Falcons aren't playing 'dead'
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Steve Boyd had a dilemma on his hands Wednesday.
An Advanced Placement government teacher and Seoul American’s boys basketball coach, Boyd faced a double-edged task: Ensuring the Falcons were ready to host Seoul Foreign and properly preparing his upperclassmen for exams during semester finals week.
“Exams are really, really important,” Boyd said after Seoul American beat the Crusaders 73-58 at the Falcon Gym. “I have six seniors. Some of them are taking AP tests. I’m an AP teacher myself, so I really, really understand.”
It’s led to a heavy testing week and light practices for both of the school’s programs this week. Workouts have lasted no more than an hour, but some upperclassmen have missed those sessions as well.
“I’m getting the kids out as quickly as I can, and we’ll do the same thing” Thursday, said Lady Falcons coach Charlotte Hicks, whose team rolled past Seoul Foreign 53-29.
Such games during finals week, also known as “dead week” among Department of Defense Education Activity officials, are rare but do occur periodically in leagues that include DODEA and international schools.
Taegu American and Pusan American, both DODEA schools, faced a similar conflict and rescheduled their boys and girls games to Jan. 15.
Seoul Foreign, playing in next weekend’s season-ending Asia-Pacific Activities Conference tournament, couldn’t play Seoul American any earlier, the school’s coach and athletic director said.
“Our schedule was pretty packed. We were playing three games a week, and it gave us virtually no chance to do anything about it, to change the games,” said J.P Rader, also the Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference president for athletics.
This week’s balancing act didn’t stop Seoul American’s teams from sweeping the Crusaders for the third time this season. Each won regular-season contests at Seoul Foreign on Jan. 10 and again prevailed in the KAIAC preseason tournaments last month.
Senior Nino Etienne scored 23 points and grabbed 20 rebounds to lead the Seoul American boys (15-5).
Luis Feliciano added 15 points and 12 rebounds, Daniel Chicko scored 14 points, Chris Miller had 11 points and eight rebounds and Chris Glasser had six assists and five steals. Paul Rader topped the Crusaders (10-4) with 19 points and Ben Taenzler had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
On the girls side, Hicks was pleased by the performance of sophomore newcomer Sheria Taua, who scored eight points. Taua is a natural forward, but Hicks has primarily used her at guard, simply because the Lady Falcons lack backcourt experience.
Kathy Bradham led the Lady Falcons (12-0) with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Chelsi Butler added 10 points and Jio Bruce eight points and four steals. Butler and Bruce each grabbed five rebounds.
Sharon Garwood had seven points, eight rebounds and four steals for the Lady Crusaders (9-6). Meghan Barennes finished with five steals.