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KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Entries are being taken for the 10th Kadena Klassic. The Pacificwide open softball tournament, sponsored by Kadena’s 18th Services Squadron, serves as the final leg of the annual Pacific interservice Grand Slam circuit.

After being played over the Labor Day weekend the first nine years of its existence, the tournament now is scheduled for Oct. 7-11, over the Columbus Day weekend, after weather wreaked havoc on the tournament the past few Septembers.

The tournament is open to base- and post-level, open and company-level teams throughout the Pacific. It is limited to 32 men’s and 12 women’s teams. Each team is guaranteed six games in the combined round-robin/double-elimination tournament. All games are to take place at the Kadena FourDiamonds Softball Complex.

Awards will be given to the top three teams, the MVP and the all-tournament team. Pre-tournament festivities include a home run derby, relay throw and base-running contest.

Entry fee is $200 per team. Entry deadline is Sept. 15. For information, phone DSN 632-7162 or 634-7973 or e-mail Jason Vandenberg at jason.vandenberg@kadena.af.mil or Dawn Pierce at dawn.pierce@kadena.af.mil.

Markey lone PACAF player at All-Air Force softball camp

Outfielder Chris Markey of Korea’s Osan Defenders base team has been selected to attend the All-Air Force men’s softball tryout camp in August and will be the lone representative from Pacific Air Forces.

The announcement was made in a letter dated Monday from Air Force Services at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

The camp is scheduled for Aug. 17-Sept. 4 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Markey, a technical sergeant assigned to Osan’s dental clinic, is making his fourth camp appearance. He made the 2004 All-Air Force team out of Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

He’ll attend a tryout camp featuring 10 players with previous All-Air Force experience, including several former PACAF stars such as outfielder Jason Parker, pitcher Tony Patrick and shortstop Carlo Aguon.

“We’ll have a lot of veterans, kind of the mainstays of the team from 1998 to the present,” Markey said. “That will be an advantage. There’s a lot of experience there.”

One potential worry, Markey said, is the lack of veterans in the outfield. “That’s where rookies come in,” he said. “Usually, it’s the rookies who are hungry and help Air Force get over the hump to win the gold medal.”

He expressed optimism that Air Force can defend the championship it won in September in the All-Armed Forces tournament, also at Eglin, by going 8-1 in the triple round-robin event.

“We’ll always be competitive. We can defend, absolutely, without a doubt,” Markey said.

Players selected to the All-Air Force team will compete in the All-Armed Forces tournament scheduled for Sept. 5-10 at Eglin. The All-Armed Forces team then moves on to compete in the Amateur Softball Association national majors championship Sept. 15-18 at Sanford, Fla.

Signups under way for Okinawa Football League

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Registration for players and coaches for the 2005 Okinawa Football League season is under way at Marine Corps Community Services Semper Fit.

Coaches may submit applications through July 22, while player registration will close Aug. 8, said Sonny Jones of MCCS Semper Fit Athletics, which oversees the league. Tryouts will begin Aug. 15, with the season tentatively scheduled to start Sept. 17.

One significant change this season will be length of games, Jones said. Quarters will be 12 minutes long, instead of the 15-minute quarters played last season.

That conforms to National Federation high-school rules, used by the OFL and Marine Corps-sponsored leagues in the States.

But player safety was the main reason for shortening quarters this season, Jones said. Some teams, due to mission requirements, couldn’t field full rosters for some games, resulting in blowouts made all the longer by 15-minute quarters.

As was the case last year, when the league debuted, four Marine teams, the Ryukyu University Stingrays and the defending champion Kadena Dragons will play an eight-game schedule, with the top four teams qualifying for the playoffs.

The league semifinals are tentatively set for Nov. 19, with the league championship game to follow Nov. 26.

Kadena went unbeaten in the league’s inaugural season, beating the Schwab Panthers 44-14 in the championship Dec. 11. Trent Beavers, who scored 31 touchdowns, was selected as league MVP.

It was the first time interservice football was played on Okinawa since the old Marine Corps-sponsored league folded after the 1989 season.

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