📅20 March 2013
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Wes Shiroma, Kelvin Hocog

Sanchez’s Wes Shiroma gains some yardage before being tackled by GW’s Kelvin Hocog. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

The Simon Sanchez Sharks are just one step away from a perfect season. After two 30-minute halves, two five-minute overtime halves, and sudden death, the Sharks advanced to the championship game beating the GW Geckos 10-7 Tuesday at Wettengel Field in their semifinal bout.

The Sharks have been dominating all season thanks to their strong forward play and their opponents know it. But that standout forward game seemed distant in the semis.

“Our forwards were playing a little nervous. Towards the end they picked it up,” said Sharks’ head coach John Arceo.

By the end of regulation and overtime the score was still tied at 7-all; teams gathered in preparation for sudden death. And in sudden death format, whoever scores first, wins.

“How bad do you want it?” said Arceo to his team at the break. That question never goes unsaid in the huddle of the Simon Sanchez Sharks. His players silently answer in the way they play.

His team prevented the Geckos from scoring when they were knocking on the door of the try zone. Geckos’ kicker Tevin Santos attempted a penalty kick from about 20 yards out, in the same spot he had kicked and missed in overtime. Santos missed again, and after such a close call, the Sharks kicked it up a gear. They would then bring it all the way back to the other end, and attempt to score at the one-yard line, but the Geckos put up a stop. After a GW player was red carded for rough play, the Sharks opted to Wes Shiroma for a penalty kick from about 20-yards out as well.

Jaython Leon Guerrero, Donavan Arceo (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Sanchez’s Jaython Leon Guerrero holds onto to the ball as GW’s Donavan Arceo wraps him. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

“I was pretty confident because I practiced the kick a lot at practice, but I was still nervous because you know what if I missed?” said Shiroma on his thoughts before the kick. “But I practiced so that boosted my confidence, then it was just muscle memory.”

Shiroma took two steps and sent the kick straight through poles and that was the game.

He always says, “Never give up. Never stop fighting,” said Shiroma.

“I always tell them ‘Fight to the end. Fight to the last whistle,’” said Arceo.

In the first half, both teams put points on the board, however it was the Geckos who struck first. Frank Troy punched in the short try off a five-meter scrum, and kicker Santos knocked in the extra points.

Sharks’ Jaython Leon Guerrero gave his team their first points stretching out from under the pile and placing the ball down in the very corner of the try zone. Placed along the sideline, Shiroma kicked for the extra points and the ball sailed through the uprights, knotting the game a 7 a-piece with only seconds left in the half.

“I tip my hat off to the coaches, they prepared their team. They brought it. They played a well-fought game,” said Arceo.

But the Sharks aren’t done yet.

The Sharks will play the Southern Dolphins, who beat the 4-time defending champion FD Friars 22-15.


Joseph Carreon

Joseph Carreon carries the ball upfield, surrounded by a host of Sharks defenders. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Jaython Leon Guerrero, Wes Shiroma

Jaython Leon Guerrero holds onto the ball while Wes Shiroma kicks the extra points after their first try of the game. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Storm Rosario, Shawn Dumanal

Geckos’ Storm Rosario grabs ahold of the jersey of Sharks’ Shawn Dumanal. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

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