(photo courtesy of Kobe Shinbun)
And there we have it! At 3 PM the field of 32 was announced by the JHBF:
- Sapporo Dai-ichi
- Sendai Ikuei (Miyagi)
- Moriokadai Fuzoki (Iwate)
Kanto (4 + floating bid w/Tokyo)
- Sakushin Gakuin (Tochigi)
- Toukaidai Ichihara Bouyou (Chiba)
- Maebashi Ikuei (Gunma)
- Kendai Takasaki (Gunma)
Tokyo (1 + floating bid w/Kanto)
- Waseda Jitsugyou
Keiou Gijyuku was the first team out in Kanto which means it probably was the runner-up for the floating bid. Makes sense, Keiou was a good school, but nothing brings in crowds like one of the evil empire teams.
- Fukui Koudai Fukui (Fukui)
- Takaoka Shougyou (Toyama)
Takaoka Shougyou was probably safe, though Nihon Koukuu Ishikawa was the 1st team out.
- Shizuoka (Shizuoka)
- Shigakukan (Aichi)
We’ll never know how close the vote was, but Chuukyoudai Chuukyou was the 1st team out here as well.
- Riseisha (Osaka)
- Kobe Kokusaidai Fuzoku (Hyogo)
- Osaka Touin (Osaka)
- Shiga Gakuen (Shiga)
- Chiben Gakuen (Nara)
- Houtoku Gakuen (Hyogo)
Chiben Gakuen and Houtoku Gakuen slid into the final 2 slots, but the Meiji Jingu bid made it easier perhaps to put them in. Osaka Touin was put in 3rd over Shiga Gakuen.
Chuugoku (2 + floating bid w/Shikoku)
- Ube Koujyou (Yamaguchi)
- Shiritsu Kure (Hiroshima)
- Soushi Gakuen (Okayama)
Shikoku (2 + floating bid w/Chuugoku)
- Meitoku Gijyuku (Kochi)
- Teikyou Dai-go (Ehime)
The lock holds. Soushi Gakuen gets the floating bid.
- Fukuokadai Oohori (Fukuoka)
- Toukaidai Fukuoka (Fukuoka)
- Kumamoto Kougyou (Kumamoto)
- Shuugakukan (Kumamoto)
I was completely wrong about who would challenge Shuugakukan for the final spot. It was not Reimei but Kagoshima Jitsugyou. And if that was the case, it probably wasn’t close at all. Even more shocking is that the 2nd alternate wasn’t Reimei either, but Saga Shougyou.
Meiji Jingu Bid (1 – Kinki via Riseisha)
- Takada Shougyou (Nara)
This is completely understandable, but somewhat unfair to Uenomiya Taishi. Despite the run that they had, it wasn’t enough to probably overcome the fact that they would have been the 3rd Osaka school at Koushien. Takada Shougyou gets in, but I’m not sure their resume deserves it over them if we compared them side-to-side.
21st Century Bids (3)
- West – Nakamura
- East – Kozukata
- Wild – Tajimi
Nakamura gets in over Takachiho (who was the 1st team out). The win over Meitoku Gijyuku may have given them an edge. I still think Takachiho should have gotten the bid, but oh well.
In the end, it was pretty much scratch. Some things regarding teams who just missed was questionable in my opinion, but overall it went much as expected.
And that’s it! I’ll be doing a review of the last 4 teams listed (Takada Shougyou, Nakamura Kozukata and Tajimi) in the coming days.