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IKEGO HEIGHTS NAVAL HOUSING FACILITY, Japan — Adam Krievs played alongside junior Yamato Cibulka and senior Joey Wood on Nile C. Kinnick’s football and wrestling teams the first half of the school year.

On Saturday, the senior had to go against his two former teammates on the soccer pitch, wearing the maroon and white of Matthew C. Perry.

“I wished them good luck, and told them that this may be their first loss,” said Krievs, only half-jokingly, of chatting with Wood and Cibulka prior to Saturday’s Japan Soccer League showdown.

It turned out to be Kinnick’s eighth straight victory to open the season, as Wood scored a goal and assisted on another and Cibulka backstopped the Red Devils to a 4-2 victory over the Samurai.

“It was a little different,” Krievs said of opposing his ex-teammates and still good friends, “but as the game went on, it turned into just another opponent we had to play.”

“It wasn’t as much of an impact as I thought it would be,” said Kinnick coach Bill Schofield, also one of the Red Devils’ assistant football coaches. “It was fun playing against him. I don’t think it had an effect one way or the other. They [Samurai] played like they wanted to beat us.”

Krievs spent the first half of the school year attending Kinnick, at Yokosuka Naval Base, after Perry announced it would not have a football team last season.

He stayed with an uncle who works at the Yokosuka weather station, and as a fullback ran 98 times for 613 yards and five TDs for the Red Devils, who went 6-2.

Krievs stayed at Kinnick for most of the wrestling season, before transferring back to Perry for the second semester. He was the school’s lone Far East wrestling tournament representative at Yokota Air Base, and won the bronze medal at 180 pounds.

Now, Krievs leads the Samurai soccer team, 3-8 after a pair of weekend defeats, with seven goals.

Despite the record, he thinks his team — which has beaten former three-time JSL champion Yokota (9-2) — could make noise in next month’s Far East Class A Tournament in South Korea.

“I think we’ll do well,” he said. “We have a rising team. We just have to pull it together.”

As for the Red Devils, their season-opening streak came to an abrupt end in the following match, a 4-4 tie with Robert D. Edgren — their third tie in as many meetings.

“We were not highly prepared” to play three matches in less than 18 hours, said Schofield; the Red Devils also won a hard-fought 4-2 match over the Christian Academy In Japan the night before. “The kids were tired. They realize they have a lot to work for.”

“I don’t know what it is about them, but we always play them [Kinnick] tough,” Eagles coach Jim Burgeson said.


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