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1980’S: WHEN GW RULED THE GUAM FOOTBALL SCENE

From the mid to late 80’s the GW Geckos dominated Guam football. During their rampant run as champs, a 27-game win streak was accomplished that has yet to be broken.

By Michael Cruz

The GW Geckos under coach Loring Cruz won 27 straight games, five straight island titles from 1985 to 1989, and had an overall record of 46-4 over five seasons. Back in 1987, teams played each other twice to decide the IFL champion.

Coach Loring Cruz is a 1973 graduate of GW and took over the coaching reigns in the 1980s at GW. Even though Guam had 122,000 (1987) compared to 160,000 (2017), more kids participated in football. They actually cut players in programs compared to now where no one gets cut (except at FD).

Air Force kids played at Sanchez and Navy kids played at Oceanview. FD started their own program in 1987 after years of combining with GCC. Inarajan/FD finished 8-2 under Jimmy Naholowaa in 1986 before disbanding. Jimmy continued his legendary career at Sanchez which is still going.

Inarajan and Oceanview are middle schools now that feed into Southern’s football program. Not much has changed record wise but Southern still competes. GCC is now an accredited community college and high school football folded in the 1990s. GW, JFK, Sanchez, FD remain. Guam High, Okkodo, and Tiyan joined the current eight-team league.

1985
GW Geckos (8-2)
JFK Islanders (7-3)
GCC Tradesman (6-4)
Inarajan Eagles (5-5)
Sanchez Sharks (4-6)
OHS Knights (0-10)

1986
GW Geckos (9-1)
Inarajan Eagles (8-2)
JFK Islanders (7-3)
Sanchez Sharks (3-7)
GCC Tradesman (2-8)
OHS Knights (1-9)

1987
GW Geckos (9-1)
JFK Islanders (7-3)
Sanchez Sharks (7-3)
FD Friars (5-5)
GCC Tradesman (3-7)
OHS Knights (0-10)

1988
GW Geckos (10-0)
FD (6-4)
JFK (5-5)
Sanchez (5-5)
South Rebels (3-7)
GCC Tradesman (1-9)

1989
GW (10-0)
Sanchez (8-2)
FD (6-4)
JFK (3-7)
GCC (3-7)
Southern (0-10)

Speaking with Loring Cruz

GSPN: Who is the greatest high school team of all-time?

Cruz: You know I’m probably subjective, but in the years from 1970 to present as a player, coach, and spectator the 1988-1989 Geckos. Went 10-0, 7 shutouts, 9 First Team All-Island/Stars on defense, every offensive and defensive starters were first or second team players. I can say unequivocally in my opinion beat any team past and present Guam teams. The 1988-1989 team was ranked 2nd in the Far East Power Rankings that year, strangely the 1989-90 GW Geckos were ranked No.1 the following year and were not invited by the Far East to play.

GSPN: So the team was even better than Ryan Rios 86-87 team?

Cruz: Ryan’s senior season 1986-1987 GW went 9-1. That was just as good a team. The 1988 and 1989 season was built off that season. Most of them were sophomore and freshman. But pound for pound 1988-1989 season.

GSPN: How about your coaching tree?

Cruz: Tony Posadas my offensive coordinator went to FD won multiple titles there. My assistant coach James Lujan went on to JFK and won 3 titles there. My former player Ryan Rios won 7 titles at GW. Other former players and coaches include Daniel and David Taitano, Tom Cruz, Bill Quichocho, Eddie Guerrero, Mario Cruz, James Lujan, Jerald Lujan, Ignacio Borja, Roland Duenas, Danny Cepeda and Neil Egurrola have been successful as well.

Footage from GW vs Korea Rebels 1988

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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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