By Robert Balajadia

1014343_10201460724828390_1800455969_nStars in sports are fun to watch, but legends last forever.

The true sport legends of Micronesia this past half-century were sought out by Dr. Kurt C. Barnes, who put together a book of all the greats and their accomplishments entitled, “Sports Legends of Micronesia from 1966-2012.”

The territories included Guam, CNMI, Republic of Palau, Yap, Pohnpei, Kosrae. Chuuk, and the Marshall Islands.

How were the legends in the book chosen?  Dr. Barnes explains that, “Athletes were selected by small committees in each state/nation who are experts in sports. I have been in Micronesia since 1966 so I pretty much knew who was or wasn’t a legend. Guam proved to be a little bit more difficult due to its size, number of sports contested on Guam, the rivalries and factions that exist within specific sports and the number of incredible athletes who were potential legends.”

Dr. Barnes did not face any problems when creating the book, despite not getting a profile picture for all the awarded legends.  He was able to maintain a positive attitude throughout his venture and considered it a very humbling experience.

However, Barnes did face an issue with some athletes who demanded to be in the book who fell short in the selection process.  Of the legends in the book, Barnes stated they had a humble reaction.

When asked what the highlight of creating the book was Barnes responded with, “WIthout a doubt, the highlight of doing the book was all the people I met for the first time or met again after not seeing them for many, many years. So many wonderful and brillant people in Micronesia. Even today, I still reminecse about my conversations with many of the people I have meet over the past three years.”

Books can be purchased at the Best Seller on Guam, or from Dr. Barnes at


Pioneers of Micronesia: 

Dr. Kurt C. Barnes
Felix Rabualiman
David M. Sablan
Albert Snyder
William (Bill) Sakovich
Frank (Tun Ko) Palacios
Steven Alcantara
Patrick Wolff


Guam had the most athletes in the legends book, recording 165 athletes in their respective categories.  Some athletes, like Joe Taitano, were considered legends in more than one category (Track and Field/Basketball).

Of the legends in the book, majority of them are still actively involved with the sport whether coaching or actually playing.  Taitano is still coaching basketball, runners Derek Mandell and Marie Benito are still actively running, football’s Ryan Rios still plays in the MFL and coaches high school football, tennis’ Rick Ninete still runs a tennis court, body building’s Vince Gumataotao is still insanely buff, swimmer Chris Duenas is still competing at a high level, and baseballs Roque Alcantara and Vic April are always down at Paseo for the BBL recording stats and dealing with the players.

Joey “Pretzel” Gogue, who many consider the ‘Michael Jordan of Guam’, and the experienced Ray Topasna lead the small list of basketball legends while the entire list of Guam’s Top 10 greatest football players of all time also make the cut.

Guam also had a standout who was not known for a specific sport but his 23 years of sports media experience granted GSPN’s Patrick Lujan a spot in the legends book under “Media,” being the lone media represente in the Marianas.

Guam Legends: 165

7-24-2013 9_32_27 AMAthletics/Track and Field (Men): TJ Quan, Justin Andre, Florenz Quitlong, David Flores Wilson, Rene Delamar, Derek Mandell, Neil Weare, Brent Butler, Joe Taitano, Carl Cruz.

Athletics/Track and Field (Women): Theresa Sison, Aubrey Posadas, Marie Benito, Jan Allred Powless, Betty Louise Boppart, Sloan Siegrist Palmore.

Road Running and Marathons: Fred Schumann PhD, Joe Taitano, Christina Taitano, Lourdes Palomo Klitzkie PhD.

Baseball: Tony Yatar, Roque Alcantara, Keith Hattig, John Hatting Jr., John Farnum, Randy Kakigi, Richard Martinez, Ronnie Tavares, Rudy Borja, Henry Pangelinan, Jesse Pangelinan, R.A. Meyer, Peter Aguon, Ben Taijeron, Vic April, Rico Castro, Joe Tuquero, Benjamin “Benjie” Pangelinan, Mike Hopkins, Lavoice Thomas, Bill Payne, Al Tsutsui, Eddie Aguon.

Basketball (Men): Joey “Pretzel” Gogue, Ramon “Ray” Topasna, Joe Taitano, Tony “Helicopter” Susuico, Frank Roberto, Peter Sanchez, Joseph “Joe” Cepeda, Jesse Perez, Chris Fernandez, Paul Shimizu, Arnold Mesa Jr., Juan Cruz.

Basketball (Women): Susi Borden, Theresa Pereira Sison, Viola Payumo Cruz, Lulu Cruz.

Bodybuilding (Men): Ken Rios, Mike Kono, Terry Debold, Joe Duenas, Vince Gumataotao.

Bodybuilding (Women): Lori Cruz Hayden (Marino), Carmela Somalpong Rapadas, Mona Roberts, Florence Burke.

Football: Ryan Rios, Art Rabon, Kenny Lujan, Buzzy Shiroma, Bill Ada, Rodney Camacho, John Borden, Tony Posadas, Keven Okiyama, Angel Calugay, Ron Camacho, Art Merlan, Benjamin “Benjie” Pangelinan, Ivan Shiroma, Hal Shiroma, Jimmy Naholowaa.

Fast-pitch Softball (Men): John Hattig, Tony “Smiley” Cruz, Roque Alcantara, John Farnum, Keith Hattig, Richard Martinez, Frank Cruz, John Onedera, Ronnie Tavares, Lavoice Thomas, Rudy Borja, Ben Taijeron, Nick Borja, Gus Cepeda, Joe Delgado, Tony Herrera, Manny Santos, Peter Terlaje.

Fast-pitch Softball (Women): Evelyn Jesus, Vicky Quenga, Nancy Pangelinan, Annie Cruz, Frances Taro, Mary Magofna, Rosita Taijeron, Emily Belanon.

Golf: Gus Gogue, Louie Sunga, Frances Naholowaa, Lon Lindsey, Bill Reyes, Lisa Stone, Mel Davis, George Benoit, Vic Borja, Teresita “Tessie” Blair.

Hockey: Michael Gogue, King Kasiano, Peter Fernandez, Richard Caparosa.

Judo: Ricardo Blas

Triathlon: Eric Tydingco

Media: Patrick Lujan

Swimming: Jonathan Sakovich, Patrick Sagisi, Chris Duenas, Hollis Kimbrough, Darrick Bollinger, Barbara Pexa, Veronica Cummings Gutierrez.

Table Tennis: Frank Gumataotao, Arnold “Arnie” Arizala, Carlos Gumataotao, Ed Pabalinas, Henry Magallanes, Jin Up Kim, Sung Soo Lee.

Tennis: Rosalie T. Coa (Tapu), Anita Feria Taitano, Juana “Jane” Aguon, Wendy Huynh, Linda Rei Johnson, Bill Camacho, Qui Phu Huynh, Joe Cepeda, Joe Paulino, Torgun Smith, Rick Ninete, Lynn Nguyen.

Volleyball (Men): Chris Shepherd, Blaine Afaisen, John Lizama, Ernie Abanes, Dan Hattig, Kenneth Borja, Jesse Perez, Tongsu Rivera, Art Mariano, Joel Quitugua, Vince Bamba, Ray Mantanona.

Volleyball (Women): Francine Calvo Hoebing, Jasmine James Taitano, Aubrey Posadas, Sophie San Nicolas Duenas, Mercy Perez, Margaret Taitano Kioshi, Shelly Cruz-Taisipic, Nancy Pangelinan

Wrestling: Melchor Manibusan, Terry Debold, Maria Dunn.

Windsurfing: Linda Yeomans, Jan Iriarte.

Officials: Norval Marsh, Joe Guerrero.

Pioneers: Dennis Zermeno, Ramon “Ray” Topasna, Dr. Robert Doc Connolly (DVM).


Northern Mariana Islands

Saipan, Tinian, and Rota have the second largest athletes of the Marianas with 90.  Dr. Kurt Barnes established his legacy as a coach for sports in volleyball, soccer, basketball, and Athletics.  Majority of the legends were made up in athletics/track and field, basketball, baseball, and fast-pitch softball.

Tony C., Greg C., and Greg F. Camacho have a handful of baseball medals from the Micro Games as well as swimming medals from Jessica Jordan and Xenavee Pangelinan.

Northern Mariana Legends: 90

7-24-2013 9_39_40 AMAthletics/Track and Field: Tyron Omar, Tony Ichiuo, Noriko Jim, Yvonne Bennett Jacqueline DLG Wonenberg, Jess Pua, Ketson “Jack” Kabriel, Mamiko Oshima Berger, Chan Whan Jang, Emiliana Quitugua, Steve Pixley.

Basketball: Antonio Rogolifoi, Rick Duenas, JJ Cruz, Tino Olopai, Peter Camacho, Rufino Aguon, Oscar C. Rasa, Tony Taisacan, Ray B. Lizama, Ed Diaz, Berta Chong Tudela, Dolores Chong (Daugherty).

Baseball: Rick Duenas, Tony C. Camacho, Gerg C. Camacho, Greg F. Camacho, Melvin Sakisat, Reno Celis, Tony Benavente, Antonio Rogolifoi, Dr. Manny Sablan, Ted Nqewakl.

Bodybuilding: Joe DLC Ngirabuuch, Jerome Ierome, Joe Manahane, Jo Ichira.

Fast-pitch Softball (Mens): Tony Satur, Max Pangelinan, Jack Taitano, Henry Rabauliman, Karl Reyes, Tony C. Camacho, Rick Duenas, Melvin Sakisat, Greg C. Camacho, Reno Celis, Greg F. Camacho, Jess Wabol, Jess Raising, Ben Sablan, Mike White.

Fast-pitch Softball (Womens): Cecilia Lisua, Margareta Olopai (Taitano), Joyce Taro, Irmina Pua, Marie Pua nakayuma, Asunta (Margo) Celis.

Golf: Joe “Kamikaze” Camacho, Jess Wabol, Noriko Togawa.

Judo: Bruno Dalla Pozza

Table-Tennis: David Atalig

Windsurfing: Shigeru Tomito

Triathlon: Mieko Carev

Spearfishing: Scott Russell, Felix Sasamoto, Joseph I. Pangelinan

Swimming: Jonathan Sakovich, Mike Villagomez, David M. Palacios, Rezne Wong, Xenavee Pangelinan, Jessica Jordan.

Weight-Lifting: Gus Aguon, Tony Noag

Volleyball: Vicente Saures, Rick Duenas, Emertio Saures, Jonas Barcinas, Tino Olopai, Marie Pua (Nakayama), Cecilia Lisua, Bertha Chong, Elsa Duenas Nieto, Dolores Chong (Daugherty)

Tennis: Jeff Race, Irene Alpet

All-around-athlete: Ponciano Rasa

Rocball: Jim Ferger

Soccer: Ike Taitano, John Mendiola, Jess Omar

Coaches: Dr. Kurt C. Barnes, Bill & Jean Sakovich, Elias C. Rangamar, Antonio Rogolifoi


Republic of Palau

The third largest amount of legends is in Palau at 78.  The legends represented had a large amount of Micronesian Games’ and South Pacific Games medal winners and record holders.

Track and field stars Clara Joshua, Julie Franz, Elezar Sebalt, Tony Towai, William Ngiralkelau, and Russel Ward Roman make up a few of the medal winners from Palau as they have dominated the Micro Games.

Palau Legends: 78

7-24-2013 9_38_47 AMAthletics/Track and Field: Clara Joshua, Julie Franz, Elezar Sebalt, Tony Towai, William Ngiralkelau, Russel Ward Roman, Christopher Adolph, Richard Ngiraked, Ricky Ngiraked, Daniel Adachi, A. Ngerek Florencio (Bevans), Meleah Umerang Tengadik, Peoria Koshiba, Analiza Emiliano,

Pioneers in Track and Field: Laura Mangham, Esebio Termette.

Road Running & Marathons: Dr. Donald R. Shuster, Peter Napoleon.

Baseball: Takeo Towai, Tony Tawai, Singeru Techur, Martin Ngchar, Martin Sokau, Johnson Toribiong, Uchel Schewes, Mlib Tmetuchl, Felix Kyota, Felix Francisco, Junior Rikrik, Lucius Malsol, Tony Adelbai, Moses Yobech, Gandhi Baules, Ben Yobech, Alfonso Tewid, Frank Kyota, Wilhelm Rengiil.

Basketball (Men): Bill Keldermans, Frank Kyota, Topps Sungino, Sinton Soalablai.

Basketball (Women): Jamie Ngirausui, Stephanie Nginchoimei, Jubilee Kuratei.

Fast-pitch Softball: Tony Towai, Johny Sokau, Susana Ngirausui, Volria “Vicky” Riungel.

Football: Uchel Schewes, Carson Olkeriil.

Volleyball: Iroro Mia, Ben Yobech, Albert Shiro, Marvin Yamada, Holly Yamada, Anastasia Ongino.

Tennis: Priscilla Subris, Ernestina Rengiil.

All-Around Athletes: Tadasi Sakuma, Gabriel Walter.

Micronesian All-Around: Julita Belibei, Katsushi Skang, Paulus Kumingai, Burang Skang, Jessica Bliaks.

Swimming: Isimang Bandarii, Katsushi Skang, Choikai Koulubak.

Wrestling: John Tarkong Jr, Elgin Loran Elwis.

Outriggering/Paddling: Debbie Toribiong.

Table Tennis: Jasmne “Korang” Watanabe, Jamilie “Rimuu” Watanabe, Janice “Kiruu” Watanabe, Jemmy Watanabe, Florencio Yamada.

Weight-Lifting: Stevrick Patris, Alexandrina Patris, Alexandra Patris.



The second smallest legends count 26.  Yap cover legend Lilliana Gootinag played played Division I volleyball for South Carolina State University, becoming the first Yapese-woman to play in Div I volleyball.  Larry Uwelur dominates the wrestling category with 17 different medals in different competitions.

Yap Legends: 26

7-24-2013 10;01;29 AMAthletics/Track and Field: Richard Falan, Clayton Maluweligye, Rams Ramngen Suolg, Steven Chomyed, Lucinda Kamloy, Edmund Faymau, Javendra Lyn, Scalasmara Fathaangin (Linda).

Basketball: John Kadannaged, Joseph Faimau, Robert Gililung, Martin Datmagurun, Anthony Bay Minginfel.

Volleyball: Lucinda Kamloy Ramngen, Peter “the King” Suwei, Jessica Kadannaged, Liliana Gooting.

Paddling/Canoeing: Larry Uwelur.

Wrestling: Larry Uwelur.

Weight-Lifting: Manuel Mingingfel.

Micronesian All-Around: Peter Tuwun.

Baseball: Haruo Rekeswang, Robert Ruecho.

Official: Ted Rutun



Rendius “Rendy” Germinaro has a collection of medals from the FSM Games to lead the Pohnpei standouts.  Basketball legend Aurelio Joab has three SPG silver medals to go along with his 34 years as a basketball power forward and center.

Pohnpei Legends: 46

7-24-2013 9_37_51 AMAthletics/Track and Field: Elias Rodriques, Rendius “Rendy” Germinaro, Ishiro Hairens, Corwin Edwin, Strickson Anson, Youper Oscar, Henry “Kency” Edwin, Ron Escheidt, Alwis Edmund, Detrickson Anson, Alehko Peiso, Rita Epina, Adriana Jack, Lenora Welson, Notwe Albert.

Baseball: Stanley Scaliem, Detrickson Anson, Marvin Yamaguchi, Mohner Esiel, Albert Snyder, Luis Santos, Dahker Daniel.

Basketball: Aurelio Joab, Glenn Franklin, Charles Edwin, Kumer Panuelo.

Micronesian All-Around: Eugene Alfons Moses, Mariano Gilmete, Senrina Hadley, Paloma Martin.

Swimming: Sweeter Daniel, Debra Daniel, Ethrina Doses, Kandalaria Bergen Oliver, Dahker Daniel, Kohner Nicolas.

Fast-pitch Softball: Dr. Eliwel Pretrick, Oscar Amor.

Table Tennis: Pernis K. Diopolos.

Tennis: Dr. Bryan Issac.

Paddling/Outriggering: Merse Hairens, Carmen Dadius.

Volleyball: Nimrod Half, Sheldon “Rambo” Lomboi.

Pioneer: Kozo Yamada

Administrator: Mike Loyola


The Stinnett Family is well represented as legends of basketball, with William “Willie” Stinnett, and fast-pitch softball, with sisters Melba Stinnett-Aisek and Corky Stinnett.  Each Stinnett has won at least one medal with Willie grabbing the most at five.  All three attended schooling on Guam (FD and AOLG). John Howard also highlights the track and field section with five gold medals in the Micronesian Games.

Chuuk Legends: 35

7-24-2013 9_36_59 AMAthletics/Track and Field: Jack Howard, John Howard, Keitani Graham, Solomen Rueben, Karno Kumo, Charles Petrus, Sichiuo Saki, Atilia Chukon, Ines Iasuo, Marie Ikelap, Angie Nedelec, Juda Ikelap, Evangeline Ikelap, Vanity Raynold.

Baseball: Susumu Aizawa, Dier Airenius.

Fast-pitch Softball: Melba Stinnett-Aisek, Corky Stinnett.

Basketball: William “Willie” Stinnett, Keitani Graham, Patrick McKenzie, Kimberly Graham.

Tennis: Carolyn Adams

Micronesian All-Around: Rembi Osamai

Swimming: Heterbuck Fantino

Bodybuilding: Teichy Auputiw

Volleyball: Sambin Billimon, Dickson Rechin, Akiosi Aniol.

Wrestling: Keitani Graham, Serino Matheus, Marcel Yatilman.

Pioneers: Masitoki Steven, Clark Graham, Julio Akapito



Though they have the smallest amount of legends in the book, Kosrae shines behind basketball forward David Taulung, who led his Kosraean team to the Hawaii Micronesian Basketball Championships in 2011.  Wrestlings Kun A. Killin also captured wrestling titles in the Micro Games, SPG’s, and FSM Games in Greeco-Roman and Freestyle wrestling.

Kosrae Legends: 22

7-24-2013 9_36_04 AMAthletics/Track and Field: Corwin Edwin, Henry “Kency” Edwin, Keisy Tilfas, Notwe Albert, Brightwell Skilling, Alokoa Waguk.

Tennis: Sterling Skilling, Maker Palsis.

Baseball: Rophy Monkeya, Cooper Neth, Overnai Alik.

Basketball: Daniel Palik, Alik “Jabbar” Issac, David Taulung.

Wrestling: Kenneth Mike, Kun A. Killin

Weight-Lifting: Eddie Harvey Tulensur, Marily Langui.

All-Around Athlete: Arkelu E. Tilfas

Pioneer: Sterling Skilling

Official: Phil Ching


Marshall Islands

The only taekwondo legends in the book are awarded to Jason Sam and Anju Jason, who have won a collection of medals.  Track and field competitor Ramon Cross captured medals in the SPG’s and Micro Games along with record holding swimmer Haley Nemra.  Robert Pinho has a collection of basketball medals from the Micro Games as well.

Marshall Island Legends: 34

7-24-2013 9_35_02 AMAthletics/Track and Field: Mike Zachios, Ramon Cress, Rais Aho, Martin Motuahala, Haley Nemra, Joseph Kramer.

Basketball: Kantly Jackni, Robert Pinho, Kimbar Peter, Trish Kelly Wase.

Baseball: Peter Bien, Jeimata “Noko” Kabua

Fast-pitch Softball: Nani Kilma, Benta Jonaie, Whitney Trakij, Jeimata “Noko” Kabua, Alysia Maddison.

Volleyball: Hideo Milne, Imata Kabua

Taekwondo: Jason Sam, Anju Jason

Micronesian All-Around: Ati Ati Libokemto

Wrestling: Waylon Muller

Swimming: Andrea Lindborg, Jared Heine

Table Tennis: Fountain Inok, Jockni Katilong, Imata Kabua.

Tennis: West Nott, Oscar DeBrum

Pioneer: Charlie Aberham


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