(Thursday's results at end of story)
Players in the 2004 Far East High School Tennis Tournament seem to prefer the new DODDS-Pacific-only format over including players from international schools.
“I’d rather win the gold,” said junior James Edwards of Pusan American in South Korea.
Citing concerns over budget, billeting and athletic facility availability, Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Pacific director Dr. Nancy Bresell in September moved to limit Far East tennis, cross country and wrestling tournaments to DODDS participants only.
“The international schools are way better,” Edwards said. “With just DODDS players, it’s easier to win. I like it this way.”
“It’s more fair this way,” said senior Kamen Christin of Okinawa’s Kadena Panthers. “Last year was cool with more people, but it’s great that they have a DODDS tournament.”
“With international schools, I wouldn’t even call it competition,” senior Mark Bote of Japan’s E.J. King Cobras said. “Here, it’s better competition. There’s more mystery to it. The spectators get into it more, not knowing who’s going to win.”
Bote’s mixed doubles partner, Lara Deguzman, disagreed.
“On the other hand, [international school players] gave us the opportunity to see how they play, that there are people better than us,” she said. “You want to play better competition to improve your game.”
Side benefits to the decision were the addition of mixed doubles and allowing players to enter two events instead of just one.
That helped keep Kadena senior Anthony Soroka in the tournament. He lost his singles quarterfinal to Seoul American’s Allen Chin but was still alive in the boys doubles draw with teammate Christin.
“At least I can fall back on doubles,” he said. “That I still have a chance in the doubles after losing singles makes it better.”
Soroka said it didn’t matter to him whether international school players were there or not.
“It would have been fun [to play them] again, but this was still a very competitive tournament, with a lot of competition,” he said. “I like it both ways. Just having a Far East tournament is the big thing.”
Not having to face international players didn’t help top-seeded girls singles player Mary Edwards of Pusan. She lost in three sets to Kubasaki’s Frances Delossantos, who played Thursday’s quarterfinals in pain.
Delossantos didn’t realize she’d lost a toenail during Wednesday’s matches until she removed her shoe at home that evening.
Not sure if she could even walk, much less run the courts Thursday, she put anaesthetic ointment and bandages on the second toe on her left foot, then decided she would play.
“It bothered me when I’d run and stop suddenly; the toe would crash against my shoe,” she said. “I’d just shake it off and keep on going. I just wanted to keep playing.”
At Risner Tennis Complex, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa
Hyun Min Kim, Taegu American, def. John Will, Nile C. Kinnick, 6-2, 6-2; Kenta Takahashi, Yokota, def. Sung Am Kim, Taegu American, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5; James Edwards, Pusan American, def. Thomas Kim, Seoul American, 6-3, 6-1; Allen Chin, Seoul American, def. Anthony Soroka, Kadena, 6-2, 6-4
Kenta Takahashi and Justin Acap, Yokota, def. Travis Dang and Ian Copeland, Kadena, 6-1, 6-4; Thomas Kim and Allen Chin, Seoul, def. Marc Icban and Chris Morris, Nile C. Kinnick, 6-3, 6-2; John Will and Eric Su, Nile C. Kinnick, def. John Cruz and Mark Bote, E.J. King, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6; Anthony Soroka and Kamen Christin, Kadena, def. Justin Lee and Chris Suh, Seoul American, 6-3, 6-2
Amy Lopes, Kadena, def. Amanda Reiff, Osan American, 6-1, 6-0; Lori Kanikkeberg, Kadena, def. Kristia Suriben, E.J. King, 6-3, 6-1; Angela Kannik, Seoul American, def. Kristina DeLeon, Yokota, 6-0, 6-3; Frances Delossantos, Kubasaki, def. Mary Edwards, Pusan American, 6-3, 4-6, 7-1
Lara Deguzman and Kristia Suriben, E.J. King, def. Janel Borja and Victoria Salas, Guam High, 6-2, 6-3; Amanda Reiff and Jessica Guertin, Osan American, def. Elizabeth Trambulo and Cristina Eustaquio, Zama American, 6-3, 6-0; Amy Lopes and Lori Kanikkeberg, Kadena, def. Kim Flores and Frances Delossantos, Kubasaki, 6-1, 6-2; Airamy Rivera and Katherine Herrera, Nile C. Kinnick, def. Angela Kannik and Hannah Kim, Seoul American, 6-4, 6-4
Matthew Guertin and Jessica Guertin, Osan American, def. Brad Roh and Joanne Youngblood, Taegu American, 6-3, 6-1; Kamen Christin and Tarren Fitzgerald, Kadena, def. Patrick Hayes and Kylie Mostert, Robert D. Edgren, 6-0, 6-0; James Edwards and Mary Edwards, Pusan American, def. Justin Lee and Jackie McGinn, Seoul American, 6-3, 6-2; Chris Suh and Jane Chai, Seoul American, def. Mark Bote and Lara Deguzman, E.J. King, 6-4, 6-3
Jeff Fenimore, Guam High, def. Noah Debonis, Robert D. Edgren, 8-5; Lawrence Song, Osan American, def. Ronnie Maston, Kubasaki, 8-1; Nathan Fine, Robert D. Edgren, def. Michael Que, Guam High, 6-1; Fenimore def. Tim McFarland, Kubasaki, 6-1, 6-2; Song def. Matthew Shakespeare, Zama American, 6-0, 3-6, 7-6; Jason Stroup, Matthew C. Perry, def. Rikki Winger, Osan American, 6-4, 6-2
Jeff Fenimore and Michael Que, Guam High, def. Tim McFarland and Ronnie Maston, Kubasaki, 8-1; Ken Brophy and Daniel Adamson, Yokota, def. Joey Chop and Wade Williams, Guam High, 3-6, 6-3, 7-4; Joey Oyen and Jae Kwan Park, Pusan American, def. John Craig and Caleb Bales, Kubasaki, 6-2, 6-0; Matthew Shakespeare and Jeff Wiulson, Zama American, def. Fenimore and Que 6-7 (1-7), 6-1, 7-1; Brad Roh and Thomas Qian, Taegu American, def Noah Debonis and Nathan Fine, Robert D. Edgren, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
Tori Lee, Robert D. Edgren, def. Sarah Leach, Matthew C. Perry, 8-1; Caroline Armstrong, Osan American, def. Victoria Salas, Guam High, 9-7; Lee def. Iris Kim, Taegu American, 6-2, 6-2; Tomomi Ida, Yokota, def. Amber Kers, Robert D. Edgren, 6-0, 6-1; Janel Borja, Guam High, def. Armstrong 6-4, 6-3
Joyce Cao and Rhea Fernandez, Nile C. Kinnick, def. Rebekkah Claudio and Sarah Leach, Matthew C. Perry, 8-0; Danielle Porter and Cocoa Osaki, Yokota, def. Tori Lee and Amber Kers, Robert D. Edgren, 8-1; Cao and Fernandez def. Leilani Arita and Elizabeth Perry, Matthew C. Perry, 6-0, 6-0
Osaki and Porter def. Jemari Nimedez and Abby Bayquen, E.J. King, 6-3, 6-3
Ian Copeland and Katherine Otterson, Kadena, def. Kendra Robinson and Caleb Bales, Kubasaki, 8-1; Daniel Adamson and Cocoa Osaki, Yokota, def. Wade Williams and Bekka Lemons, Guam High, 8-2; Andrew Park and Jennifer Lew, Osan American, def. Brandon Thompson and Elizabeth Perry, Matthew C. Perry, 6-1, 6-1; John Craig and Roxanne Diaz, Kubasaki, def. Joey Chop and Brittany Gehrke, Guam High, 7-5, 7-5; Adamson and Osaki def. Thomas Qian and Hana Gill, Taegu American, 7-6 (7-4, 6-4)