Girls weren't just names on a roster at Far East wrestling tourney
(Detailed results at end of story)
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — At mat’s center, Osan American’s Emily Albonetti adjusted her headgear between periods of her 101-pound bout against Kinnick’s Byron Stipe.
“Go Emily!” Bianca Best of Taegu American encouraged from the edge of the mat, adjusting her singlet straps as she prepared for her own bout, a 108-pound contest vs. Osan’s Tyler Perry.
Albonetti responded by showing a competitive streak, evening the bout 1-1 by scoring three two-point tilts to win the second period before Stipe caught her in a front press early in the third period to win by pin in 4:53. Best then was pinned by Perry in 2:54.
Certainly, Albonetti, Best and 148-pounder Sasha Ortiz of Edgren have shown that this week’s Far East wrestling tournament is not just for the boys.
OK, so they didn’t win a single match. Albonetti and Ortiz were eliminated from gold-medal competition in the first round of the playoffs, while Best remained alive in Friday’s quarterfinals because of a first-round bye.
But at the very least, Albonetti and Best sent a message — these girls weren’t simply taking up roster spots.
“They’re out here to win,” said Kubasaki assistant coach and former two-time Far East champion Robby Duncan. “They’re competitive. That Emily, she impressed me. I’d like to see how far she can go in this tournament.”
Just what were girls doing trying a sport that until recently had been a boys-only province?
“It’s the only sport in which you can have physical contact with guys and not get into trouble,” said Best, who like Albonetti and Ortiz are trying the sport for the first time.
Albonetti remembers watching Cougars wrestling practice after school during her freshman year. “It seemed interesting, so I thought I’d try it.”
Ortiz, meanwhile, becomes the third girl to represent Edgren at a Far East tournament. Janine Kunsch wrestled at 115 pounds in 1999, followed by Stoney Sasser at 122 and 129 pounds the following two years.
Best could have been a guard on the Warriors girls basketball team or a cheerleader, but she insists she feels more comfortable around the fellows.
But aren’t guys more reluctant to apply their best moves and be more physical with those of the supposed “fairer, gentler sex”?
“They tend to go easy on me” in practice, Best said. “But I try to show them I’m not the weakling that they think I am.”
Despite it feeling “different” to have a girl on the team, the majority of boys say their female teammates are accepted as one of the gang.
“She’s good,” Osan 158-pounder Carlos Albaladejo said of Albonetti. “She’s as competitive as everyone else. She works hard. She’s out there trying to learn how to wrestle.”
Still, male ego does come into play — the last thing boys would like to do is lose to a girl.
“It would bug me, but it would suck anyway,” said K.C. Bowlan, Ortiz’s 122-pound Edgren teammate. “If you lose, you lose.”
“If she’s good enough to beat me, oh well,” said Edgren 168-pounder Kevin McDonald.
Would a boy simply refuse to wrestle a girl for fear of being embarrassed by a defeat?
“If it wasn’t an important match, I’d forfeit, but this is Far East. She’s my opponent,” said 158-pounder Andrew Preston of Kinnick.
Dylan Pablo, a 101-pound junior from Guam High, knows the feeling, having lost during his sophomore season to a girl in league competition — in fact, the Guam league has four female wrestlers, two each at John F. Kennedy and George Washington, and they’re “quite good,” Guam High athletics director Edgar Paz said.
“I went home and started training harder,” Pablo recalled of his defeat. “It won’t happen again.”
Far East TournamentThursday
At Old Thew Gym, Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan
Individual freestyle tournament
Pool A-Drake Robertson, Kadena, pinned Emily Albonetti, Osan American, :55; Byron Stipe, Nile C. Kinnick, superior decisioned David Weigle, Taegu American, 2-0 (7-0, 9-3); Stipe pinned Albonetti, 4:53; Robertson decisioned Weigle, 2-0 (7-0, 5-0); Robertson pinned Stipe, 2:17; Weigle pinned Albonetti, :35.
Pool B-Dylan Pablo, Guam High, superior decisioned Mark Meade, Yokota, 2-0 (6-0, 5-0); Pablo decisioned Andrew So, Seoul American, 2-1 (0-2, 3-2, 3-0); Soh pinned Meade, 1:05.
Pool C-Scott Wood, Kubasaki, pinned Kevin Donahue, E.J. King, :40; Wood pinned Alec Fisher, Zama American, 3:04; Donahue decisioned Fisher, 2-1 (4-5, 6-0, 8-3).
Pool A-Moose Dietrich, Robert D. Edgren, pinned Bianca Best, Taegu American, 1:25; Tyler Perry, Osan American, pinned Che Woo Shin, Seoul American, 1:59; Perry decisioned Dietrich, 2-0 (7-5, 6-2); Shin pinned Best, 1:07; Dietrich pinned Shin, 1:56; Perry pinned Best, 2:54.
Pool B-Chris Hoshaw, Kadena, pinned Michael Palomino, Zama American, :25; Lloyd Stipe, Nile C. Kinnick, decisioned Nick Guzman, Yokota, 2-0 (4-0, 4-3); Hoshaw decisioned Guzman, 2-0 (4-3, 7-1); Siple decisioned Palomino, 2-0 (6-0, 7-3); Guzman pinned Palomino, 3:05; Hoshaw pinned Stipe, 2:23.
Pool C-Coty Hampton, Kubasaki, superior decisioned Robert Lopez, Guam High, 2-0 (8-2, 3-0); Luigi Deguzman, E.J. King, decisioned Hampton, 2-0 (6-0, 5-4); Deguzman pinned Lopez, :47.
Pool A-James Nutter, Seoul American, pinned Trevor DiSimone, Kubasaki, 3:34; Bobby Antonio, Nile C. Kinnick, superior decisioned DiSimone, 2-0 (7-0, 7-1); Nutter pinned Antonio, 4:25.
Pool B-Robert Rodell, Yokota, decisioned Ben Breazile, Kadena, 2-0 (1-1 last point, 2-1); Rodell decisioned Nick Perry, Zama American, 2-1 (1-0, 1-2, 5-1); Perry pinned Breazile, 3:32.
Pool A-Chris Steuerwald, Seoul American, decisioned Ben Zendejas, Kadena, 2-1 (4-0, 1-3, 3-0); Richie Sanders, Kubasaki, decisioned Reggie Barton, Nile C. Kinnick, 2-1 (0-6, 6-6 last point, 5-5 last point); Steuerwald superior decisioned Sanders, 2-1 (6-0, 0-1, 6-0); Zendejas superior decisioned Barton, 2-0 (7-0, 5-0); Steuerwald superior decisioned Barton, 2-0 (8-2, 10-2); Zendejas pinned Sanders, 2:25.
Pool B-Raymond Bognot, E.J. King, pinned Richard Smith, Guam High, :41; Jason Rodriguez, Yokota, decisioned Michael Moore, Osan American, 2-0 (10-2, 7-2); Rodriguez pinned Bognot, 1:31; Smith pinned Moore, 1:08; Rodriguez superior decisioned Smith, 2-0 (7-0, 7-0); Moore pinned Bognot, 4:34.
Pool A-Jacob Bloom, Kadena, pinned David Heitstuman, E.J. King, 1:37; Matt Maza, Kubasaki, decisioned Tom Gorman, Yokota, 2-0 (3-0, 11-0); Bloom decisioned Maza, 2-0 (1-0, 2-1); Heitstuman superior decisioned Gorman, 2-0 (9-2, 7-1); Heitstuman decisioned Maza, 2-1 (3-1, 0-3, 3-0); Bloom superior decisioned Gorman, 2-0 (6-0, 7-0).
Pool B-Marco Duarte, Seoul American, pinned Edwin Rodriguez, Osan American, :36; Duarte def. Josh Johnson, Zama American, injury default; Rodriguez def. Johnson, walkover.
Pool C-Richard Barton, Nile C. Kinnick, pinned Andrew Davenport, Taegu American, 5:03; Jonathan Davis, Guam High, pinned Davenport, 1:34; Davis pinned Barton, time unavailable.
Pool A-Adam Godfrey, Zama American, superior decisioned Greg Jones, Taegu American, 2-0 (7-1, 7-0); Godfrey pinned Alex Sun, Seoul American, 1:21; Sun superior decisioned Jones, 2-0 (6-0, 6-0).
Pool B-Sean Butler, Guam High, pinned C.J. Tapang, Kubasaki, :36; Tapang decisioned Terance Sanders, Nile C. Kinnick, 2-0 (6-0, 5-0); Butler decisioned Sanders, 2-1 (6-0, 0-1, 2-0).
Pool C-Brandon McCullough, Kadena, pinned Matthew Blankenship, Robert D. Edgren, time unavailable; McCullough decisioned Kyle Shimabukuro, Yokota, 2-0 (4-0, 3-0); Blankenship decisioned Shimabukuro, 2-0 (7-0, 5-0).
Pool A-Kenji Doughty, Nile C. Kinnick, decisioned Ben Blake, Kadena, 2-0 (4-3, 3-3 big point); Khaliq Threlkelt, Osan American, decisioned Ray Tenorio, Guam High, 2-0 (7-0, 5-2); Doughty pinned Threlkelt, 2:43; Blake pinned Tenorio, 2:24; Doughty pinned Tenorio, :47; Blake pinned Threlkelt, 1:50.
Pool B-Vincent Doinoff, Robert D. Edgren, superior decisioned Kenneth McInnis, Yokota, 2-0 (7-0, 7-0); Jake Haynes, Kubasaki, decisioned McInnis, 2-0 (4-0, 4-1); Doinoff pinned Haynes, 1:27.
Pool C-Daniel O'Connor, Seoul American, pinned Matt Heitstuman, E.J. King, :23; David O'Brien, Zama American, pinned Heitstuman, 1:09; O'Connor pinned O'Brien, 2:34.
Pool A-John Leipheimer, Zama American, pinned Randy Candelaria, Kubasaki, 2:52; Austin Kirk, E.J. King, superior decisioned Josh Thill, Taegu American, 2-1 (1-3, 9-2, 7-0); Kirk pinned Leipheimer, 1:13; Thill decisioned Candelaria, 2-0 (4-4 last point, 5-2); Thill pinned Leipheimer, 1:31; Kirk pinned Candelaria, 1:41.
Pool B-Phillip Williams, Yokota, superior decisioned Sasha Ortiz, Robert D. Edgren, 2-0 (7-1, 6-0); Derrick Garza, Osan American, decisioned Peter Madison, Seoul American, 2-1 (3-2, 2-2 big point, 8-4); Garza pinned Ortiz, :22; Williams pinned Madison, 4:42; Madison pinned Ortiz, :19; Williams pinned Garza, 5:45.
Pool C-Yamato Cibulka, Nile C. Kinnick, decisioned Austin Copeland, 2-1 (3-0, 1-3, 1-0); Copeland pinned Zach Nabors, Guam High, 1:42; Cibulka decisioned Nabors, 2-0 (2-1, 1-0).
Pool A-Andrew Conkling, Yokota, decisioned Chris Valdez, Guam High, 2-1 (0-3, 5-2, 6-2); Andrew Preston, Nile C. Kinnick, pinned Valdez, 1:43; Preson pinned Conkling, 4:43.
Pool B-Ian Copeland, Kadena, superior decisioned Craig Rosalie, Taegu American, 2-0 (7-0, 6-0); Carlos Albaladejo, Osan American, pinned Rosalie, 2:47; Copeland pinned Albaladejo, 2:36.
Pool C-Steve Courtney, Kubasaki, pinned David Polaski, Zama American, :38; Courtney pinned David Yim, Seoul American, :20; Polaski pinned Yim, :33.
Pool A-Kevin McDonald, Robert D. Edgren, pinned Justin Hendrix, Taegu American, time unavailable; Brandon Murphy, Kubasaki, decisioned Isaac Bowser, Yokota, 2-0 (1-0, 6-3); McDonald pinned Murphy, 3:08; Bowser decisioned Hendrix, 2-0 (5-1, 7-0); McDonald pinned Bowser, 1:13; Murphy pinned Hendrix, 1:11.
Pool B-Matt Seager, Nile C. Kinnick, pinned Dean Concepcion, Guam High, time unavailable; Brandon Stout, Kadena, pinned Clark Campbell, Seoul American, 1:34; Stout pinned Seager, 1:33; Campbell pinned Concepcion, :56; Stout pinned Concepcion, 1:02; Seagar pinned Campbell, 1:42.
Pool C-Tim Campbell, Zama American, decisioned Byrrh Bryant, E.J. King, 2-0, (4-3, 0-4, 6-1); Campbell pinned Cody Morris, Osan American, 3:44; Morris pinned Bryant, :25.
Pool A-Charles Jones, Seoul American, pinned Ricky Jones, Kubasaki, 2:51; Charles Jones decisioned Ryyan Smith, Zama American, 2-0 (7-3, 9-3); Smith pinned Jones, 4:47.
Pool B-Zach Dopslaf, Yokota, decisioned Chris Sanders, Nile C. Kinnick, 2-0 (5-1, 5-0); Dopslaf pinned Dan Harmeling, 1:12; Sanders decisioned Harmeling, 2-0 (3-3 big point, 6-2).
Pool C-Jason Kiehn, Robert D. Edgren, pinned Robert Yurko, 3:28; Kiehn pinned Daniel Burke, Osan American, 3:07; Yurko pinned Burke, 1:17.
Pool A-Ted Awana, Kadena, pinned Michael Marcus, Guam High, 3:03; David Miller, Kubasaki, superior decisioned Jesse Crockett, Osan American, 2-0 (7-0, 6-0); Miller pinned Marcus, 1:07; Crockett pinned Awana, time unavailable; Crockett decisioned Marcus, 2-0 (1-0 OT, 5-4); Miller pinned Awana, :19.
Pool B-Jim Scott, Yokota, pinned Joe Voellinger, Zama American, 1:23; David Leh, Robert D. Edgren, decisioned Marque Snow, Seoul American, (1-1 last point, 1-0); Scott decisioned Leh, 2-0 (2-0, 2-1); Snow superior decisioned Voellinger, 2-0 (8-2, 6-0); Leh pinned Voellinger, :10; Scott pinned Snow, 3:29.
Pool A-Phil Ergus, Nile C. Kinnick, pinned Trey Marks, Kadena, :33; Ergus pinned Michael Sablan, Guam High, :14; Sablan pinned Marks, 1:56.
Pool B-Bucky Shaw, Kubasaki, pinned James Hourican, Seoul American, 3:33; Reuben Pittman, Yokota, pinned Shaw, 3:27; Pittman pinned Hourican, 5:36.
Andres So, Seoul American, pinned Alec Fisher, Zama American, :31; Kevin Donahue, E.J. King, pinned Emily Albonetti, Osan American, :34.
Coty Hampton, Kubasaki, pinned Michael Palomino, Zama American, 1:18; Lloyd Stipe, Nile C. Kinnick, superior decisioned Moose Dietrich, Robert D. Edgren, 2-0 (7-0, 7-0); Nick Guzman, Yokota, decisioned Robert Lopez, Guam High, 2-1 (1-0, 2-7, 4-3).
Richard Barton, Nile C. Kinnick, decisioned Tom Gorman, Yokota, 2-1 (1-6, 5-3, 4-2); Edwin Rodriguez, Osan American, superior decisioned Andrew Davenport, Taegu American, 2-0 (6-0, 6-0).
C.J. Tapang, Kubasaki, decisioned Kyle Shimabukuro, Yokota, 2-1 (5-2, 3-3 big point, 9-0).
Jake Haynes, Kubasaki, pinned Matt Heitstuman, E.J. King, :46; David O'Brien, Zama American, pinned Ray Tenorio, Guam High, 2:53.
Zach Nabors, Guam High, pinned Derrick Garza, Osan American, 1:41; Austin Copeland, Kadena, superior decisioned Sasha Ortiz, Robert D. Edgren, 2-0 (7-0, 8-0); Peter Madison, Seoul American, decisioned Randy Candelaria, Kubasaki, 2-0 (6-2, 5-3).
Carlos Albaladejo, Osan American, def. David Yim, Seoul American, injury default.
Clark Campbell, Seoul American, pinned Justin Hendrix, Taegu American, 3:41; Cody Morris, Osan American, pinned Dean Concepcion, Guam High, :21; Matt Seager, Nile C. Kinnick, pinned Byrrh Bryant, E.J. King, 1:19.
Chris Sanders, Nile C. Kinnick, pinned Daniel Burke, Osan American, 1:51.