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180-pounder Darnell Vinson, right, of E.J. King twists Zama American's Mitchell Harrison toward the mat during Saturday's title in the DODDS Japan Wrestling Tournament at Yokota High School. Vinson won by decision. Zama finished fourth in the tournament with 29 points; the Cobras placed fifth with 17.

180-pounder Darnell Vinson, right, of E.J. King twists Zama American's Mitchell Harrison toward the mat during Saturday's title in the DODDS Japan Wrestling Tournament at Yokota High School. Vinson won by decision. Zama finished fourth in the tournament with 29 points; the Cobras placed fifth with 17. (Lilly Crown/Special to Stars and Stripes)

180-pounder Darnell Vinson, right, of E.J. King twists Zama American's Mitchell Harrison toward the mat during Saturday's title in the DODDS Japan Wrestling Tournament at Yokota High School. Vinson won by decision. Zama finished fourth in the tournament with 29 points; the Cobras placed fifth with 17.

180-pounder Darnell Vinson, right, of E.J. King twists Zama American's Mitchell Harrison toward the mat during Saturday's title in the DODDS Japan Wrestling Tournament at Yokota High School. Vinson won by decision. Zama finished fourth in the tournament with 29 points; the Cobras placed fifth with 17. (Lilly Crown/Special to Stars and Stripes)

180-pounder Darnell Vinson, right, of E.J. King battles Zama American's Mitchell Harrison during Saturday's title bout in the DODDS Japan Wrestling Tournament at Yokota High School. Vinson won by decision. Zama finished fourth in the tournament with 29 points; the Cobras placed fifth with 17.

180-pounder Darnell Vinson, right, of E.J. King battles Zama American's Mitchell Harrison during Saturday's title bout in the DODDS Japan Wrestling Tournament at Yokota High School. Vinson won by decision. Zama finished fourth in the tournament with 29 points; the Cobras placed fifth with 17. (Lilly Crown/Special to Stars and Stripes)

158-poundes Alex Banks of Nile C. Kinnick and Hiro Takahashi of Yokota tangle during Saturday's gold-medal bout in the DODDS Japan Wrestling Tournament at Yokota High School. Banks won by pin, but Yokota won the team title with 61 points to 44 for Kinnick.

158-poundes Alex Banks of Nile C. Kinnick and Hiro Takahashi of Yokota tangle during Saturday's gold-medal bout in the DODDS Japan Wrestling Tournament at Yokota High School. Banks won by pin, but Yokota won the team title with 61 points to 44 for Kinnick. (Lilly Crown/Special to Stars and Stripes)

148-pounder Zach Lacaria of Nile C. Kinnick tries to lift Seth Wall of Yokota during Saturday's gold-medal bout in the DODDS Japan Wrestling Tournament at Yokota High School. Lacaria won by pin, but Yokota won the team title with 61 points to 44 for Kinnick.

148-pounder Zach Lacaria of Nile C. Kinnick tries to lift Seth Wall of Yokota during Saturday's gold-medal bout in the DODDS Japan Wrestling Tournament at Yokota High School. Lacaria won by pin, but Yokota won the team title with 61 points to 44 for Kinnick. (Lilly Crown/Special to Stars and Stripes)

141-pounder Chad Wilder of Zama American gets the advantage on Ed Peterson of Yokota during Saturday's title bout in the DODDS Japan Wrestling Tournament at Yokota High School. Wilder won by pin. Yokota won the team title with 61 points to 44 for Kinnick.

141-pounder Chad Wilder of Zama American gets the advantage on Ed Peterson of Yokota during Saturday's title bout in the DODDS Japan Wrestling Tournament at Yokota High School. Wilder won by pin. Yokota won the team title with 61 points to 44 for Kinnick. (Lilly Crown/Special to Stars and Stripes)

135-pounder Trenton Traylor of Yokota gains the advantage on James Bowman of Robert D. Edgren during Saturday's title bout in the DODDS Japan Wrestling Tournament at Yokota High School. Traylor won by pin and Yokota won the team title with 61 points to 44 for Kinnick.

135-pounder Trenton Traylor of Yokota gains the advantage on James Bowman of Robert D. Edgren during Saturday's title bout in the DODDS Japan Wrestling Tournament at Yokota High School. Traylor won by pin and Yokota won the team title with 61 points to 44 for Kinnick. (Lilly Crown/Special to Stars and Stripes)

129-pounder Cody Scherrer of Robert D. Edgren gains the upper hand on Jacob Scott of Zama American during Saturday's gold-medal bout in the DODDS Japan Wrestling Tournament at Yokota Air Base. Vinson won by decision. Scherrer won by pin. Edgren took third place with 37 points to 29 for fourth-place Zama.

129-pounder Cody Scherrer of Robert D. Edgren gains the upper hand on Jacob Scott of Zama American during Saturday's gold-medal bout in the DODDS Japan Wrestling Tournament at Yokota Air Base. Vinson won by decision. Scherrer won by pin. Edgren took third place with 37 points to 29 for fourth-place Zama. (Lilly Crown/Special to Stars and Stripes)

180-pounder Tyler Putt of Kadena tries to wrap up Charles Martin of Kubasaki during Saturday's gold-medal bout in the 5th "Rumble on the Rock" Wrestling Tournament at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Putt pinned Martin in 57 seconds and Kadena edged Kubasaki 96-95 for the team title.

180-pounder Tyler Putt of Kadena tries to wrap up Charles Martin of Kubasaki during Saturday's gold-medal bout in the 5th "Rumble on the Rock" Wrestling Tournament at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Putt pinned Martin in 57 seconds and Kadena edged Kubasaki 96-95 for the team title. (Dave Ornauer/Stars and Stripes)

135-pounder Alejo Santos of Father Duenas Memorial grimaces as Kubasaki's Austin Cyr gains the upper hand during Saturday''s title bout in the 5th "Rumble on the Rock" Wrestling Tournament at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Cyr, named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler, pinned Santos in 1 minute, 24 seconds for the gold. Kadena edged Kubasaki 96-95 for the team title.

135-pounder Alejo Santos of Father Duenas Memorial grimaces as Kubasaki's Austin Cyr gains the upper hand during Saturday''s title bout in the 5th "Rumble on the Rock" Wrestling Tournament at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Cyr, named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler, pinned Santos in 1 minute, 24 seconds for the gold. Kadena edged Kubasaki 96-95 for the team title. (Dave Ornauer/Stars and Stripes)

129-pounder Sean Mathis of Kubasaki gains control of Jon Vause of Kadena during Saturday's title bout in the 5th "Rumble on the Rock" Wrestling Tournament at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Mathis decisioned Vause 2-0 (5-0, 1-0). Kadena edged Kubasaki 96-95 for the team title.

129-pounder Sean Mathis of Kubasaki gains control of Jon Vause of Kadena during Saturday's title bout in the 5th "Rumble on the Rock" Wrestling Tournament at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Mathis decisioned Vause 2-0 (5-0, 1-0). Kadena edged Kubasaki 96-95 for the team title. (Dave Ornauer/Stars and Stripes)

Reigning Far East tournament weight-class champion Thomas Cioppa of Kadena, top, loses his headgear as he grapples with Tristan Wells of Kubasaki during Saturday's 122-pound gold-medal bout in the 5th "Rumble on the Rock" Wrestling Tournament at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Scioppa won a three-period decision in the all-sophomore battle and Kadena edged Kubasaki 96-95 for the team title.

Reigning Far East tournament weight-class champion Thomas Cioppa of Kadena, top, loses his headgear as he grapples with Tristan Wells of Kubasaki during Saturday's 122-pound gold-medal bout in the 5th "Rumble on the Rock" Wrestling Tournament at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Scioppa won a three-period decision in the all-sophomore battle and Kadena edged Kubasaki 96-95 for the team title. (Dave Ornauer/Stars and Stripes)

Reigning Far East tournament weight-class gold medalist Steven Walter of Kubasaki seizes control of Kadena's Ryan Marshall during Saturday's 108-pound gold-medal bout in the 5th "Rumble on the Rock" Wrestling Tournament at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Walter pinned Marshall in 3 minutes, 4 seconds. Kadena edged Kubasaki 96-95 for the team title.

Reigning Far East tournament weight-class gold medalist Steven Walter of Kubasaki seizes control of Kadena's Ryan Marshall during Saturday's 108-pound gold-medal bout in the 5th "Rumble on the Rock" Wrestling Tournament at Camp Foster, Okinawa. Walter pinned Marshall in 3 minutes, 4 seconds. Kadena edged Kubasaki 96-95 for the team title. (Dave Ornauer/Stars and Stripes)

Reigning Far East gold medalist Thomas Cioppa of Kadena has wrestled Kubasaki arch-rival Tristan Wells seven times this season, winning four of them in what’s becoming one of Pacific high school wrestling’s premier rivalries.

The sophomores’ latest installment came in Saturday’s 122-pound final of the 5th “Rumble on the Rock” wrestling tournament at Kubasaki, with Cioppa surviving a three-period decision that helped the Panthers edge the host Dragons 96-95 for the team title.

“It’s good to wrestle people who challenge you,” Cioppa said. “It helps you, prepares you for Far East and competition in the States.”

“You keep getting better,” Wells said. “I learn from my mistakes and what I need to work on. It makes me more prepared for other matches.”

Kadena won the “Rumble” title by the closets of margins, outdistancing the Dragons on the strength of seven titles to six for Kubasaki in the smallest field in the tournament’s history.

For the first time, “Rumble” welcomed a Guam school, Father Duenas Memorial, which took third place with 29 points and two silver medals.

Team officials promised that more schools would come from Guam next year, and would reciprocate by inviting Kubasaki and Kadena to its fledgling Phoenix Invitational next December.

“We struggled to keep the tournament alive this year,” director Fred Bales said. “This is an important tournament for us. We’re indebted to Father Duenas. We want to work hard to build the Okinawa-Guam bridge and grow this tournament again.”

Action went on Saturday despite the power in the gymnasium going off for the last nine bouts. It was restored in time for the closing ceremony.

Among the gold medalists, Austin Cyr of Kubasaki, the 135-pound champion, was named Outstanding Wrestler.

Yokota captures five golds, team title Winning the DODDS Japan Wrestling Tournament team title by 17 points over Kanto Plain rival Nile C. Kinnick and five individual gold medals didn’t seem to impress Yokota coach Brian Kitts much.

“It’s just another Saturday tournament for us. It really doesn’t mean much,” Kitts said after Chantz Yazzie (122 pounds), Trenton Traylor (135), Stanley Speed (168), Jake Jackson (215) and Jesse Hogan (heavyweight) earned golds and Yokota outdistanced Kinnick 61-44.

“We’re getting there. It’s all prelude to Far East.”

The Red Devils got championships from Zach Lacaria (148) and Alex Banks (158). Francis Estacion (101) and Brandon Beaumont (108) won titles for third-place Robert D. Edgren (37 points).

It’s the next-to-last preparation for DODDS Kanto schools for Far East; they wrestle the Kanto Plain finals next Saturday at St. Mary’s International. The three outlying DODDS schools, Edgren, E.J. King and Matthew C. Perry, are off until Far East, Feb. 13-16 at Kinnick.


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