BasketballPatch at Wiesbaden Friday and Saturday Comedian Jerry Seinfeld once observed that, given the ever-shifting rosters of players suiting up for their favorite teams, sports fans are essentially “rooting for the clothes.” That is very often the case in DODDS-Europe. And it will certainly be the case this weekend at Wiesbaden. Both the boys and girls games between the host Warriors and visiting Panthers are rematches of last year’s Division I European championship games. Wiesbaden beat Patch for the girls title, while Patch won its second straight boys crown at Wiesbaden’s expense. But those four teams, combined, have brought back barely enough players this season to fill out a single co-ed roster. According to information provided by the coaches, the four squads boast a total of just 15 returning varsity players, including six incumbent starters. Such instability is nothing new for DODDS-Europe coaches, however, and the new-look rosters so far have yielded familiar results. On the boys side, Patch and Wiesbaden are the last undefeated teams at the Division I level. Without a single returning starter to build around, the Panthers have put together a strong rotation around emerging stars Colin Whitten, Alec Basgall and Robert Braswell. The Warriors have leaned on a rotating cast of standout players that includes Gavin Adams, Elijah Eddings, and Fabrice Niland. The Wiesbaden girls are also unbeaten, while the Patch girls are on a three-game winning streak after dropping an opening doubleheader to Black Forest Academy. The Warrior girls are easily the most seasoned team in play, defending their title behind the All-Europe frontcourt of Catherine Klein and Cierra Martin. Key returnees Treshon Jenkins and Jaxen Godfrey are keeping the new-look Panthers competitive.

WrestlingVicenza, Naples, AOSR, Sigonella vs. Aviano Saturday at Aviano Divisional realignment has had a large and growing effect on DODDS-Europe sports. Another notable example arrives on Jan. 23, when multiple basketball teams from various countries converge in the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Italy for unusual regular-season dates with far-flung divisional rivals. That kind of change has yet to filter down to wrestling, however. As in seasons past, this year’s wrestling schedule is firmly divided on opposite sides of the Alps. Italian programs American Overseas School of Rome, Aviano, Naples, Sigonella and Vicenza are left to again grapple amongst themselves and wait for the field to expand at the sectional and European championship tournaments in February. So this weekend represents take four of six in the five-way feud, which so far this winter has been dominated by Naples. The Wildcats have won the points race in each of the previous three meets, though Aviano offered a scare last weekend.

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