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Guam Sports Network will now be launching weekly editorials from our staff that takes all the normal sporting action from the previous week while finding interesting, sometimes out of game, related situations.
The GSPN reporter column gives our writers the freedom to express their views, which is often not related or associated with the views of those teams, players, coaches, or fans mentioned in their chosen topics. The reporter column is purely presented for our fans to get to see the men and women behind the normal game-to-game stories with fun, informative, and even controversial topics.
The Offensive Line: Not For The Faint Hearted
By Robert Balajadia
The front five linemen of every football team do some of the games most grueling work, but often always get overlooked. They are the first to get scolded when a quarterback gets sacked or a run falls apart and are always the last celebrated when a play works to perfection.
You’d even hear “Come on line, block!” a hundred times over before you hear “Great job blocking line!” from the fans at the game.
It’s safe to say that being a part of the offensive line is the least popular position on the field. So what does happen when an offensive line is performing well? Simple, their team wins games, and for most of them, that’s all that matters.
For the past two years the Sanchez Sharks have ran their way to two IIAAG football titles in thanks in large part to a big, bulky, and experienced offensive line.
It’s become a cliche that every single running back thanks their offensive line when being interviewed by the media, but there’s nothing cliche about the job offensive lineman actually do.
FD Friars offensive lineman Garardo Tenorio made something clear with a quote that sparked the interest of this topic.
“The only praise that matters is within this team,” was all Tenorio needed to say, speaking loudly of what kind of character you have to be to suit up for the offensive line. You’d have to shake off the constant yelling from your coaches, be okay with not getting the public’s attention, and strong enough to block some of the opponents best of players.
Being an offensive lineman is clearly not an easy task, so if it’s the fame and attention you want then step aside, these players have a job to do. So next football game, go ahead sideline fans, shout out “GREAT JOB LINE!” for a change. The cheering for the offensive line will definitely be appreciated.
***A close friend of mine played on the offensive line majority of his time in high school. In our senior year in 2007-08 at FD, he made All-Island 2nd team guard. Within our close knit group of friends, none of us knew this until nearly two years after the fact when one of his coaches brought it up. Our buddy never boasted about it then and still doesn’t boast about it now. As unpopular as the position was, the 2007-08 offensive line played a big part in the championship which FD won via an excellent ground attack over the GW Geckos, which was also the last time the Friars were football champs.
Last Week From Robert
The Guessing Game: Lacking Equipment
By Jesse Pinkston Santos
As a reporter, I want to portray the best possible story for the readers as possible. This season I have been assigned to football, which I absolutely love. My dad has been a football coach in Kansas for 30 years so I pretty much bleed football. I’ll be honest; there is still so much for me to learn but one thing that hinders my writing is the lack of equipment during the football games.
I remember covering Southern’s first football game this season and the down marker numbers barely worked. I found myself constantly looking to see which down it was, which was minor. Not to mention, I had no clue how much time was left in the quarter. Yes, I could ask the head referee, who happens to be in the middle of the field most of the time; however, I feel that I would be a pest or bother to continuously ask the time. Or I could keep track of the 12-minute quarters myself but even then, it’s not entirely accurate and I have this need to execute a perfect story. I do not want to claim that a runningback had “about 20 yards”, I want to state that the runningback ran up the middle for 17 yards, into the endzone with two minutes left in the game. See my point?
I got a taste of perfection at the Okkodo/Guam High game. Yes, I completely understand that Guam High’s field is federally funded and in no way am I comparing the US government funding to Guam’s. I am merely stating that I was able to write, in my opinion, one of my best football stories to date because there was a scoreboard and clearly visible yard markings on the field. I loved how I knew that Okkodo had the ball for seven minutes in the third quarter and I’m pretty sure my readers enjoyed and envisioned that. Yes, I can give an accurate yardage amount in other games; however, when I’m counting the yards for that play, the next play is starting already and I’m constantly playing catch up whereas in this game I could count quicker and more efficiently.
I wonder what needs to happen for our schools to have a working scoreboard, clearly visible yard markings and properly working chain gang equipment? As with most things, I am sure it is lack of funding, but I hope that one-day we can get this funding because not only would the reporters appreciate it but more importantly, I know it would benefit the kids as well. I look forward to the day there is no more guessing games but until then I vow to do the best job I can do, even if that means I have to pester the referee every five minutes to ask how much time is left in the quarter.
Last Week From Jesse
Youth Football’s Smokin’ Sidelines
By Michael J.A. Nauta Jr.
Whether you’re a hardcore gridiron fan or new to the game, one can always tell when youth football league action is in full effect. With the parking lot nearly at capacity, the smell of barbecue in the air, and the sidelines filled with pop-up tents and canopies that could only mean one thing – there’s some football going on. Like any other weekend, family, friends, and football fans alike have continued to show their strong support for their respective teams.
While many believe all the action takes place on the field, that isn’t always the case.
With four divisions playing throughout the day, supporters have already beaten many of the players as the setup begins early in the day. Lined with an array of colored canopies and tents, a typical football weekend can be seen as a huge family get together and potluck.
“We are one huge family on football weekends,” said Southern Cowboys parent Dennis Stanley. “The gatherings and get together is just a plus us, it’s just who we are as fans of the sport and its part of our culture to take care of each other.”
As the day continues, the tables are set, barbecues are non-stop and all the while the games are being played. Despite all the outside action is taking place, family and friends are still tuned into the game as the wild cheers and yelling in support of their favorite team or players are heard from afar.
In every game there’s always a happy ending and not so happy ending. However, with the strong showing of support by family, friends, and fans of football, everyone walks away from the gridiron regardless of the outcome a winner.
Last Week From Mike
The Unwritten Laws Of Surf Localism
By Asha Marie Robles
As surfing continues to grow throughout the world each year, surf spots become over-crowded with “kooks”, aka newbies, along with experienced surfers looking to surf popular spots. This innocent act pisses off many of the local surfers who have been living and surfing in these areas for decades. Locals and surf gangs have been intimidating outsiders since the early 1960’s. This harsh behavior, known as surf localism, is expressed when surfers are involved in verbal or physical threats or abuse to deter non-locals from having a good time in this phenomenal sport. Fortunately, physical violence isn’t as predominant in most areas as it was in the past.
Great surf spots are rare even with the vast amount of ocean out there. A surf break that puts out great waves can easily become a wanted commodity, and if this break is near a population with a large amount of surfers, territorialism usually occurs. Consistent surfers who live around an exceptional surf break may often guard it protectively, hence the expression “locals only”, which is common among beach towns, especially those that are invaded upon by travelers who live outside of the area.
To almost every non-surfer out there, this unwritten rule will probably sound unreasonable and bizarre. However, here’s the thing about localism: It works like a charm. Witnessing non-locals and kooks get booed out of the water happens a lot more than expected. Locals don’t give up waves that easily. Even if that newcomer waits his or her turn, locals will take whatever is given, even the weak waves. Those who fall after actually catching a wave are yelled at to “Get the [explicit] out of here”! And if a newbie ever dared to drop in on a local, they were harassed and screamed at until they left. This type of territorialism helps keep the surf lineup more systematic than it otherwise might be.
Outsiders who want to avoid these types of scenarios should understand that localism is a big deal and has many forms. Some forms include signs on cars to “never come back”, verbal attacks like shouting and insulting, hostile surfing as in dropping in on newcomers or messing up their ride, vandalizing surfboards or vehicles of newcomers, and lastly, in extreme cases, violence done onto newcomers.
These situations are totally preventable as long as newcomers can follow a few guidelines. Scope it out: Talk to others who have surfed that spot and get to know who to stay clear of. Surf with a friend: Avoid surfing new spots alone, but don’t show up in a big group either. Adapt: If the majority are shortboarders, don’t use a longboard. Be respectful: Practice appropriate surf etiquette at new spots and never litter. Feel the vibe: Watch how locals interact, if there’s tension, be extra vigilant. Identify the regulars: Be sure to show those surfers extra respect. Stay calm: Keep cool even when faced with irrational anger and apologize for mistakes that were made. Lastly, avoid fights: Be sure to know when a situation is intensifying toward violence and leave the scene right away.
It doesn’t take a scientist to explain what surf localism is. If the popularity of the sport continues to rise, great surf breaks near populated areas will eventually become over-crowded. Since surf localism will not be dying down anytime soon, the best thing any surfer can do to minimize localism would be to respect locals until that day does come and do their best to be part of the solution.
Last Week From Asha
The Eye Of The Cougar
By Jose Terlaje
Throughout my high school years, I have attended many athletic events involving the Academy of Our Lady of Guam Cougars all across the island. Although the players, coaches and staff have changed over the years, one thing has remained the same. AOLG fans always go out of their way to let their Cougars know that they’ve got a great support system behind them.
The moment you step into the AOLG gym for a sporting event, you are greeted by parents at the front door that are selling snacks and beverages. When the games begin, you’ll come across another wave of Cougar supporters a cart around the court, also selling snacks and beverages, making it convenient for those that don’t want to miss a second of the action. If you take a look around the gym, you’ll notice that the walls are almost completely covered with vibrant and clever signs, created by the student body, with pictures and a slogan supporting the Cougars in whichever sport is in season.
You’ll find the bleachers crammed with alumni, students, teachers and parents all sporting Cougar colors on their clothes or even with face paint. You’ll even notice the Sisters of Mercy sitting in their designated bleacher right next to the ticket booth. Many teachers give extra credit to students for attending games in support of their fellow Cougar sisters but the incentive is usually unnecessary because a majority of the girls had the intention of watching the game anyway.
If you attend a game at the AOLG Gym, make sure you finish up any conversations before the game starts because it gets incredibly loud in the bleachers, making it nearly impossible to talk over the roaring crowd. From start to finish, win or lose, the crowd’s intensity within the gym does not let up. The cheers of Cougar supporters echo throughout the gym for the entire game, hoping to be able to leave the gym chanting “Academy does it better!”
“In high school and even now, I would much rather go to Academy and watch a volleyball or basketball game on a Friday night instead of going out to the movies or something like most people. We’re a small, private, all-girl school and everyone underestimates us so we want to be there at the games to support our sisters in their efforts to prove everyone wrong”, said AOLG Alumnus and high school soccer and rugby standout Mia Santos. Santos also added, “It’s so crazy AOLG has been able to keep the school spirit alive throughout the years, even during seasons that we weren’t winning.”
Last Week From Jose
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