Pacific H.S. roundup: Zama, King boys find their stride after poor openers
After a down-at-the-heels opening weekend, Zama American’s and E.J. King’s boys soccer teams found their stride at home.
The Trojans swept two DODDS-Japan matches 4-1 and 2-1 over Robert D. Edgren at Naval Air Facility Atsugi. The Cobras took two from Matthew C. Perry to the tune of 3-2 and 8-1 at Sasebo Naval Base.
Zama had gone 0-2-1 in three matches at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, but now owns a three-game winning streak. The key? Chemistry and some position changes, first-year coach Lisa DesJardins said.
"We only had two practices before Iwakuni. We hadn’t played together," she said. Moving Michael Spencer to stopper and Daniel Dulay to sweeper paid dividends, along with emulating the Trojans’ girls’ passing game.
"We’ve got it, too, and it’s starting to come out," DesJardins said. "We’ve got a chemistry on the field that’s great to watch."
Injuries and ineligibility cramped the Cobras’ style in a 2-2 tie and 3-0 loss to Nile C. Kinnick. Getting everybody back and healthy helped lead to the victories this weekend over Perry.
"That made a big difference," first-year coach Steve Casner said. "We can play with anybody. We can go 15 deep. Last week, we had a chance to develop new players; this week, we experimented with formations, played a more complete game and used the whole field."
Rain puts a damper on Pacific diamondsWhile soccer season is entering the heart of its schedule, baseball and girls softball season has had trouble starting.
Rain washed out the Okinawa Activities Council’s first two weekends, including Saturday’s Kadena-Kubasaki softball twin bill and what was supposed to be the third meeting of their baseball teams. The one game they’ve been able to play was Wednesday’s 9-8 Kadena victory.
"We definitely want to play," Kadena baseball coach Ken Gamon said. "We’re champing at the bit. We have the momentum going for us, and we want to keep it."
Saturday’s DODDS-Japan softball triangular with Edgren and King at Zama got washed out as did three Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools baseball doubleheaders. Softball did play on Friday, with Edgren trouncing King 14-7 and Zama edging the Eagles 5-4.
The DODDS-Korea season is set to begin Friday and Saturday at Daegu.
Falcons keeper Gleaves relishes first goal of seasonShe normally is charged with keeping the ball out of Seoul American’s net. But on Saturday, Falcons sophomore Liz Gleaves, playing midfield and forward in the second half, scored her first goal of the season and fourth of her career in a 5-0 shutout at Seoul International.
"It felt awesome," she said following the Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference match. "It was really different, a new feeling to be out of the goal for once."
The Falcons improved to 3-2.
Short-handed Osan, Daegu girls strikers battle to drawWith several key players out of each lineup, Osan and Daegu American’s girls soccer teams, who figure prominently in the Class A title chase, battled to a 1-1 tie Saturday at Camp Walker.
Playing through a leg injury, All-Far East sophomore Kristina Bergman tied it in the 68th minute of the KAIAC match.
"We weren’t full on defense, and they (Osan) weren’t full on offense, and Kristina was hurt," said coach Ed Thompson of Daegu (1-3-2). "I’m patching together what I can, just to get 11 on the field."
"When they come to our place (March 27), hopefully the teams will be 100 percent," said coach Sung Plourde of Osan (3-1-1).
Quallio still dominates despite change in long-distanceWhether running the mile or 1,500 meters and the two-mile or 3,000 meters, All-American senior Andrew Quallio of Zama American is still the Kanto Plain boys distance-running sheriff.
The reigning two-time Far East cross country champion ran the Kanto Plain’s inaugural 1,500 in 4 minutes, 20.12 seconds and the 3,000 in 9:25 in the opening meet at Zama’s Trojans Field.
Zama won the girls team title and the boys finished tied for second behind Yamato-Nishi, a nearby Japanese school.
"I enjoyed having them," Zama coach and meet director Mitch Moellendick said of Yamato-Nishi. "Someday, I’d like to get three or four Japanese teams to the meet. Really good competitors and excellent sportsmen."
KAIAC 100 individual medley pool records tumbleThe KAIAC record book’s 100 individual medley entries underwent a complete rewrite during Saturday’s swim meet at Camp Humphreys.
Seoul American’s John Graham clocked a 1:02.08, .89 of a second better than the old mark held by Seoul Foreign’s Andrew Park. Aline Kim of Seoul International shattered her own record, 1:11.02, 0.48 of a second faster than her old standard.