Daegu returns to football for first time since 2019
Stars and Stripes August 29, 2023
Eighth in a series of preseason looks at DODEA-Pacific football programs.
CAMP WALKER, South Korea – One season, 2020, got shut down by the coronavirus pandemic. The next two? Daegu High School didn’t have enough bodies to form a football team.
Now, for the first time since the 2019 season, the Warriors begin anew, with 23 players - most of whom are new to football - and a coach who comes to Daegu having coached middle- and high-school ball at Myrtle Beach, S.C.
“They’re excited. They’re ready to play and they’re ready to learn,” coach Zach Colflesh said prior to practice Tuesday, three days before the Warriors’ first scheduled game Friday at Osan.
It will be Daegu’s first time suiting up since a 54-21 loss on Nov. 2, 2019 at Camp Walker’s Kelly Field. And for the Warriors, it will be back to basics, Colflesh said.
“A lot of them have never played football before,” Colflesh said. “It’s about learning formations, learning that this is not just a pickup game, learning to play at football pace.”
A handful of players do show some promise.
Senior Nico Sowu anchors the interior on offense and defense. Sophomore Kayden San Nicolas lines up at running back and linebacker and fellow sophomore Michael Kendall at receiver and defensive end. Nathan Haws, a senior, also lines up on both sides of the ball, at fullback and linebacker.
It may be a far cry from the Warriors teams that in the early 2010s dominated DODEA-Pacific Division II football, but Colflesh did sound an optimistic note before Tuesday’s practice:
“We’re going to try to add to that,” he said.
Head coach — Zachary Colflesh, first season.
Championships — Pacific-record five Division II titles, 2010-11 and 2013-15.
Key performers — Kayden San Nicolas, So., RB-LB; Nico Sowu, Sr., OL-DL; Nathan Haws, Sr., RB-LB; Michael Kendall, So., WR-DE.
Strengths — Having Sowu to anchor the line. Coachability. Players are good listeners. Desire to return to the field after long layoff.
Drawbacks — Lack of experience. Most of the Warriors are new to the game.
Overview — Starting over. This remains the smallest football-playing school in DODEA-Pacific, in addition to not having played since 2019. Learning curve is fairly steep, but coach and players say they’re ready to face the challenge.
Friday, Sept. 1
Daegu at Osan
Friday, Sept. 8
Matthew C. Perry at Daegu
Friday, Sept. 15
Daegu at Zama
Friday, Sept. 22
Daegu at Robert D. Edgren
Friday, Oct. 6
Osan at Daegu
Saturday, Oct. 14
Daegu at American School In Japan
Friday, Oct. 20
Yokota at Daegu