Call E.J. King’s spring sports teams the “Road Warriors.”

That’s because the next two weekends will see the Cobras’ baseball, softball and soccer teams log some serious air miles, for visits to Daegu in Korea and DODDS Japan tournaments in the Kanto Plain.

DODDS Japan baseball began Thursday at Camp Zama, while softball is begin played at Yokota. Each continues through Saturday, with a forecast of rain for Friday morning.

Meanwhile, at Kelly Field in Daegu’s Camp Walker, Cobras soccer will take to the pitch against Daegu’s Warriors, Osan and Seoul American on Friday and Saturday. The teams will flip-flop next week, soccer to the Kanto Plain (Yokota and Zama) and softball and baseball to Daegu.

King is the lone DODDS Japan school to ferry teams to Korea in the regular season, something done to save money in DODDS’ cost-conscious mentality, athletics director Charles Strobino said.

“It’s cheaper to send teams to Korea,” Strobino said, adding that since DODDS no longer flies teams to Sasebo to play the Cobras in most all sports, “we’re the ones on the road more often.”

King is scheduled to host two soccer competitions this season. One was last month against Zama; the next is on May 10 against Matthew C. Perry, which will amount to a bus trip for the Samurai.

The travel is not so hard “so much as it is hard to leave my class with a substitute” during such trips, Strobino said, but students and teachers out of class is the “nature of DODDS sports,” especially in Japan, where DODDS schools are spread over more than 1,500 miles.

Even Strobino, who teaches math, will be on the move out of Japan soon; he transfers to Kaiserslautern, Germany, on May 1.

At the northern end of Japan’s main Honshu island, the snow has melted and Robert D. Edgren will host the first of its lone two athletics competitions this season, with Yokota’s and Nile C. Kinnick’s soccer teams as the Eagles’ guests. Zama soccer visits Perry this weekend.

Seoul American and Humphreys take to the pitch on Friday with one eye on the air-quality monitors; Wednesday’s entire soccer slate was postponed due to air-quality issues. This is the last weekend of Korea’s regular season; postseason tournaments are next weekend.

Okinawa soccer teams see action Saturday: Kadena’s boys playing two matches in Naha, Kubasaki traveling to Okinawa Christian International and Kadena’s girls hosting Yomei.

Three track and field meets are on tap Saturday: Okinawa’s schools at Chatan Stadium near American Village, Japan’s at Oi Pier Ground near Tokyo International Airport and Korea’s at Camp Humphreys.

On the diamonds, Seoul American and Daegu’s baseball and softball team will visit Osan on Saturday for a round-robin series.

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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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