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Islanders claim 2020 BOYS high school I.S.A. tennis crown

The John F. Kennedy High Islanders won the Interscholastic Sports Association Tennis regular season boys title, while the Harvest Christian Academy Eagles took the girls crown.

The Islanders and the Tiyan High Titans both finished undefeated and tied with identical 8-0-1 records each. The tiebreaker came down to fewest games allowed, giving JFK the edge.

It was the same for third place, as the St. John's Knights and Guam High Panthers finished with identical 6-2-1 records, with the Knights getting the nod.


By Robert Balajadia

After missing out on bringing in the 2019 IIAAG Baseball title Wednesday evening, JFK completed their prolific playoff run Saturday morning by defeating the ND Royals 2-1 at the Leo Palace Baseball Field for the 2019 Championship.

Defenses dominated the day, but a key stolen run in the 4th inning by Johnny Cruz and a big RBI in the 7th from Zion Benavente proved to be all the runs the Islanders needed to squeeze out the victory. JFK’s pitcher Gavin Lim pitched a complete game and was in charge of holding off the Royals in the 7th while nursing the 2-1 lead.

“I tried to calm down the nerves, but a Championship Game in the 7th inning in that situation, it’s very hard to do. My defense picked me up by getting that big out at third base,” said Lim.

Wendy’s Player’s of the Game: A key stolen run from Johnny Cruz and a 7th inning go-ahead RBI from Zion Benavente were all the runs JFK needed to win the Boys Baseball title 2-1 over the ND Royals. (Photo by Michael Blas)

The Islanders grabbed the first out after Cruz grabbed a grounder and rocketed the ball to catch ND’s Kobe Martinez out at first base. JFK was able to beat James Artero to first to put ND in a two-out hole. ND’s Jathan Alvarez would get on base with a single and teammate Dominic Cruz would get on base by balls.

ND had runners on first and second with Ethan Lizama at bat, but a base-stealing attempt from Alvarez and Cruz would leave both runners stranded. Lim would commit to third as the out was sitting on the sliding Alvarez to end the game.

JFK’s game-winning run was brought in by one of the teams youngest members in sophomore Zion Benavente. Islander Vince Camacho was able to get on base after an error at third base allowed Camacho to sit safely at first. Benavente would then unload a ball deep down left field allowing Camacho to run in for the go-ahead score.

“I just stayed calm, remembered what the coaches told me and I just layed back and drove. I did try to drive it left field, but I wasn’t expecting it to go so far down the line,” said Benavente.

Cruz’s home stealing run proves big

Ethan Lobaton pitched a complete game for the Royals and the All-Island short stop also gave his team their only run of the day in the bottom of the 3rd inning. After a single from Noah Pereda to advance Lizama to second, Lobaton smashed a ball deep right in no-man’s land to give ND a 1-0 lead as part of a two out rally.

JFK responded with an uncanny run in the 4th after Cruz was able to get on base with a single. Cruz would steal second base and eventually steal third before preparing for his biggest theft on the day. With ND not in position after collecting an out on Malcom Pangelinan, Cruz darted home and beat the throw to tie the game at one run.

“I saw their catcher all the way in the back and I know [Lobaton] wasn’t looking at him so I knew there was no communication. They took their heads out of the game for a moment and I just put my head in the game. I just wanted to even the score. My teammates had their heads down so I had to pick them up some how,” said Cruz on his game-tying run.

JFK Islander John Cruz catches the ND Royals of guard and steals home plate to tie the game 1-1. (Photo by Michael Blas)

Cruz would continue to play big on the defensive end, scooping up grounders in the later innings at short stop to keep ND off the board.

“This is what we live for, we live for pressure. We practice all year for this and we put what we practice on the field,” added Cruz.

The Islanders had to go through the top seeded GW Geckos and ND Royals to compete this underdog story, but the team knew they had something special brewing well before making their strong post season run. A team dominated by seniors had brought the team close together, which was their theme all season long.

“We just played for each other. The brotherhood is probably the biggest thing on this team and that’s what helped us get all these wins. We played for more than just ourselves, we played for the guy next to us. Wednesday was a rough game for us, but today we all came together and played as one,” said Lim.

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By Brandon Kinsella

On Saturday night, the JFK Islanders were crowned Champions in the first ever ISA Boys Basketball Title Game. The Islanders won 80-68 against the home team Okkodo Bulldogs behind dominant three-point shooting from the “Splash Brothers” in Jeremiah Kintoki and Rodson Simina.

Simina and Kintoki got hot from beyond the arc in the third quarter, showing their dead-eye shooting abilities as they frequently pulled up from way behind the line and still managed to knock down shots while making it look easy. Simina finished with 28 points and Kintoki with 18 on the night, as the two combined for 46 of the Islanders 80 points.

Before the backcourt duo got hot, the game had been neck-and-neck, as both teams exchanged several lead changes and momentum shifting plays in the first half of action.

ISA League MVP Jon Michael Lorena had a hot start to the game, scoring eight points in the first quarter and bullying his way into the paint for buckets. But the Islanders were able to make their adjustments later in the game, and their suffocating defense in the interior would hold Lorena to just 13 points on the night.

“I told my boys, we have to contain him, stay in front of him, because he’s dangerous when he starts bulldozing his way in the paint. We made our adjustments and tightened up our defense in the paint. We let him take jumpers instead of shots in the paint, and that strategy worked for us tonight,” said Head Coach Serafico on slowing down MVP Lorena.

Wendy’s Players of the Game: The “Splash Brothers” Jeremiah Kintoki, left, and Rodson Simina, right, lead the Islanders to victory behind their dominant three-point shooting. (Photo by Michael Blas)

Splash Brothers Take Over

At the start of the 3rd Quarter, the Islanders held a slim two-point lead at 31-29. It was a three-point shot by Simina two minutes into the 3rd Quarter that would start the 3rd Quarter three-point barrage.

Following the three, Lorena was quick to answer, driving to the paint and drawing contact to get to the line. He nailed both free throws at the charity stripe to cut the deficit to two at 36-34.

But Simina looked to build momentum off of his last three and on the ensuing possession he tried his luck from almost 30 feet out. He converted on the shot which gave the Islanders a five-point lead at 39-34 and put the Islanders crowd on their feet.

The Bulldogs managed to keep themselves in the game with big shots down the stretch by Tristan Valdes and Lorena. But another deep three by Simina, followed by back-to-back threes by Kintoki would give the Islanders lots to cheer about and the home team crowd not so much.

Simina would hit one more three before the end of the 3rd Quarter which was a major momentum boost for the Islanders heading into the final quarter of play with a 60-47 lead.

Bulldogs Fight Til the End

The Islanders looked to run down the clock in the 4th Quarter and did a good job doing so. But Okkodo showed tremendous heart, fighting for every possession. The Bulldogs were able to trim a 17-point deficit at 66-49 deficit to eleven points, but the Islanders proved to be too much to overcome.

Lorena led Okkodo with 13 points and seven rebounds and Kevin Cabral finished off the night with 10 points.

MVP chants greeted JFK’s Rodson Simina as he closed off his senior season at the free throw line. Simina was all smiles following the game and gave a big thank you to his team for pushing him to play this season.

Okkodo Bulldog Jon Lorena gets up past JFK Islander Robert Satauo for two points. (Photo by Michael Blas)

“If it wasn’t for my boys, I wouldn’t be here, so I thank them. It feels good to win the championship, especially because it’s my first-time playing ball for high school, and it’s also my last year,” said Simina.

Kintoki elaborated on his hot third quarter shooting and thanked the fans for their support.

“It took me a while to warm up. It’s really a lot of hard work to make it and win this championship. Winning this championship is great motivation for me, I still have one more year to play. It’s also big because last season, this is what my cousin Jerry was always pushing me for. I want to thank the crowd for bringing all the energy and the hype.”

In previous interviews, Ralf Manalac has expressed how important this title meant to him and his team, as it has been a goal for the Islanders since the start of the season. The senior’s heart was on display all night and Head Coach Ray Serafico credited Manalac’s play, praising his ability to do the dirty work for the team. Manalac finished with 12 points and was also a huge factor on defense, slowing down League MVP Lorena all night.

This championship was a sweet victory for Head Coach Rey Serafico as his team endured many ups and downs throughout the season. He elaborated on how much the Championship means to him:

“This Championship was our motivation all season. We struggled a bit throughout the season, we had our ups and downs, but at the end we got it going. I told them let’s go all in for this ISA Championship. Let’s be the first to win it. We got it done tonight and I’m proud of these boys.”

Despite both IIAAG and ISA Champions being crowned, Boys Basketball is not over. The GBC will host the High School Boys National Championship which is set to take place next week. Following the split of the leagues, this will be an opportunity to crown one national champion.

Lady Islanders takes the 2019 Cross-country championship

By Jay Leon Guerrero

After three months of hard training, Guam’s elite long distance high school runners gathered at the JFK course for the 2019 IIAAG Cross Country All-Island Meet. After all the results were tallied, the JFK Islanders were crowned the girls champions with 53 points and the St. Paul Warriors defended their boys title with 79 points.

Girls scores

JFK Islanders – 53 points

Guam High Panthers – 59 points

St. John’s Knights- 89 points

GW Geckos – 96 points

St. Paul Warriors – 97 points

Simon Sanchez Sharks – 164 points

Academy Cougars – 167 points

Okkodo Bulldogs – 192 points

Boy’s scores

St. Paul Warriors – 79 points

Okkodo Bulldogs – 82 points

Guam High School – 99 points

Southern Dolphins – 108 points

JFK Islanders – 124 points

GW Geckos – 125 points

St. John’s Knights – 165 points

Simon Sanchez Sharks – 183 points

FD Friars – 214 points

Harvest Eagles – 256 points

Tiyan Titans – 294 points

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[December 18, 2016 - Harmon, Guam] John F. Kennedy High School Islanders' Eddie Cho had the game-winning strike against St. John's School in extra time to help lift his team to a 2-1 victory in the championship match of the 2016 IIAAG Boys High School Soccer League held at the Guam Football Association National Training Center Saturday.Devan Mendiola scored the Islanders' goal in regulation time. Kian Malakooti scored St. John's lone goal.

The winning school, also winners of the first-ever GFA Boys High School Soccer Preseason Tournament, featured three players on the All-Island First Team selection, as well as championship match MVP Takumi Ito.

All-Island 1st Team

MVP – GW Gecko Xavier Naputi

Goalkeeper: Sean Evans – Harvest 12

Defender: Tevin Pangelinan – Father Duenas 12

Defender: Ethan Elwell – Harvest 10

Defender: Isaiah Macias – GW 12

Defender: Alschea Grape – JFK 11

Midfield: Xavier Naputi – GW 11

Midfield: Seth Surber – Southern 12

Midfield: Daniel Kim – St. Paul 12

Midfield: Takumi Ito – JFK 11

Forward: Clayton Mitchell – Harvest 11

Forward: Aidan Dickson – Father Duenas 11

Utility: Devan Mendiola – JFK 12

In the third-place match, the Harvest Christian Academy Eagles defeated George Washington High School Geckos 5-1.

In addition to recognizing the top three teams, the All-Island selections, and championship match MVP in the night's awards ceremony, GFA also recognized referees chosen to officiate both the championship and consolation matches. David Drews, Michael Tate, Kyle Legozzie, and Shawn Spindel featured as referees in the championship match. Christian Cortez and Cody Lallatin were the assistant referees selected for the consolation match.


Post date: Oct 21, 2016 12:07:12 PM

By Jay Leon Guerrero

JFK wins boys title

The JFK Islanders came up with a huge all-Island performance to take the championship for the team event in the boys division. Freshman Kent came in second overall to help his team, senior Elijah Reyes came in fourth overall to help the Islanders clinch the crown.

“We did our best and gave it our all. We made sure we left it all out there so we’d have no regrets after the race,” said Reyes. Kent came in second at 18:22, Reyes was fourth with a time of 18:33.

Twin brothers Aaron and Anthony Castro from Simon Sanchez High School came in third and fifth, respectively, with times of 18:24 and 18:33 to help their team win second place. The Sharks squeaked by the Okkodo Bulldogs by a point 64-65 to claim second place.

Zachary Criss and Nicolas Delgado came in eighth and ninth, respectively to help the Bulldogs take third place. Criss clocked in at 18:53, Delgado’s time was 18:59.

The Cross-Country title has made its way back to JFK. (photo by Robert Balajadia)