By Karl Weisel and Maj. Adam Wojack (USAG Wiesbaden and V Corps)October 27, 2011
WIESBADEN, Germany - The weekend started off with a blaze that seemed to set Wiesbaden athletes on fire.
After capping off a week of homecoming activities at a traditional bonfire on Wiesbaden Army Airfield Oct. 21, Wiesbaden High School students got down to the serious business of excelling on cross country trails, volleyball and tennis courts, and the gridiron.
Ryan Fisico set a new course record at Wiesbaden's Rheinblick Recreation Complex to lead the Wiesbaden boys cross country team to a first-place team finish, followed by Ramstein, Frankfurt International School and Baumholder. Fisico finished the five-kilometer race in 16 minutes and 28 seconds. Other fast Wiesbaden finishers were Kelsey Thomas in sixth place, Nate Gerber in seventh and Alex Wieman in eighth. Baumholder's Dominic Sparks finished in 10th place.
Baumholder's Vicky Adriano took eighth place for the girls, followed by Wiesbaden's Gabriella Lawrence and Sophia Sarver in ninth place.
Wiesbaden boys were also victorious on the Wiesbaden Nordenstadt tennis courts, beating Ramstein 5-4. Wiesbaden winners included Evin Alarilla, Cooper Abernathy, Vincent Matsayko and Alfred Johnson. Matsayko and Johnson also teamed up to score a doubles win.
The girls team saw victories by Wiesbaden doubles aces Heather Boehme and Emily Dill, Christine Sunga and Liz Dizor.
As the Wiesbaden Warriors football team battled the Lakenheath Lancers on the Wiesbaden High School sports field, volleyball teams battled for homecoming bragging rights on the volleyball court in the school's new gymnasium. While Wiesbaden girls fell to Ramstein, they came back to defeat Bitburg.
It was a do-or-die weekend for Wiesbaden's football team, and the Warriors proved up to the task putting away Lakenheath 20-6. While Daniel Harris stole the show with two touchdowns and nearly 300 yards rushing, Wiesbaden's defense, led by William Heiges II, kept the Lancers off balance preventing them from ever proving much of a threat.
The Warriors advance to the Division 1 semifinals against Patch in Stuttgart Oct. 29.
The homecoming game, hosted by V Corps (with Brig. Gen. Ricky D. Gibbs tossing the coin at the start) and supported by the school's partnership unit, 2nd Signal Brigade, also saw the introduction of the royal homecoming court. This year's senior king and queen are Daniel Gaston and Shena Cousens, junior prince and princess Roscoe Johnson and Denisha Cranfield, sophomore duke and duchess Kelsey Thomas and Sarah Griffith and freshmen baron and baroness Nathaniel Granfield and Stepheny Henao.
V Corps comes home for Wiesbaden's homecoming
WIESBADEN, Germany -- The American scholastic tradition of homecoming has a special significance when celebrated in overseas military communities. It is a way of bringing "home" a bit of American pageantry revolving around a game of football to a community of soldiers, families and civilians, most of whom are thousands of miles from the place they call home.
On Saturday, Oct. 22, the annual homecoming at Wiesbaden High School had added significance. V Corps, the unit newly reconstituted in Wiesbaden following a move from Heidelberg, sponsored the game and made its biggest appearance at a community event in the state of Hessen since departing Frankfurt in 1994.
"This day is not only the Wiesbaden high school homecoming, but V Corps' homecoming as well," said Brig. Gen. Ricky Gibbs, the Acting Commanding General of V Corps, who calls Austin, Texas home. "It's been 17 years, and frankly, we're glad to be back."
V Corps provided about 40 volunteers from its ranks to provide various services required at every home game, such as grilling and selling food and beverages, moving first-down yard markers, and cleaning up afterward, said Lt. Col. Alan Lindley, V Corps Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion Commander, and native of Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
Lisa Jones, the WHS Booster President, from Mobile, Ala., organizes and supervises volunteers at each of these sporting events. V Corps' participation made her "happy for the help," she said.
"With V Corps being a new unit here, it's just great that they came out in such a big way to help," said Jones. "It just shows you what a strong community we have here in Wiesbaden."
The feeling seemed to be mutual for the V Corps volunteers.
Col. Matthew Mattner, the V Corps Chief of Staff, from Pittsville, Wis., watched his son's varsity football team play while also helping out on the field by moving the down-marker chains.
"It's a great feeling to celebrate our homecoming in conjunction with Wiesbaden High School's homecoming," said Mattner. "Even though the focus is on the school and the students, it's just as special for us."
Maj. Sook Mizell of V Corps, who has been in Wiesbaden for two months, said that the homecoming event enabled her to meet people from different parts of the community, such as those who work in the Department of Defense Dependent Schools here.
"It's also a lot of fun," said Mizell, who calls Colorado Springs, Colo. home. "The camaraderie, the family feeling, the whole homecoming atmosphere."
On the field, the WHS Warriors varsity team dominated Lakenheath High School, a conference rival from an air base in England, behind 295 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Daniel Harris, Jr., the son of an Army soldier stationed in Wiesbaden. The Warriors won, 20-6.
Stephen Jewell, head coach of the WHS varsity team, hails from Boston, Mass., and is a retired soldier himself. He thanked the V Corps volunteers for making both the game and the day go much smoother. "That's what it's all about," he said, "Coming together as a community to support each other."
Combined with a same-day loss by arch-rival Heidelberg High School, the win propelled WHS into the Division I, or large school, playoffs for this year's DoDDS-Europe football championship.
Wiesbaden plays top-seeded Patch High School, from Stuttgart, next weekend.
Gibbs, a former schoolboy football player himself, said he is "a big fan of Army football for kids." Before the game, he gave a pep talk to the varsity team and told the group, many of whom were playing their last home game as high school students, "Football is not always about which team has the best players."
"It's also about teamwork, preparation and taking care of each other," said Gibbs. "That is what a makes a strong team, and it's the same thing that makes a strong community."