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SAD NEWS: NO MORE FAR EAST FOR GUAM!

DoDEA decides to stop all Guam teams from competing in Far East competition.

By Patrick Lujan

Adios Far East Tournaments.

What was the highlight of hundreds of Guam high school athletes since the 1960’s, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA Pacific) has announced that Far East competition for all Guam schools – including its own Guam High School – for the exception of cheerleading.

DoDEA Superintendent of the Guam District, Dr. Steven Bloom, released an official letter on Friday explaining the reasoning behind the decision to stop the competition.

Far East letter

“I just know that Guam student-athletes are going to be hurt, badly, by this,” Stars and Stripes Newspaper Sports Editor Dave Ornauer. “Guam has had a very long and successful partnership with DODDS Pacific and Far East tournaments, dating back decades. It’s what helps make Far East such an enrichening experience, developing relationships, friendships, partnerships, lifelong memories.

“Saying the IIAAG postseasons suffice is absolutely farcical. That would be like saying the DODDS Japan or Kanto Plain tournaments would suffice for schools there, or the KAIAC tournaments would suffice there.”

In an email to the media on Sunday, IIAAG President Marty Boudreau said, “The IIAAG did not receive any notification directly nor was the IIAAG asked to participate in the discussions that lead to the recent DoDEA decision. I received Dr. Blooms letter elsewhere.”

Ornauer, who has covered the Far East tournaments since 1982, hopes the IIAAG can rebound from this sad news.

“I hope Marty (Boudreau) and the IIAAG are able to find the necessary support to put APIs on the map for all sports. That’s something he and I talked about on the phone (on Saturday).

“People on Guam are hopping mad right now. Angry enough to spit nails. And I do not blame any of them. In the least. Saying Guam can’t participate in Far East because of who they are? That would be like suggesting that Okinawa can’t participate in the national baseball tournament at Koshien because of where they’re located.”

“For years, we’ve been able to reconcile the fact that Guam has four quarters and DODDS Pacific three. It hasn’t been a problem … up until now.”

FAR EAST SUCCESS

Big School Championships

1993 Oceanview Knights boys basketball

1983 JFK Islanders girls basketball

1982 GW Geckos girls basketball

13 Far East Girls Volleyball Championships (record 9 by the Academy Cougars)

Small School Championships

2011 St. Paul girls basketball

2001/04 St. Paul boys basketball

2004 Notre Dame girls volleyball

1998 Guam High boys basketball

Note: Far East tournaments take place in cross country, tennis, girls volleyball, boys and girls basketball, wrestling, baseball, softball, track and field and soccer.

Besides Guam High, schools from Guam have been regular participants in boys and girls basketball and girls volleyball.

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