The week began in a somber note for the sports community, as the government last Feb. 10 pulled out from its hosting of the 2006 Micronesian Games.
Days later news came out that the Micronesian Games Organizing Council may scrap the staging of the quadrennial event altogether.
It was under this air of uncertainty that the Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association held its 2005 Athlete of the Year Banquet Thursday night.
Swimmers Nina Mosley and David Palacios were named athletes of the year, while athletics’ Darrel Roligat and Jacque Wonenberg bagged the student athletes of the year honors.
In addition, Saipan Swim Club head coach Michael Steward was awarded the Coach of the Year plum, while sports pioneers Cecilia Lisua and Jose T. Sablan were elevated to the CNMI Hall of Fame.
During the event, NMASA president Michael White asked the athletes to join him in a last-ditch effort to save the Games by going up to Capitol Hill to implore the government to take back hosting of the Games.
On Friday, holding various placards a mass of athletes, coaches, parents, and concerned citizens went up to the islands’ seat of power for a dialogue with Gov. Benigno R. Fitial.
Their efforts paid off, as Gov. Fitial promised to give them a week to hammer out details of Saipan’s hosting of the Games. All the islands’ sports leaders need to do now is come up with a blueprint that would satisfy the government.
Overshadowed by the issue surrounding the hosting of the Games were the Pirates winning the championship of the SML Fall League, Wells Fargo claiming the championship of the 4th Annual NMI Crime Stoppers Slow Pitch Softball Tournament, and the start of the third round of the Budweiser-Coca Cola 6th Annual UFO Basketball League.
Two Saturdays ago, “Trench Warz: Caged In” also thrilled hundreds of martial arts aficionados. That morning, 35 of the island’s up-and-coming junior triathletes took part in the most recent Kids Tryathlon Series. Wind surfing also returned to the sports headlines when the 2006 Micronesian Cup took place off the waters of Micro Beach.
SK Wyverns also bid adieu to the islands after making it their spring training home and over the weekend the Marianas Racing Association notched another points race under their belts.
The week also saw the unveiling of two youth basketball leagues—the 2006 Marianas Inter-Scholastic Sports Association High School Basketball League and the 2006 Inter-Village Youth Basketball League.
Last but not the least, Robert Talavera became just the fifth bowler in CNMI history to record a perfect game when he rolled a 300 during the Wednesday Night Mixed League.