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For coach Yvonne Tyrrell and the Guam High Panthers, the 2006 Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam season must resemble a ride on the Matterhorn Bobsled at Disneyland — or any other roller-coaster, for that matter.

A 14-7 upset victory over island power Father Duenas Memorial opened the season on Sept. 9, followed the next week by a 60-6 loss to three-time champion George Washington.

Then on Saturday, the Panthers led Simon Sanchez 18-7 midway through the third quarter, only to fade to a heartbreaking 20-18 loss.

So, how does a coach keep a team not just physically prepared, but also emotionally charged in the face of results that are so all-over-the-board? Tyrrell says it means she and her assistants must keep coaching the same way, sticking with the playbook and fundamentals whatever the outcomes.

“It’s a matter of staying the course. And we’re staying the course,” Tyrrell said.

The Panthers were on the right course, she said, during the season opener but “got off course in the second week” against George Washington.

“There were mistakes made” against Simon Sanchez, but more than that, “what we realized in the third week was how much we got off course in the second week. They would not have made the mistakes in the third game had they not completely lost their brains in the second.”

It was a case of going “six steps backward and four steps forward,” she said.

“I suppose this next week, we ought to be on track. We’re going to get back and start working on it again.”

But convincing young players ranging from ages 14 to 17 to “stay the course” is easier said than done, Tyrrell acknowledged.

“It hurts emotionally,” she said of defeats such as the one against Simon Sanchez. “It upset them. You have clues to how they’re growing or if there’s any maturation going on. Real tears. Sobbing.”

A coach can only keep reinforcing the notion that if the team “stays the course,” eventually, they’ll come out of the woods.

Tyrrell said there’s no question in her mind that the Panthers have the talent and the wherewithal to get it done, considering the team’s weapons. Quarterback Cameron Yecki has run for a touchdown and passed for another, Ray Berria has run for two TDs and caught a scoring pass and Jeremy Miller and Steve Hattai have accounted for the Panthers’ other two scores.

“It can be done,” Tyrrell said of the hope that Guam High can win its last two regular-season games — Saturday against Southern and Oct. 7 against John F. Kennedy — and enter the IIAAG playoffs, and later the Far East Class AA semifinal against Seoul American, with momentum.

“This isn’t over yet. If they do what they are taught, they can win the next two games. And when we go into the postseason, it’s another ballgame as far as I’m concerned. It’s all hinging upon the maturity level of 40 young kids.”

Pacific prep football

Pacific prep football

DODDS-Japan Football League

W L Pct. PF PA

Yokota 2 0 1.000 47 19

Nile C. Kinnick 2 1 .667 70 48

Zama American 1 1 .500 15 22

Robert D. Edgren 0 3 .000 32 75

Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools

W L Pct. PF PA

Yokota 2 0 1.000 65 12

Nile C. Kinnick 2 1 .667 62 43

Zama American 0 1 .000 8 16

American School In Japan 0 2 .000 14 78

Friday, Sept. 29

Yokota at Zama, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 30

Kinnick at Edgren, 10 a.m.

Friday, Oct. 6

ASIJ at Yokota, 7 p.m.

Zama at Edgren, 7 p.m.

South Korea

W L Pct. PF PA

Osan American 2 0 1.000 69 23

Seoul American 1 1 .500 44 41

Taegu American 0 1 .000 6 55

Saturday, Sept. 30

Taegu American at Seoul American, 2 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 4

Seoul American at Osan American, 7 p.m.

Guam

W L Pct. PF PA

George Washington 3 0 1.000 158 12

Father Duenas Memorial 2 1 .667 81 28

Simon Sanchez 2 1 .667 48 58

Guam High 1 2 .333 38 87

John F. Kennedy 1 2 .333 35 72

Southern 0 3 .000 14 117

Friday, Sept. 29

Father Duenas Memorial at John F. Kennedy, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 30

Guam High at Southern, 10 a.m.

Simon Sanchez at George Washington, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 6

Father Duenas Memorial at George Washington, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 7

John F. Kennedy vs. Guam High at Naval Station “Big Navy,” 3 p.m.

Southern vs. Simon Sanchez at Ramsey Field, John F. Kennedy High School, Upper Tumon, 7 p.m.

End regular season

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