MHS sweeps IFL titles


Marianas High School players and coaches pose with their awards after ruling the 2017 NMIFA-PSS High School Interscholastic Football League yesterday at the Hopwood Middle School Field. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Marianas High School went 2-for-2 in the championship games in the 2017 NMIFA-PSS High School Interscholastic Football League after beating Saipan International School and Saipan Southern High School yesterday at the Hopwood Middle School Field.

The Lady Dolphins were the first to hand their school the title after dominating the Lady Rays in the winner-take-all finale, 3-1. In the boys division, MHS needed extra time to pull off a 3-1 triumph over SIS.

Evan Terence Belcher scored in the second minute of the five-minute overtime to break the deadlock, while Sunjoon Tenorio converted a penalty kick in the closing seconds of the match to foil the Geckos’ upset bid against the top-ranked Dolphins.

SIS forced the final game into overtime after Jeh Yuk Chung canned the equalizer five minutes before the 50-minute regulation time ended. Chung and Colin Ramsey chased the ball after a forward pass from one of their teammates and the former kicked in it before a surging MHS goalkeeper John Bucayo was able to block the leather.

Earlier in the 25th minute, Joshua Abragan found the back of the net to give the Dolphins the shaky 1-0 halftime lead.

At the resumption of the match, both teams were aggressive, but just could not complete their plays before Chung finally made things happen for the Geckos.

With the game tied, MHS and SIS had to play for five extra minutes. The Geckos then had a couple of opportunities to advance the ball, but the Dolphins’ defense hung in there to frustrate SIS. Then in the 52nd minute, Mareko Tekopua passed the ball to Belcher, who made a cross in between two SIS defenders for the go-ahead goal.

After regaining the lead, MHS kept playing steady defense, while on offense, Mareko Tekopua attempted a shot in front of Clayton Izuka and goalie Steven Goodwin. Tekopua missed, but the Dolphins got a break, as Izuka was called for a violation (intentionally preventing Tekopua from making the shot). Tenorio took the penalty kick and canned it in and a few seconds later, the match ended, giving MHS the boys division title.

In the girls finals, the Lady Dolphins were never threatened, leading 3-0, before Southern averted a shutout, thanks to Mary Kay Alferos’ goal with just a minute left in the one-sided match.

Two minutes before Alferos broke the ice for the Lady Rays, Chloe Salvosa handed MHS its third goal, while the first two were courtesy of Katherine Magat. Magat drilled the pair in the first half and in a span of two minutes with her first recorded in the 22nd and the second in the 24th.

Perpetual and championship trophies were presented to MHS, while SIS and Southern also received runner-up plums. The Lady Geckos took the third place trophy for routing Kagman, 6-0, while MHS junior varsity also finished third in the boys division after dominating Kagman in similar scores.

Northern Mariana Islands Football Association general secretary Ross Zapanta presented the awards to teams and to individual awardees—MHS’ Tenorio and Diana Maniacop (Golden Boot) and Carla Ballesteros and Bucayo (Golden Glove).

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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