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American football team wins promotion to league first division

On Saturday, December 17, J. F. Oberlin University’s American football team played against Takushoku University at Amino Vital Field in Chōfu. At stake was a spot in the first division of the Kantoh Collegiate Football Association; Takushoku was on the lowest rung of the league’s first division while J. F. Oberlin sat at the top of the second division. By winning the game, 35–13, J. F. Oberlin secured a return to the first division for the first time since 2001.

When the game began at 4:30 p.m., J. F. Oberlin’s team already had plenty of supporters in the stands. Besides some 200 members of the university’s baseball team and about fifty track and field team members, there were athletes from other sports, faculty and staff members, former members of the football team, and regular students—roughly ten times as many supporters as were present in Takushoku’s section of the stands—and they gave the team a big boost as it overwhelmed its opponent.

The team’s head coach, Yorihisa Sekiguchi, commented, “We were able to return to the first division thanks to the support of everybody who came to cheer for us, not just today but all season long. We will not simply be satisfied with returning to the first division; in 2017 we intend to give it everything we’ve got and take the next step toward the top of the league, and we look forward to everybody’s continued support.”

Takenori Hōki, the team’s captain, echoed Coach Sekiguchi: “We’re really grateful for all the people who have been cheering for us, and we’re extremely proud of having been able to return to the Big 8 for the first time in 16 years. We couldn’t ask for anything more. Next year we hope to receive everybody’s support in our quest to become even stronger and break in to the upper half of the first division: the Top 8.”

アメリカンフットボール 1部BIG8入替戦 vs 拓殖大
Photos by SHOT JAPAN

For more information about J. F. Oberlin’s American football team, please see its website and the site of the Kantoh Collegiate Football Association