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BULLDOGS BEAT GECKOS, COUGARS GET FIRST WIN

Saturday’s rugby games in the GRFU/ISA were met with some rainy weather.

By Robert Balajadia

Week 2 of the GRFU/ISA High School Rugby Season took over the GW Field Saturday morning with the rainy weather setting the stage for another big day of games.

The Okkodo Bulldogs defeated the defending Champion GW Geckos in the boys varsity division and the Academy Cougars bounced back from a rough opening week.

Mendiola’s field goals lift Bulldogs over Geckos 11-5

The Geckos and Bulldogs were dead locked at five-all by halftime after a try from GW’s William Rios and Okkodo’s Adrian Lacap highlighted all the scoring in the first half.

As Bulldog freshman Jayven Mendiola stood on the sidelines watching his team put it all on the field, he couldn’t wait to officially check in the game after forcing to sit out the first half. Mendiola plays swing and was needed on the JV team earlier in the week, playing a half of sevens which forced him to sit out in the first half of Saturdays big game against GW.

“I was told that once I step on the field at JV then it already takes away on half of varsity, but JV needed a little help. But I decided to play the second half so we can come back stronger,” said Mendiola, who scored the late try to beat the Sanchez Sharks last weekend.

Mendiola would provide all the second half scoring for the Bulldogs, converting on two field goal kicks off penalties from 30 and 40 yards out with some room to spare.

Wendy’s Player of the Game Jayven Mendiola

“I practice kicking from further range in practice so when it comes time for it during the game, it feels a little easier for me,” added Mendiola.

The weather proved tough for both teams as knock-ons and dropped passes were plaguing both sides.

“The ball had zero grip and we kept asking the refs to change the ball, but if we couldn’t then we just had to go on with what we got. We just did our best and came away with a ‘W’,” said Mendiola.

GW came within 10 yards of scoring the possible go-ahead try late in the half with the team riding behind big-man Aaron Toves on two penalties. The Bulldog defense held up on both ends forcing turnovers less than five yards within the try line to preserve the win.

Boys Scores
FD 69, Guam High 0
Sanchez 40, Tiyan 0

Cougars beat Bulldogs in first game

After falling to Okkodo and tying against the Southern Dolphins and Guam High Panthers last weekend on late-game scores, the Cougars were more than determined to right their previous wrongs. Cougar Makayla Atoigue would score two tries on the day along with making all her conversions as the Cougars started off Week 2 with a 14-5 victory.

“It was definitely motivation,” said Atoigue on putting last weekend behind them. “All week all we thought about is being so close and not being able to secure it. Being close is never good enough, you always want that victory.”

Atoigue’s first try came in the first half after a series of passing lead opened up a seam on the left side.

“You have to have full field awareness and I just took advantage of the perfect opportunity, and that’s how rugby is,” said Makayla on her first score.

Wendy’s Player of the Game: Makayla Atoigue

Her second try was a 40-yard dash in the second half after a swing pass to the outside opened up a wide gap up the right sideline where Atoigue showcased her speed to go up 14-0.

The Cougars were bruised and a little bloodied in their win against Okkodo but their will to win proved greater than their physical anguish.

“We’re working. We may be at the bottom, but we do strive to get higher. Everything that happens, we go through during practice and work harder for the next weekend to become even better,” added Atoigue.

Girls Scores
GW 33, Tiyan 0
ND 25, Guam High 12
Southern 7, Sanchez 7
Tiyan 28, Academy 5
GW 19, Okkodo 5
Sanchez 15, Guam High 0
ND 44, Academy 0
Tiyan 12, Southern 5
Okkodo 12, Guam High 5

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Since forming the GNYFF in 2009, the league has never gone without a season until 2020. The league announced their plans to cancel the 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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RIP: Former Guam football player Phil Mendiola, shown here with son Tano, passed away in Las Vegas due to a heart attack. Mendiola played for numerous Guam teams from youth to varsity. He was 39.
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Morgan McKenna (left with black face mask) poses for a photo with Guam Football Association Technical Director Sang Hoon Kim (seated, with blue face mask) and Guam Football Association Assistant Technical Director Ross Awa (standing) after signing his letter of commitment to play intercollegiate men’s soccer for Muskingum University in Ohio. The Fighting Muskies compete in NCAA Division III’s Ohio Athletic Conference.

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