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WINNING FORMULA FOR THE GECKOS

You can never count out the GW Geckos in a football game, but you can always count on them being a dangerous team every year behind the coaching of legend Ryan Rios. The Geckos are looking to end their title drought in 2014.

By Robert Balajadia

The GW Geckos have proven year after year that they are never out of a football game and nothing proved that more than their epic comeback victory while down 20-0 in the 4th quarter against the Guam High Panthers to advance to the championship game.

Helping lead the charge was defensive stud Kelvin Hocog, who is back and ready to lead the stingy GW defense to another strong season.

The Geckos have lost a bunch of All Island talent, but have kept a lot of players as well which has given head coach, and legend to the game of football on Guam, Ryan Rios a lot to work with. The previous years Rios has been focused on rebuilding though his unit in 2014 will be instead focused on winning.

“We have a lot of experience, but our experience from the past two years we can’t count anyone out because David can beat Goliath,” stated Rios.

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All Island 1st Team Linebacker Kelvin Hocog

Key Returnees

Kelvin Hocog (All Island 1st Team Linebacker)

Jacob Bamba (All Island Nose Guard)

Brandon Santos (returning quarterback)

Key Losses

Hank Sablan

Kyle Alvarez

Anselmo Untalan

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Starting quarterback Brandon Santos

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Key offensive weapon Isaiah Tydingco

GW’s offense will rely on Santos with the departure Hank Sablan, who was the steady offensive threat for GW. Sablan’s performance granted him top honors as the 1s team utility player, though Hocog’s ability to play multiple positions on the field still makes the Geckos a dangerous group.

While keeping their coaching core intact, the addition of Derrick Santos to help coach the quarterbacks will only heighten what the Geckos are looking to do offensively.

Number of players has proven to be one of the stronger assets from GW each year and with the school year just starting, Rios expects to see a handful more walk on to try and suit up in purple and gold.

“Since the school year starts this week I do expect at least 10-15 more players to come out and if they are good I’ll take them,” chuckled Rios.

Coaches have continued to credit the youth football programs on Guam and the longtime player and coach knows first hand just how much easier it is to build a team with a bulk coming from the GNYFF.

“The youth league has helped the kids understand the game. They know the feel of the game and just need a little fine tuning, but the game knowledge is key and them being in youth leagues have really helped with that,” said Rios.

GW opens action up north as they face off against a newly vamped Okkodo Bulldogs squad.

The offense is aiming to run a lot smoother with the help of former Gecko QB Derrick Santos. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

The offense is aiming to run a lot smoother with the help of former Gecko QB Derrick Santos. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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National Guard Athletes

Scott Eclavea

Scott Eclavea is a jiu-jitsu black belt and an accomplished MMA fighter. The Guard has given him an outlet in combatives to display his martial art skills, where he’s become a head instructor for that program. Eclavea has served since coming out of high school and the Guard has only changed his life for the better.

 

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QUICK HITS

Robert Artero Maley recently captured the 182-lb. division of the Costa Mesa Classic, winning via pin in 4 out of 5 matches. Robert is a 4-year varsity wrestler at San Clemente HS (Tritons) and is currently ranked 15th in California’s high school scene. He is the son of Jacque Artero Maley (AOLG 1991).
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Pat Taitano and Rich Abiador, teammates on the 1995 SPG volleyball team, have led their high school girls volleyball teams to the Washington State Championships in Yakima, Wa.
Taitano coaches Mt. Rainier High while Abiador leads North Creek High.
There for support is Dr. Mark Perez, a health professor at Central Washington University and a former UOG volleyball player.

 

 

 

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