For the second straight year, the dates of the Far East High School Wrestling Tournament, scheduled for February at Yokota Air Base, Japan, have been pushed up a week because of billeting concerns, Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Pacific officials said.

The tournament was scheduled for Feb. 21-23, but now will be held Feb. 17-19 at Yokota High School.

Jeff Martin, DODDS-Pacific chief of staff, said Friday that Yokota was “better able to accommodate” the wrestlers in base billeting the week before the originally slated dates.

The tournament’s dates changed last year for similar reasons — the base hosted a military exercise the week that the tournament was originally scheduled.

Far East this year for the first time will be open only to DODDS-Pacific teams after a decision made two weeks ago that Far East tournaments in tennis, cross country and wrestling would include only DODDS schools, due to concerns over billeting and athletic facilities.

In response to that decision, St. Mary’s International School of Tokyo made an offer to DODDS-Pacific’s Far East Activities Council chair Don Hobbs to host Far East wrestling, in an effort to keep international school teams involved.

Attempts Friday to reach Hobbs by phone and e-mail were unsuccessful. Hobbs is expected to be away on assignment next week.

St. Mary’s athletic director David Ducharme, reached by telephone, said he’d had no word from Hobbs by late Friday afternoon.

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.

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