Kat Nufable proved solid as a playmaker and scorer. Demond Dean likewise resembled a stone wall in keeping opponents from finding the back of the net.

Together, they were instrumental in lifting Taegu American’s girls and E.J. King’s boys, respectively, to their schools’ first Far East Class A soccer titles last month. The seniors also have been chosen as Stars and Stripes’ Pacific high school spring Athletes of the Quarter.

It was more what didn’t show up on stat sheets, their coaches said, that made them the leaders of their teams.

“Unity was a driving force, one of the big things about the team this season, and Kat was responsible for that,” Taegu coach Ed Thompson said of Nufable, who paced the Warriors to a 12-7-1 season, including an unbeaten 6-0 ledger in the Class A tournament.

After going 1-5 in their first six matches, the Warriors rallied and capped their season with a 2-1 overtime triumph over host Matthew C. Perry in the Class A championship game on May 23.

Nufable led the team with 10 assists and scored nine of her 15 goals during the Class A schedule at Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station, Japan. But her role as a team organizer, doing everything from getting the team motivated to running all the drills, was her biggest contribution.

“She was the leader of the team, in every respect,” Thompson said.

Hours after Taegu made school history, Dean’s Cobras did likewise, surviving a penalty-kick shootout to edge Indianhead International of South Korea 2-1 in the boys Class A title match.

“It simply can’t be described accurately what he meant to us as a team and a player,” coach Michael Erickson said of Dean, who led the Cobras to a 9-9-3 record after the team went 0-13-1 in 2006.

The Cobras won five of their six Class A matches, each decided by a goal, with Dean winning three shootouts along the way for a defense-minded team.

“We would have been the recipient of many drubbings and would not have won the tournament without Demond Dean,” Erickson said. “He looks like he’s been playing the position for 10 years and it has been only two. Unbelievable.”

Coach of the quarter: After a three-year absence, Terry Chumley’s Kubasaki Dragons rose back to the top of the Far East Girls Class AA Soccer Tournament heap, tying former three-time champion Kadena 0-0 twice during the season, then rallying past Nile C. Kinnick 3-1 in the title match on May 25.

Honorable mention: Kyle Siftar, Nile C. Kinnick baseball; Chris Anderson, Matthew C. Perry girls soccer.

Team of the quarter: Kinnick baseball went from the bottom of the heap two seasons ago to a 17-2 record, DODDS-Japan and Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools regular-season titles and the Kanto Plain tournament title.

Honorable mention: Taegu and Kubasaki girls soccer, Christian Academy In Japan boys soccer.

Most improved team: Matthew C. Perry girls soccer lost 36 times in 38 matches since 2004, but this season they improved to an 8-10-1 record behind a group of freshman (Kate Cutshall, Taylor Dunphy, Heather Hyson, Karla Stroud). Perry lost in a dramatic overtime championship match against Taegu.

Honorable mention: Zama American girls soccer, Taegu girls soccer, Kubasaki baseball.

Program of the quarter: Kadena’s boys soccer team placed second and the girls took third in the Class AA tournaments, while the Panthers’ boys track team and girls softball won their fourth straight Okinawa Activities Council district titles. Kadena also halted Kubasaki’s All-Island golf title run, while finally losing the baseball district title to Kubasaki after four seasons.

Track and field athletes of the quarter: Kadena senior Manuel Duran capped a record-breaking season by shattering the Japan area long-jump record (22 feet, 6 inches). Quallio lost just two 1,600 races this season, setting Zama school records in the mile (4:39) and two-mile (10:04). American School In Japan sophomore Gwen Thornton broke league records in the 400 (58.5), 100 hurdles (15.4) and 310 hurdles (47.4).

Softball players of the quarter: The 1-2 punch of junior Kris Spann and sophomore Lindsay Clark vaulted Seoul American back to the top of the DODDS-Korea league.

Honorable mention: Cristina Eustaquio, Zama American; Zori Drew, Kadena.

Soccer players of the quarter: Senior Jen Abel shattered the Pacific season and career records for goals (83, 192) for third-place Kadena. Leo Kobayashi tallied 33 goals to power Christian Academy In Japan to its second Class AA title in three seasons. Seoul Foreign junior Remco Rademaker (43) led all Pacific boys in goal scoring.

Swimmer of the quarter: Seoul American senior Sarah Yance broke three more Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference records this season in helping the Falcons to another undefeated campaign.

Honorable mention: Leah Loefstedt, Song Ho Downes, Seoul American.

Top newcomers: Freshmen Aubrey Ashliman (50 goals, 9 assists) and Whitney McWherter (12 goals) of Zama American. Nice turnaround.

Best brother-sister act: Freshman striker Stanley Schrock (golden boot) and junior goalkeeper Helen Schrock (best goalkeeper) of Kadena.

Play of the quarter: In the second minute of overtime, Nufable gathered the ball and split two Perry defenders, running halfway down the field and arcing a soft shot past a lunging Cutshall to give the Warriors their historic first Class A title.

Game of the quarter: Freshman Tara Bartkoski and senior Frances Zukowski provided the offense and goalkeeper Charlemagne Cameron and a defense led by sweeper Nadine Mulvany made it stand up as Nile C. Kinnick beat Kadena 2-1 in the girls Class AA semifinals on May 24.

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.

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