish — Fourth.Coach — Pete Soto, first season.Key performers — Sakura Bellwood, Jr., IF-OF; Kelsey Luksovsky, Jr., IF; Nicole Mendoza, Jr., IF; Megan East, So., IF; Tara Long, So., IF-OF; Carmela Lucy, Jr., IF-OF.Outlook — Reloading. Cobras did not start off so well in season-opening loss to Zama American, but if Soto is able to keep this core group together – nary a senior on the roster – the Cobras could contend for years to come at the D-II level, perhaps even DODDS Japan.
Robert D. Edgren Eagles2010 Far East Tournament finish — Second.Coach — Sarah Richardson, fourth season.Key performers — Sabrina Cavazos, P; Breonna Ruffin, C-1B; O’Nell Latimore, C; Gabriella Cuebas, SS; Mallory Evangelista, 3B.Outlook — Rebuilding. Hindered as always by having to practice indoors before the northern Japan snows melt. Several returning players, but they lack the experience of their predecessors; graduation and transfers hit this roster hard, including the loss of rubber-armed Kailee Redulla.
Zama American Trojans2010 Far East Tournament finish — Seventh.Coach — Parish and Veronica Jones, fifth season.Key performers — Alysa Prather, Sr., All-Far East P-C; Reina Staley, Sr., 2B; Silvia Dykstra, So., LF; Keri Prather, So., P; Melissa Sybico, So., CF.Outlook — Reloading, after losing nine players, six of them starters. But enough remains from the “Fab Freshmen” group of last season for the Trojans to contend for the D-II title.