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One common denominator shared by Stars and Stripes spring season Athlete of the Quarter was the noteworthy school firsts they helped their respective teams accomplish:

• Senior striker Andre Bugawan eclipsed his entire goal total of the three previous seasons, scoring 37 times and adding 16 assists as Matthew C. Perry’s boys won the first Far East Class A Tournament title in school history.

• Junior thrower Shannon Jackson broke Nile C. Kinnick’s school record on her first shot-put attempt, later broke the 20-year-old Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools mark and helped the Red Devils to a school-first unbeaten season, Kanto and inaugural Far East meet titles.

“He’s night and day from last year. He grew up, got stronger, matured (into a) strong, emotional leader who kept his team together,” coach Steve Casner of E.J. King said of Bugawan, whose Samurai went a school- and Pacific-best 27-8-3 this season.

“Whenever his team needed a play, whenever momentum was fading, he always made that big play,” Casner said. “His timing was unreal.”

Bugawan scored twice to boost Perry past Morrison Christian Academy of Taiwan 3-1 in the Class A title match May 20 at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni.

Jackson was a first-time track-and-field athlete who had to be convinced by coach Al Garrido — who also mentored her in volleyball, where Kinnick also enjoyed its first unbeaten Kanto regular season — to try the sport.

“She’s one in a million,” Garrido said of Jackson, who threw as far as 10.06 meters in the regular season, just 0.13 meters behind the Pacific record of 10.19 set by Kubasaki’s Pinkey McBride in 2004 and 0.01 ahead of the old Kanto record by Christian Academy Japan’s Lark Amos.

“I don’t think there’s ever going to be another like her,” Garrido said. Jackson transfers to Washington after the school year. “The biggest thing will be, how can we make up the difference? I just hope we can fill that huge void when she’s gone.”

Kinnick’s girls easily won the Kanto regular season, league meet and invitational meet, and then in the first Far East meet last month on Okinawa, they edged out Kubasaki 128-123 for the girls title. As a full team, Kinnick beat out Kadena 260-241½.

The rest of Stars and Stripes spring season awards:

• COACH OF THE QUARTER: Garrido, who in just four short years has turned Kinnick’s track program, thought to be a step behind international-school competition, into a proven winner.

• TEAM OF THE QUARTER: Kinnick’s girls track team finished 12th in the Kanto Invitational last spring. Now, look at them.

• PROGRAM OF THE QUARTER: Kadena, which captured Far East team titles in boys track and field and girls softball and finished second in baseball and boys Class AA soccer.

• MOST IMPROVED TEAMS: Until this spring, Kadena baseball and Kubasaki softball were doormats, until they played in the inaugural Far East tournaments and discovered they could win, the former taking second and the latter third in their respective tournaments.

• MOST IMPROVED PROGRAM: With no track or equipment to speak of, Seoul American used its distance prowess to place in the top five at the Mike Petty, Kanto Invitational and Far East meets. Couple that with the girls soccer team winning its first Class AA Tournament title, along with strong showings by the girls softball and baseball teams.

• SOCCER PLAYERS OF THE QUARTER: Siara Stacey of Morrison earned MVP honors, but it was Osan American’s tenacious defense led by sweeper Alina Hauter, the playmaking of Courtney Ouellette and goalkeeping by Deanne Polaski that pushed the Cougars to their second straight Class A Tournament title. MVP Kai Hallberg boosted Hong Kong International past Kadena in the Boys Class AA Tournament final, while all-everything junior Liz Gleaves backstopped Seoul American to the Girls Class AA Tournament title … and led the team in goals and assists as well.

• SOFTBALL PLAYER OF THE QUARTER: Overcoming mid-season arm woes, sophomore left-hander Desirae Seals earned MVP honors while pitching Kadena to the inaugural Far East Tournament title.

• BASEBALL PLAYERS OF THE QUARTER: Far East Tournament MVP Patrick “Duck” Duffy went 6-2 with a 3.66 ERA for Kubasaki in the regular season and pitched the Far East title game, an 8-4 win over Kadena. Teammate Kaleb Robinson batted .534 with 11 home runs and 34 RBIs to pace the Dragons.

• TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETES OF THE QUARTER: The king and queen of speed were Kubasaki’s A.J. Watson and Seoul American’s Kristy Taylor, who dominated the 100 and 200. Seoul American could go long distance with a triad of Thomas Kim, Amanda Henderson and Siarria Ingram. Kanto distance king Sam Krauth fueled American School In Japan, as did thrower Miles Peterson for Christian Academy Japan.

• SWIMMERS OF THE QUARTER: Kim means “gold” in Korean, and Seoul International’s Aline, Joanne, Sera and Debbie Kim shined just like it during the Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference season, as did Seoul Foreign’s Andrew Park and Derek Champlin on the boys’ side.

• RIVALRY OF THE QUARTER: Rare has one field event been as watched as the boys high jump. Shorai Ashida of CAJ and Kadena’s Lotty Smith went at it hammer and tongs in the Mike Petty and Kanto Invitational meets, with Ashida outjumping Smith 1.96-1.93 meters at Petty and 1.95-1.86 at Kanto; Ashida missed three tries at a Pacific-record 1.98. Smith jumped 1.92 at Far East, and missed three tries at 1.95.

• PLAYS/GAMES OF THE QUARTER: So amazing was Gleaves’ play during shootouts in both the KAIAC and Far East tournaments that even a Facebook page surfaced entitled “OMG … LIZ GLEAVES!” She stopped shot after shot to boost the Falcons to titles in both tournaments, the latter coming after Seoul American placed fifth in pool play — the lowest seed ever to rally and win a Far East tournament title.

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2010 Stars and Stripes spring Athlete of the Quarter nominees

x—Kai Hallberg, senior, boys soccer, Hong Kong International.

x—Desirae Seals, sophomore, girls softball, Kadena, Okinawa.

x—Patrick “Duck” Duffy, senior, baseball, Kubasaki, Okinawa.

x—Andre Bugawan, senior, boys soccer, Matthew C. Perry, Japan.

x—Matt Villalino, senior, boys soccer, Matthew C. Perry, Japan

x—Liz Gleaves, sophomore, girls soccer, Seoul American.

x—Siara Stacey, senior, girls soccer, Morrison Christian Academy, Taiwan.

Sam Krauth, senior, track and field, American School In Japan.

Shorai Ashida, senior, track and field, Christian Academy Japan.

Miles Peterson, senior, track and field, Christian Academy Japan.

Ashley Hawkins, senior, girls soccer, Robert D. Edgren, Japan.

Jen Black, sophomore, girls soccer, Robert D. Edgren, Japan.

Grace Fern, sophomore, girls soccer, Faith Academy, Philippines.

Meagan Speck, sophomore, girls soccer, Guam High.

Stephen Liu, senior, boys soccer, Hong Kong International.

Mary Schweers, senior, softball, Kadena, Okinawa.

Stanley Schrock, senior, boys soccer, Kadena, Okinawa.

Kristie Karibian, sophomore, girls soccer, Kadena, Okinawa.

Jasmine Pressley, junior, girls soccer, Kadena, Okinawa.

James Thompson, senior, track and field, Kadena, Okinawa.

Lotty Smith, junior, track and field, Kadena, Okinawa.

Tomas Sanchez, junior, track and field, Kadena, Okinawa.

Kaleb Robinson, senior, baseball, Kubasaki, Okinawa.

Leena Seamans, senior, softball, Kubasaki, Okinawa.

Mary Niemeyer, senior, girls soccer, Nile C. Kinnick, Japan.

Vicky Hollingshead, junior, girls soccer, Nile C. Kinnick, Japan.

Meghan Pomeroy, sophomore, girls soccer, Nile C. Kinnick, Japan.

Jacob Mattison, sophomore, boys soccer, Osan American, South Korea.

Tim Neher, junior, boys soccer, Osan American, South Korea.

Alina Hauter, junior, girls soccer, Osan American, South Korea.

Courtney Ouellette, junior, girls soccer, Osan American, South Korea.

Thomas Kim, senior, track and field, Seoul American.

Kristy Taylor, senior, track and field, Seoul American.

Amanda Henderson, sophomore, track and field, Seoul American.

Siarria Ingram, freshman, track and field, Seoul American.

Andrew Park, senior, boys soccer, Seoul Foreign.

Trevor Smith, senior, boys soccer, Seoul Foreign.

Will Smith, senior, track and field, Yokota, Japan.

Gabe Huizar, junior, boys soccer, Yokota, Japan.

Erika Ettl, sophomore, girls soccer, Yokota, Japan.

Sarah Wilson, senior, track and field, Zion Christian Academy, Okinawa.

x-automatically nominated for having won a Most Valuable Player award during a DODEA Pacific-sponsored Far East tournament.

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Tomorrow: Stars and Stripes 2009-10 Athletes of the Year.

ornauerd@pstripes.osd.mil

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He served 10½ years in the Air Force, the last 4½ assigned to Stripes in Tokyo, and was then hired by Stripes on Oct. 25, 1985. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages Pacific Storm Tracker.
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