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Team capsules

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 6, 2018

Division I

Humphreys Blackhawks

2018 Far East tournament finish — Wrestled Division II last season; third in individual freestyle, fourth in dual-meet.
Head coach — Ben Pak, first season (coached previous six seasons at Seoul American).
Key performers — Ben Lister, Jr., 115 (fourth at 122 at Far East); Sam Lister, Jr., 122 (fourth at 115 at Far East); Peter Teachout, Jr., 135; Xavier Thorps, Sr., heavyweight (fifth at Far East, transferred from Seoul American).
Outlook — Continuing to build. Humphreys has its sixth coach in six seasons. And it’s going to be as it was for Pak at Seoul American, a full lineup while the Division II schools in Korea will field five wrestlers or fewer per team; a distinct disadvantage when going up against the teams in Japan and Okinawa later in the season.

Kadena Panthers

2018 Far East tournament finish — Fifth in individual freestyle, dual meet.
Head coach — David Compton, first season
Key performers — Axel Shepperd, So., 122; Paul Maskery, So., 135; Eric Hanson, So., 141; Kelsey Johnston, So., 148; Rockwell Tobler, So., 158; Tomas Cauly, So., 168.
Outlook — Rebuilding. Third new head coach in three seasons, assisted by a handful of all-service wrestlers. Still, this will be a challenge, with no placing wrestlers returning from last season.

Kubasaki Dragons

2018 Far East tournament finish — Third in individual freestyle, dual meet.
Head coach — Brent Cook, third season.
Key performers — Noah Vasquez, So., 108; Jaylan Mayers, So., 122 (fifth at Far East); Victor Saavedra, Jr., 141; Luke Moseley Sr., 148 (second at Far East); Haydn Peterson, Sr., 215 (fourth at Far East); Clint Reventlow, Sr., 215.
Outlook — Reloading-contending. This may be Kubasaki’s best chance to return to the top of the awards podium after a five-year absence, in which Nile C. Kinnick and St. Mary’s have dominated. Dragons have the talent; just a question of where Cook and his core of assistants, including former Dragons stars Josh Bales and former two-time Far East champion Bobby Duncan, put them all.

Nile C. Kinnick Red Devils

2018 Far East tournament finish — Defending individual freestyle, dual-meet team champion.
Head coach — Gary Wilson, ninth season.
Key performers — Liam Jones, Fr., 115; Ethan Hamilton, Jr., 141; Kaleb Leon Guerrero, Fr., 148; Marc Morgan, Sr., 158; Marl Macato, Sr., 168; Chris Mason, Sr., 215 (reigning Far East champion); Guillermo Reyes, Sr., heavyweight.
Outlook — Rebuilding, for the first time in a while, with 12 of 13 varsity wrestlers from last season either graduated or transferred. Mason is the lone holdover. If bloodlines mean anything, Leon Guerrero is the younger brother of Kameron, last year’s 168-pound champion.

Division II

Daegu Warriors

2018 Far East tournament finish — Seventh in individual freestyle.
Head coach — Jeramie Lentz, sixth season.
Key performers — Jacob Berry, Jr., 141; Gavin Jackson, So., 158.
Outlook — Rebuilding. Just two returning wrestlers from last year, a handful of new ones, but not nearly enough to compete for team placement. Warriors plan to focus on individual matches and week-to-week improvement.

Robert D. Edgren Eagles

2018 Far East tournament finish — Fourth in individual freestyle, third in dual meet.
Head coach — Justin Edmonds, 14th season.
Key performers — None provided.
Outlook — Rebuilding. Edmonds continues to reconstruct a team he coached to nine Far East Division II team championships and eight individual gold medalists.

Osan Cougars

2018 Far East tournament finish — Second in individual freestyle.
Head coach — Andrew Grant, first season.
Key performer — Kojiro VanHoose, Jr., 129 (reigning 108-pound Far East champion); Marcus Inthavixay, Fr., 141; Hunter VanHoose, Sr., 148 (141-pound runner-up); Braydon Hammond, Sr., 168-180.
Outlook — Rebuilding-reloading. Numbers are thin at this point, but Paul does have the VanHoose brothers to fall back on; each is expected to contend at his respective weight. Just a question of whether more folks come out to the mat.

Matthew C. Perry Samurai

2018 Far East tournament finish — Second in individual freestyle, dual-meet.
Head coach — Chris Munsell, third season.
Key performers — Marshall China, Jr., heavyweight (reigning Far East champion); Marcus Irons, So., 115 (fifth at 101 at Far East); Kristian Irons, Sr., 148; Brad Ponsiano, Sr., 122; Hunter Staley, So., 168; Zac Forester, Sr., 180; James Williams, Fr., 108; Robert Rogers, So., 135; Cameron Penn, Jr., 141; Nemo Matthews, Jr., 158; Derek Jaques, Jr., 215.
Outlook — Reloading-contending. The Samurai leaped from ninth to second place in Far East Division II and are seeking more. Matthews joins Perry with six years of stateside experience. This could be the best team Perry has ever fielded.

Seoul American Falcons

2018 Far East tournament finish — Wrestled at Division I last season. Sixth in individual freestyle, dual meet.
Head coach — Brittney Waldner, first season.
Key performers — Brian Choe, Jr., 180 (sixth at Far East); Efrain Velazquez-Lebron, So., 141 or 148.
Outlook — Rebuilding in the Falcons’ last season as a program; school shuts its doors in June. Seoul lost its head coach and a heavyweight wrestler to transfer to Humphreys and is having to actively recruit wrestlers.

Yokota Panthers

2018 Far East tournament finish — Defending Division II individual freestyle, dual-meet champion.
Head coach — Kristina O’Grady, second season.
Key performers — Caleb Heino, Jr., 108 (reigning 101-pound Far East champion); Chris DeGrella, So., 122; Kaiden Meyer, Jr., 129; Ramil Celones, So., 135; Joey DeGrella, Jr., 141; Cameron Ewens, Sr., 168 (third at 215 at Far East); Austin Fisher, Jr., 180.
Outlook — Rebuilding-reloading. Many seasoned wrestlers and some assistant coaches graduated or transferred, but O’Grady feels confident that the retooled lineup will continue to produce results.

Zama Trojans

2018 Far East tournament finish — Ninth in individual freestyle, fifth in dual meet.
Coach — Guy Snyder, first season.
Key performers — Eligh Cabe, So., 141; Riki Fameli, Sr., 135; Desmond Martin, Jr., heavyweight (transferred from Kinnick); Cain Mumford, Sr.; Nicholas Amanatidis, So.
Outlook — Rebuilding. Fourth coaching staff in five years. Decent numbers, but young; won’t fill every weight, but will grow and develop over time.

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