Kadena continues to collect girls Athlete of the Year honors the way preteen boys used to collect baseball cards. Zama American, meanwhile, captured a boys honor the school has not seen since Stars and Stripes began the Athlete of the Year awards in 1987.

Senior Monica Hayes became the fifth Kadena girls athlete accorded the award in six years. She paced the Panthers’ basketball team to its second straight Far East Class AA Tournament title, and the girls softball squad to a sixth straight Okinawa Activities Council title against Kubasaki.

"She is absolutely one of the most determined players I have ever coached and she wills herself into being a great athlete and student," said Ken Hudson, who coached Hayes in basketball and softball.

She averaged 10.3 points and 7.5 rebounds at the point-guard position, powering Kadena to its second straight Class AA title, beating Seoul American 59-53 on Feb. 23 at the Panther Pit. On the way, she earned Most Outstanding Player honors.

It wasn’t so much Hayes’ softball statistics as it was what Hudson and observers called "heart" that led Kadena to the OAC title last month.

Hayes pitched all but three innings of the OAC best-of-three championship series, and Kadena rallied to win Games 2 and 3 11-10 and 9-8, each victory coming in Kadena’s last at-bat. Her two-run fourth-inning homer sparked Kadena’s rally from a 6-1 deficit vs. Kubasaki.

Andrew Quallio, a fleet-footed junior, achieved several Zama school firsts. He became the first DODDS runner to win the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools boys title in 10 years, and helped the Trojans to their first Kanto boys track and field title in school history.

After transferring in winter 2007 to Zama from Sandalwood High in Jacksonville, Fla., Quallio has set standards never seen in Trojans cross country or track and field.

On Nov. 6, Quallio seared the Banyan Tree Golf Course at Okinawa’s Kadena Air Base, winning the Far East 3.1-mile individual race in 16:43, nearly a full minute ahead of Kadena’s Brant Casteel. Quallio was the first Far East champion in school history and the first DODDS Kanto champion since 1997.

At the sixth Mike Petty Memorial Track Meet at Kubasaki, Quallio became just the second runner in Japan history to breach the 10-minute two-mile barrier, clocking a 9:58.95. A month later in the Kanto Plain Invitational, Quallio avenged his only loss of the season by running the mile in 4:29.4, a shade over a second shy of the area record.

"Andrew is the type of student that one sees only very rarely," said principal Jerry Ashby, whose Trojans became the first DODDS team to win a Kanto boys title since 1991, and the first in school history.

The rest of the 2007-08 Stars and Stripes Pacific high school awards:

COACH OF THE YEAR — Steve Schrock crafted the offense that powered Kadena to its first Class AA football title, and built a powerhouse wrestling team that captured its third and fourth Far East team titles in three years.

TEAM OF THE YEAR — Playing a Pacific-record 58 games and winning 51 of them, Seoul American’s boys basketball team rolled to its third Class AA Tournament title in six years, all at home.

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR — In addition to the school’s Class AA football, girls basketball and softball titles, Kadena’s cross-country team added its fourth Far East title since 2002, track and field swept the Mike Petty and OAC team titles, boys basketball added a Class AA runner-up finish and the boys and girls soccer teams each took bronze in their Class AA tournaments.

MOST IMPROVED TEAM — Robert D. Edgren’s wrestling program won bronze in the dual-meet portion and fourth place in the Far East tournament’s individual freestyle portion. We got a hint of what was to come a month earlier in the "Beast of the Far East" Tournament at Yokosuka Naval Base; the Eagles took third and beat St. Mary’s International and American School in Japan for the first time in school history.

MOST IMPROVED PROGRAM — Zama for the second straight year. Aside from Zama’s fleet of feet, Trojans soccer teams went 34-14-1, an eight-match improvement over last year; football went from 1-7 to 4-4; and boys basketball, thought to be rebuilding, instead went 29-8 and won its second straight DODDS-Japan and Kanto titles.

GAME OF THE YEAR/BEST NEWCOMERS — The best came last, a triple-overtime "golden goal" Far East Boys Class AA Soccer Tournament championship match. Senior Colton Sadler’s 40-yard indirect kick found his junior brother Cody at net’s front; he headed in the ball as Kubasaki dethroned Christian Academy in Japan 1-0.

PLAY OF THE YEAR — Seoul American senior Shawn Grandy’s block of a Jamil Barney layup attempt with 2:40 left turned the tide of the Class AA tournament final, won by the host Falcons, 64-60.

BEST FAMILY ACT — For the second straight year, it’s Kristia and Rizalina Suriben of E.J. King. They repeated their Far East Tennis Tournament doubles title, then led the Cobras girls basketball team to a 19-7 mark, third best in Japan, and fourth in the Class A Tournament. The guard tandem shot 40 percent from the field and averaged 10 points, five steals and five rebounds per game, accounting for 643 of the team’s 1,151 points and 241 of 418 steals.

BIGGEST HISTORY MAKER — Osan American senior 108-pounder Emily Albonetti became the first girl in Far East tournament history to 1) win a bout, 2) win by pin, 3) beat a girl, 4) beat a boy, 5) place in the top six (she took fifth) and 6) score team points. Her eight bout victories were the most ever by a Pacific girl wrestler.

Criteria used in selecting Stars and Stripes’ Athletes of the Quarter and Year include, but are not limited to:

Athletic achievement, individual and teamCommitmentLeadershipAcademic achievementSportsmanshipCommunity citizenship2007-08 Athletes of the YearAndrew Quallio

Junior, cross country, track and field, Zama American High School, Camp Zama, Japan

First DODDS-Japan runner to capture a Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools cross country gold medal since 1997. Won DODDS-Pacific Far East High School Cross-Country Meet individual 3.1-mile race in 16 minutes, 43.99 seconds, finished second in team relay with teammate Mallarie Ashliman, led Trojans to second-place boys team finish. Competed in USA Nationals in Lincoln, Neb., finishing 27th out of 217, two spots short of earning All-America status.

Led Zama to first Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools boys track and field championship in school history, and first time a DODDS team won the league title since 1991. Won the mile and two-mile races in the 6th Mike Petty Memorial Meet on Okinawa and Kanto Plain Invitational in Tokyo, topped region with times of 9:58.95 in two-mile and 4:29.4 in mile.

National Honor Society student, 3.8 grade point average. Far East Honors Band student. Member of National Keystone Conference, leadership conference of students from all over the world.

Monica Hayes

Senior, girls basketball, girls softball, Kadena High School, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa

Averaged 10.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game at point guard as Panthers went 27-10 and captured their second straight Far East Girls Class AA Basketball Tournament title, earning Most Outstanding Player honors after the Panthers edged Seoul American 59-53 on Feb. 23 at the Panther Pit.

Helped lead Panthers to a 5-4 record against arch-rival Kubasaki and to their sixth straight Okinawa Activities Council girls softball title, pitching all but three innings of the best-of-three OAC all-island championship series. Kadena won Games 2 and 3 of the series 11-10 in eight innings and 9-8, each win coming in Panthers’ final at-bat. Her two-run home run in the fourth inning of Game 3 sparked a rally from a 6-1 deficit.

Accepted to NCAA Division III University of Dubuque in Iowa, where she plans to walk on to the basketball team. Also aspires to be a physician. Has volunteered in teen ministry, culinary arts, first-grade tutoring and at a youth center.

The nominees ...x-Andrew Quallio, junior, cross country, track and field, Zama American, Japanx-Gee Mi Jorde, freshman, cross country, track and field, Nile C. Kinnick, Japanx-Kyle Sprow, sophomore, tennis, Kadena, Okinawax-Kennedy Allen, sophomore, tennis, swimming, Seoul Americanx-Celine Baldevia, junior, volleyball, basketball, soccer, Osan American, South Koreax-Kelsey Masuda, senior, volleyball, basketball, swimming, Christian Academy In Japanx-Brandon Spencer, senior, football, boys basketball, Daegu American, South Koreax-Leyna Arbour, senior, volleyball, girls basketball, track and field, International School of the Sacred Heart, Japanx-Monica Hayes, senior, girls basketball, girls softball, Kadena, Okinawax-Cameron Butts, junior, wrestling, Nile C. Kinnick, Japanx-Willie Brown, junior, boys basketball, Seoul AmericanMiles Peterson, sophomore, tennis, boys basketball, track and field, Christian Academy In JapanKeith Williams, senior, baseball, boys basketball, boys soccer, E.J. King, JapanSamantha Bossert, senior, cross country, girls basketball, boys soccer, E.J. King, JapanNicole Bossert, freshman, cross country, girls basketball, boys soccer, E.J. King, JapanKristia Suriben, senior, tennis, girls basketball, E.J. King, JapanRizalina Suriben, sophomore, tennis, girls basketball, E.J. King, JapanRay Tenorio, senior, football, wrestling, boys soccer, Guam HighD’Andre Weaver, sophomore, boys basketball, track and field, Guam HighSusan Smith, freshman, cross country, track and field, Guam HighChristine Youn, junior, girls volleyball, girls basketball, girls soccer, International Christian-Uijongbu, South KoreaD.J. Lamarr, senior, bowling (Special Olympics), Kadena, OkinawaJamil Barney, junior, boys basketball, boys soccer, Kadena, OkinawaRoosevelt Payne, senior, football, boys basketball, track and field, Kadena, OkinawaJacob Bloom, senior, cross country, wrestling, boys soccer, Kadena, OkinawaHelen Schrock, senior, girls volleyball, girls soccer, Kadena, OkinawaMichael Bennett, senior, football, boys basketball, track and field, Kubasaki, OkinawaLewis Finney, senior, football, boys basketball, track and field, Kubasaki, OkinawaMarquette Warren, junior, football, track and field, Kubasaki, OkinawaGabriella Falco, sophomore, girls volleyball, girls basketball, girls soccer, Kubasaki, OkinawaNadine Mulvany, junior, cross country, girls basketball, track and field, Nile C. Kinnick, JapanBrittany Evans, sophomore, girls volleyball, girls soccer, Nile C. Kinnick, JapanEmily Albonetti, senior, cross country, wrestling, Osan American, South KoreaShawn Grandy, senior, boys volleyball, boys basketball, boys soccer, Seoul AmericanAngye Law, senior, girls basketball, girls soccer, Seoul AmericanTony Presnell, junior, football, wrestling, boys soccer, Yokota, JapanStephanie Dolby, senior, girls volleyball, girls basketball, soccer, Yokota, JapanDaniel Polaski, senior, football, wrestling, boys soccer, Zama American, JapanMallarie Ashliman, freshman, cross country, girls soccer, Zama American, Japan

x-Automatically nominated as MVP or individual champion of a DODDS-Pacific Far East tournament or Asia-Pacific invitational, or as Athlete of the Quarter during school year.

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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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