All-State repeat for Ames

Savannah Ames can add two All-State honors next to her pair of region titles for the Skagway Lady Panthers.
The 5’8” Skagway senior recently was named to the Class 1A/2A All-State team for the second straight year. The results of voting by Alaska sportswriters and broadcasters were announced on April 10.
Ames was joined on the team by Player of the Year Danica Wilson of state 2A champ Bristol Bay, Kendra Moerlein of 2A runner-up Ninilchik, Janet Geary of 1A Buckland, and Lydia Kasayulie of 1A New Stuyahok.
Yakutat’s Jacquoi James was named to the second team.
Skagway finished fourth in the state 2A tourney last month, and Ames led the team in scoring much of the season, and was a fearless passer and stealer. She has been recruited to play college ball at a small school in Idaho next year.
Two of Ames’ teammates Candi Ketterman and Tiffanie Potter, both juniors, got enough votes to receive honorable mention, along with Klawock’s Sharon Webb.
Two Southeast boy players were on the 1A/2A All-State team. Dustin Bowen of Hoonah and Derek Knudsen of Kake were joined on the team by Player of the Year Zach Klein of Bristol Bay, Blake Gabriel of state 2A champ Cook Inlet Academy, and Peter Tingook of Point Hope.
Kake’s Tim Demmert made the second team. Hoonah’s Devin Moritz and D.J. Lindstrom were listed under honorable mention along with Yakutat’s Kyle Dierick. Hoonah finished second in the state, while Kake took sixth.

Proposed triathlon has trouble getting organized

By ANDREW CREMATA
A Skagway triathlon that was being planned for Canada’s Victoria Day weekend may not get to the starting line.
At the April 14 Convention and Visitors Bureau meeting at the AB Hall, the board of directors and Tourism Director Buckwheat Donahue discussed the planned “Paddle, Pedal and Plod Triathlon” that was to be held on May 21.
While Donahue still sees the event as beneficial to Skagway and possible to get started, some big obstacles stand in the way of getting the “annual” event off the ground.
A preliminary press release for the event went out in February, and the response has been positive for the race, which would include kayak, bicycle and running legs starting and ending at the small boat harbor. Donahue said that he expected involvement of between 20 and 25 teams from Skagway and Whitehorse. The event would fall on the Canadian holiday weekend and would be a draw for Yukon visitors.
“I’ve been looking for a Victoria Day event,” said board member Karl Klupar. “It’s a great idea.”
While all present agreed that the idea was a good one, one major problem is the lack of organization and preparation that has gone into the race.
Local athlete Eric Coufal originally was in charge of these preparations, including obtaining a sponsor and securing volunteer participation, but he was not able to meet these requirements.
“I’ve had a really bad winter, so I don’t have time to participate in the race,” said Coufal over the phone. “I feel terrible that I don’t have the time or resources to deal with it.”
These unfortunate circumstances have left the race in a state of suspension without a non-profit organization to sponsor the event, and a lot of work to organize race details and volunteers in just five weeks.
Donahue felt the race fit within the CVB’s goals, and planned on taking control of the race to ensure its inception and survival.
Klupar had concerns about the lack of time leading up to the race. “It takes 90 days to stage a successful event,” he said. “You’re going on (leave in October). We have an agenda to get done.”
Board member Carol Bourcy also voiced concern over the CVB’s role, as well as chair Tina Cyr, who said, “If Eric (Coufal) had gotten his act together... we would just be a support entity.”
“If you guys don’t want me do it, I won’t do it,” said Donahue.
But board member Bruce Schindler was still hopeful about the race, expressing his own personal plans to enter the event. He added, “I think this is going to be a real grass-roots thing.”
Donahue then pointed out that while getting the project started faced some unique challenges, a lot of preparations had already been made.
The biggest obstacle to getting the race started could be insurance.
Board member and Klondike Park Superintendent Jim Corless pointed out that because a National Park Service road in Dyea is being proposed for use in the event, the NPS requires a “certificate of insurance with the Park Service as co-insurer.”
The proposed route includes a kayak from Skagway to Dyea, a bike ride back to Skagway, and a run up to and around Lower Dewey Lake.
The insurance question has put the project on hold, but Donahue is still hopeful that the project can see its inception this year.
Said Schindler, “If it doesn’t happen this year, we can lay a foundation for next year.”

Ray Davis caught the first king salmon of the season on board Captain Monte Mitchell's boat Spindrift. The 40-inch fish was caught near High Falls at high tide on Sunday, April 3. It was Mitchell's first charter of the season. Andrew Cremata

Donations being accepted for inaugural Skagway, Alaska Pat Moore Memorial Gamefish Derby

The first ever Pat Moore Memorial Gamefish Derby will be hosted in Skagway on the weekends of August 5-7, and 12-14. This year’s tournament will focus on the “king” of our waters, the chinook salmon.
This competition will offer cash prizes for many different categories including largest king salmon caught by Skagway locals, Yukon residents, women entrants, and kids 14 and under. Many other prizes will be given away including a grand prize and commemorative trophy that will be awarded for the largest fish caught in the derby.
An awards banquet will be held on Aug. 14, including a meal of fresh chinook salmon.
“All are encouraged to enter for a day or weekend of angling in the beautiful waters of the Upper Lynn Canal,” stated a press release. “All ages are welcome to this family event. Test your fishing skills and become a part of Skagway’s famous history; you just might be the winner!”
Canadian neighbors are encouraged to attend on Discovery Day weekend, and will save money as this will be the first year that Yukon residents pay Alaskan resident rates for their fishing licenses. Licenses will be sold on the docks of Skagway’s small boat harbor during the duration of the tournament for their convenience.
Cruise ship visitors may enter the tournament for the day, and drive-in tourists may enter any and every day. Charter boats can take you to the fish, or you can pick up a free map of the best areas to fish from the shore in Skagway with details outlining local fishing techniques. Rods, reels and tackle will be available to rent or buy from local businesses.
Tickets for the derby will be $10.00 per day or $30.00 for the entire tournament. More details will follow in the coming months including where to buy tickets, rules and regulations, and a complete list of all the wonderful prizes that will be up for grabs.
The local Taiya Inlet Watershed Council is hosting the derby with all proceeds going to the TIWC, the Eagles Auxiliary and the Skagway City School. A memorial scholarship will also be set up in the name of longtime resident, and fine fisherman Pat Moore by the TIWC, and will be offered to Skagway High School graduates.
Donations are being accepted, and volunteers are needed. If you can help call (907) 983-2157.
For more information contact Derby Chairman Andrew Cremata at (907) 983-2157 or email him at: andrewc@aptalaska.net.