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Andrew Blankenship, bottom, of Robert D. Edgren and Daniel Polaski of Zama American go at it in the 180-pound weight class Saturday at the DODDS-Japan wrestling tournament at Robert D. Edgren High School, Misawa Air Base, Japan. Blankenship, a 2006 Far East tournament gold medalist, won the weight class and Polaski took third.
Andrew Blankenship, bottom, of Robert D. Edgren and Daniel Polaski of Zama American go at it in the 180-pound weight class Saturday at the DODDS-Japan wrestling tournament at Robert D. Edgren High School, Misawa Air Base, Japan. Blankenship, a 2006 Far East tournament gold medalist, won the weight class and Polaski took third. (Jennifer H. Svan / S&S)

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea – Sometimes, it’s the little things coaches want from their athletes that mean more than victories.

Take freshman Julian Lopez of Daegu American’s wrestling team. The 180-pounder hit the mat Saturday for his varsity debut as an injury replacement at Seoul American High School with one specific instruction from coach Bill Riggs: “Stay off your back.”

“And he did,” Riggs said.

Lopez lost the bout 2-0 to Seoul American’s Jesse Brown, “but he didn’t get pinned.”

“He stepped into a vacant slot and held his own,” Riggs said. “For a kid who’s been wrestling for three weeks, that’s good.”

Lopez also picked up a victory by walkover against Osan American in the Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Korea season-opening tri-meet.

The competition ended with Seoul American outscoring its two small-school rivals, beating Daegu 41-22 and Osan 39-15. Daegu won the third dual meet 35-25.

The schools have virtually new lineups. Only three wrestlers per school return, including just one defending Far East gold medalist: 168-pound junior Justin Stokes of Seoul American.

“It was a good start,” Seoul American coach Julian Harden said.

The three are to battle again on Friday and Saturday at Daegu American, a meet that will feature E.J. King of Japan, another small school with a rebuilding program.

They’ll also wrestle some exhibition bouts with wrestlers from a Korean school, which “is where we’ll pick up some skill,” Riggs said.

Harden plans a similar visit to a Korean school in Seoul when the three DODDS-Korea teams meet again at Seoul American on Dec. 15. “We’ll have three weeks in a row of doing this,” Harden said. “The newer wrestlers will show some progress.”

Yokota wins five golds, season opener at Edgren

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan – Junior Tony Presnell won the 158-pound gold medal, earned Outstanding Wrestler honors and led Yokota with a tournament-high five gold medals as the Panthers won the DODDS-Japan opener at Robert D. Edgren.

“It was a great warmup for everybody, to wrestle, see what they have and see what they need to work on,” said coach Brian Kitts. His Panthers outpointed the host Eagles 86-65 and got golds from Mark Meade (108), Mike Host (115), Neil Lapurga (122) and Kenny McInnis (148).

Edgren’s two former Far East champions, seniors Andrew Blankenship (180) and Kevin McDonald (215), took gold, as did defending Far East champion David Heitstuman (141) of E.J. King.

“Everybody’s going to get better as the season goes on,” Kitts said. “Things may be different when we see each other again” Dec. 15 at E.J. King in Sasebo Naval Base.

Seoul American boys build depth in face of injuries

CAMP GEORGE, South Korea – Coach Steve Boyd’s Seoul American boys basketball team has broken out of the gate with an 8-1 record, the most recent victories by 62-25 at Taejon Christian International on Friday and 86-56 over Daegu American on Saturday.

Those victories came without three starters: seniors Daniel Burns and Chris DeFrancisco, who took SATs Saturday in Seoul, and Andrew Luna, recovering from a knee injury.

As a result, other members of the team took up the slack. “We’re developing depth incredibly,” Boyd said.

Junior Raidion Fails set the pace with 41 points and 33 rebounds, 23 against Daegu. “Monster game,” Boyd said. Senior Chris Churchwell shot 13-for-15 at the foul line en route to 25 points vs. Daegu.

Cobras turn tables on foes; Strong start for Zama boys

After beating E.J. King by five points on Friday, the Kinnick girls couldn’t buy a basket in Saturday’s rematch. The Red Devils shot 11.6 percent from the field and 1-for-12 from the foul line in a 45-18 loss. Kinnick was the only DODDS team to beat E.J. King last season.

The Cobras boys also reversed a Friday outcome. Yokota beat E.J. King 64-49 on Friday, but the Cobras rebounded to edge the Panthers 64-63.

“They have a good team,” Yokota boys coach Paul Ettl said. “We’re young. They have a lot of seniors. Give them credit. They played well and they shot well, as usual.”

Thought to be rebuilding after losing eight players off the team that went 34-2 last season, Zama American’s boys are 3-0, the latest victory over Robert D. Edgren 62-52 Friday at NAF Atsugi.

ScoreboardWrestling

2007 Robert D. Edgren TournamentAt Misawa Air BaseFinal team standings1, Yokota, 86; 2, Edgren, 65; 3, E.J. King, 54; 4, Zama, 42; 5, Kinnick, 40.Individual results101 pounds—1, Matt Huffman, Zama; 2, Ronald Walker, E.J. King; 3, Christian Oba, Yokota; 4, Tyler Campbell, Kinnick.108—1, Mark Meade, Yokota; 2, Tim Pounds, Edgren; 3, Ben Auston, E.J. King; 4, Jeremy Forberg, Yokota.115—1, Mike Host, Yokota; 2, Carlton Duncan, E.J. King; 3, Brendon McNellis, Yokota; 4, Angelaimee Campano, Kinnick.122—1, Neil Lapurga, Yokota; 2, Devin Day, Yokota; 3, Matt Ebarhart, Edgren; 4, Cindy Tamayo, Kinnick.129—1, Jacob Bishop, Zama; 2, Sean Folmar, Yokota; 3, Ken Rodriguez, E.J. King; 4, Steve Deck, Yokota.135—1, Craig Bell, E.J. King; 2, Michael Palomino, Zama; 3, Diego Carlin, Kinnick; 4, Keith Delaine, Edgren.141—1, David Heitstuman, E.J. King; 2, Phillip Bayani, Kinnick; 3, Bryce Edminster, Edgren.148—1, Kenny McInnis, Yokota; 2, Tyler Woods, Yokota; 3, Darrell Morris, Edgren; 4, Derek Youngblood, Kinnick.158—1, Tony Presnell, Yokota; 2, Cheston Nural Decalio, Edgren; 3, Kenneth Radford, Edgren; 4, Paul Bailey, E.J. King.168—1, Kevin Radford, Edgren; 2, David Dezell, Yokota; 3, Chris Santos, Kinnick; 4, Cameron Wade, Yokota.180—1, Andrew Blankenship, Edgren; 2, Bob Scott, Yokota; 3, Daniel Polaski, Zama; 4, Kenny Sampson, Kinnick.215—1, Kevin McDonald, Edgren; 2, Dean Lobdell, E.J. King; 3, Micah Hansen, Yokota; 4, Eddie Bradley, Kinnick.Heavyweight—1, Mikkariece Curry, Kinnick; 2, David Delos Santos, Kinnick; 3, Steven Wood, Zama; 4, Matthew Samdahl, Yokota.Outstanding wrestler—Tony Presnell, Yokota.Sportsmanship award—Kevin McDonald, Edgren.Quickest pin—14 seconds, Michael Palomino, Zama.

SaturdayAt Yongsan GarrisonSeoul American 41, Daegu American 22101 pounds—Tony Tripp, Seoul, by walkover108—Geoffrey Furner, Seoul, by walkover115—Evan Lobeto, Daegu, by walkover122—Greg Morris, Seoul, pinned Logan Chester, 3:02129—Nicko Kim, Daegu, pinned Matt Nutter, 2:37135—Joe Lau, Seoul, superior decisioned Richard Downey 2-1 (2-5, 10-4, 6-0)141—Nick Castillo, Seoul, pinned Andrew Davenport, 2:59148—Greg Jones, Daegu, pinned Abraham Park, 1:50158—Demetrius Johnson, Seoul, pinned Chris Ford, :59168—Justin Stokes, Seoul, superior decisioned Clinton Kim, 2-0 (6-0, 6-0)180—Jesse Brown, Seoul, superior decisioned Julian Lopez, 2-0 (7-1, 6-0)215—Kevin Moller, Daegu, pinned Tae Kim, :39Heavyweight—Mark Lieberg, Seoul, by walkoverSeoul American 39, Osan American 15101 pounds—Tony Tripp, Seoul, by walkover108—Geoffrey Furner, Seoul, decisioned Bob Ervin, 2-0 (5-0, 9-3)115—Not contested122—Greg Morris, Seoul, by walkover129—Derek Becker, Osan, by walkover135—Joe Lau, Seoul, superior decisioned Cory Peckins, 2-0 (6-0, 7-0)141—Nick Castillo, Seoul, decisioned Joseph Bradt, 2-0 (4-0, 4-1)148—Reuben Hemmer, Osan, decisioned Abraham Park, 2-0 (2-1, 5-3)158—Demetrius Johnson, Seoul, superior decisioned Michael Newman, 2-0 (6-0, 7-0)168—Justin Stokes, Seoul, by walkover180—Jesse Brown, Seoul, by walkover215—Jesse Crockett, Osan, pinned Tae Kim, 1:34Heavyweight—Wheeler, Osan, by walkoverDaegu American 35, Osan American 25101 pounds—Not contested108—Bob Ervin, Osan, by walkover115—Evan Lobeto, Daegu, by walkover122—Logan Chester, Daegu, by walkover129—Nicko Kim, Daegu, pinned Derek Becker, :31135—Richard Downey, Daegu, pinned Cory Peckins, 1:02141—Joseph Bradt, Osan, by walkover148—Greg Jones, Daegu, pinned Reuben Hemmer, 1:17158—Chris Ford, Daegu, pinned Michael Newman, 1:41168—Clinton Kim, Daegu, pinned Patrick Cassidy, 2:22180—Julian Lopez, Daegu, by walkover215—Jesse Crockett, Osan, pinned Kevin Moller, 3:27Heavyweight—Wheeler, Osan, by walkover

Boys basketball

Japan

Saturday

E.J. King 64, Yokota 63At Marine Corps Air Station IwakuniYokota..........17 11 12 23—63E.J. King..........12 25 13 14—64Scorers—E.J. King, Fernando Rico 20, Gabriel Singletary 10; Yokota, DeEric Harvin 18, Riki Byrnes 18, Bradley Forbes 10.

Yokota 60, Matthew C. Perry 55At Marine Corps Air Station IwakuniYokota..........23 15 13 9—60M.C. Perry..........9 12 9 25—55Scorers—Yokota, DeEric Harvin 15, Riki Byrnes 14; Matthew C. Perry, Duncan 20, Clement 14, Lucas 13.

Edgren 69, Sagamihara 49At Camp ZamaSagamihara..........15 14 12 8—49Edgren..........21 16 6 26—69Scorers—Edgren, Zach Latimore 20, Brandon Bledsie 16, Matt Salazar 13.

South Korea

Seoul American 86, Daegu American 56At Camp GeorgeSeoul..........20 24 21 21—86Daegu..........16 13 11 16—56Scorers—Seoul, Raidion Fails 25, Chris Churchwell 25 (13-for-15 FT), Willie Brown 17, Joe McLean 12; Daegu, Brandon Spencer 23, Antonio Harris 12. Rebounders—Seoul, Raidion Fails 23, Joe McLean 16. Steals—Seoul, Chris Churchwell 10, Willie Brown 8.

Osan American 57, Gyeonggi Suwon Int’l 33At SuweonOsan..........14 16 15 12—57GSIS..........8 6 10 9—33Scorers—Osan, Marcel Palmer 15, Kevin Adams 12, Kenny Brown 10. Rebounder—Osan, Kevin Adams 8. Assists—Osan, Marcel Palmer 10, Kenny Brown 5.

Friday

Seoul American 62, Taejon Christian Int’l 25At DaejeonSeoul..........14 14 18 16—62TCIS..........7 1 8 9—25Scorers—Seoul, Raidion Fails 16, Marcus Thompson 10. Rebounder—Seoul, Raidion Fails 10. Assists—Seoul, Marcus Thompson 8.

Okinawa

Saturday

Kadena 90, Chatan 37At Kadena Air BaseChatan..........5 7 11 14—37Kadena..........24 26 23 17—90Scorers—Kadena, Jamil Barney 17, Kevin Paranal 17, Matt Hinkle 14.

Girls basketball

Japan

Saturday

E.J. King 45, Kinnick 18At Sasebo Naval BaseKinnick..........0 15 2 1—18E.J. King..........17 12 8 8—45Scorers—E.J. King, Kristia Suriben 18, Nicole Bossert 8, Sydnee Moreland 8; Kinnick, Megumi Nelson 7. Rebounders—E.J. King, Amber Seard 13, Nicole Bossert 7. Steals—E.J. King, Rizalina Suriben 8; Kinnick, Carl’Meisha Wourman 8, Deana Hardison 5.

Zama 33, Edgren 30At Naval Air Facility AtsugiEdgren..........7 2 15 6—30Zama..........10 5 7 11—33Scorers—Zama, Elizabeth Powell 12; Edgren, Britni Bledsoe 13.

Yokota 32, Matthew C. Perry 5 Yokota..........15 11 6 0—32M.C. Perry..........1 2 0 2— 5Scorer—Yokota, Stephanie Dolby 11.

Yokohama International 38, Seisen Int’l 21At YokohamaSeisen..........2 5 3 11—21YIS..........9 8 7 14—38Scorer—Seisen, Lisa Sizemore 10. Rebounder—Seisen, Rhea Kumar 7.

South Korea

Saturday

Seoul American 65, Daegu American 12At Camp GeorgeSeoul..........14 28 15 6—65Daegu..........8 4 0 0—12Scorers—Seoul, Angye Law 11, Chrystal Pryear 9, Erica Anglade 9. Rebounder-Seoul, Erica Anglade 5.

Friday

Seoul American 59, Taejon Christian Int’l 15At DaejeonSeoul..........21 18 12 8—59TCIS..........6 2 5 2—15Scorer—Seoul, Avianca Manning 12. Rebounder—Seoul, Veronica Gaskey 8. Noteworthy—All 12 Falcons scored.

Okinawa

SaturdayItoman 73, Kubasaki 49At Camp FosterItoman..........11 13 33 16—73Kubasaki..........11 15 4 19—49Scorers—Kubasaki, Sarah Brubaker 16, Valacia Titus 11, Gaby Falco 10. Rebounders —Kubasaki, Sarah Brubaker 14, Gaby Falco 8, Valacia Titus 8.

Jennifer H. Svan / S&S

Edgren’s Andrew Blankenship, bottom, and Zama’s Daniel Polaski compete in the 180-pound weight class Saturday in the DODDS-Japan wrestling tournament at Robert D. Edgren High School. Blankenship won the weight class; Polaski took third.

Jennifer H. Svan / S&S

Yokota’s Mike Host won the 115-pound weight class Saturday in the DODDS-Japan wrestling tournament at Robert D. Edgren High School, Misawa Air Base, Japan. Yokota won the five-school meet.

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