Candi Ketterman finishes as coach Gary Trozzo checks his watch during last month's home meet in Dyea. JB

Candi Ketterman earns third State trip

Skagway High cross-country runner Candi Ketterman overcame a mid-season calf injury to finish in eighth place at the Southeast Region meet in Ketchikan on Sept. 24.
The feat earned her a third straight trip to the State cross-country meet, a record for a Skagway girl, said coach Gary Trozzo.
Ketterman was about two minutes behind winner J.J. Lende of Haines, but turned in a solid 22:19:53, her fastest of the year. Last weekend at the State 1A-2A-3A meet in Soldotna, Ketterman finished in 68th place among about 100 runners with a time of 24:19, but still eighth among Southeast runners.
Her accomplishment was amazing “as far as where she has come from even two weeks before regionals,” Trozzo said. “We did not know if she would be able to come back, but she really made a run for State.”
Haines took both the girls and boys region titles. The Skagway girls finished fifth, while the boys did not have enough for a full team. Below are regional times for Skagway runners. Complete meet results will be posted on our website.
The running season is over, and the shift is on to fall and winter sports. Elementary and middle school intramural basketball is played Tuesday and Thursday nights, and the high school volleyball and wrestling teams are practicing for their first meets later this month.
SE Meet - Skagway times
Girls -
Candi Ketterman, 22:19.53; Cierra Hahn, 24:52.58; Allie Doland, 24:58.92; Michelle Harris, 26:35.08; Brandy Wilson, 26:45.55; Liana Stegall, 28:44.12; Teslyn Korsmo, 28:58.11. Boys - Tom Littlefield, 27:33.00; Lachlan Dennis,30:00.00; Jake Henricksen, 30:15.00. – JB

‘Box of Rocks’ times

The following are the times for the annual “Box of Rocks” jaunt to Upper Dewey Lake, held on Sept. 16: Ben Seale, 0:51:07; Curt Dodd, 0:52:40; Justin Henry, 1:00:00; Eric “Whitey” Coufal, 1:01:00; Wade Gruh, l1:01:40; Bruce Weber, 1:04:20; Jeff Nies, 1:08:50; Vickey Moy, 1:09:00; Robert Moshier, 1:10:00; Jason Reyes, 1:10:00; Heather Seale, 1:10:33; Jeremy Simmons, 1:11:54; Mike Konsler, 1:20:30; Nicole Bunting, 1:21:00; Nan Saldi, 1:22:00; Julene Fairbanks, 1:26:00; Patrick Simmons, 1:26:11; Ethan Moe, 1:28:00; Delani Moe, 1:28:00; “Dyea” Kendra, 1:28:00; Joanie Wilhelm, 1:36:00; Cris Siegel, 1:45:00; Anna Stumpf, 1:49:00; Chet Badina, 1:49:00; Mike Korsmo, 1:50:00; Lisa Robinson, 1:53:48; Peter Overlien, 1:56:00; Karen Briner, 2:10:00; “White Pass” Suzanne, 2:10:00; Ani Drozdowska, 3:00:00; Kiersten Parsons, 3:00:00. – Compiled by Ross Armstrong


One last cast

This is Skagway, Alaska. It has never been a place for the weak. The mountains themselves have swallowed men leaving behind only speculation. Many have tried to reap fortune from failure and become a part of its plan, only to become hardened and grizzled by its unrelenting grind.
What is the allure of a land as dangerous as it is mysterious? For some, as daily life in the “civilized” world attains wearisome complexity they seek the wilderness for answers or solemnity. Others dive in only to be overwhelmed, and surrender to its savage design. This place is a frontier of opportunity and a reminder of mortality. If you die in a fashionable way, some day they might even sell a souvenir with your face on it.
There is so much here that is already gone. Places, towns, people, lives and their memories are no more than dilapidated remains worn weary by time, tired and old. This history is being pulled deeper into the dirt, the decaying remains of each year covering another fragment, warping the past, destroying it.
There is a stream to the north where the wind blows with determination. It flows within a yawning chasm of land stretched out to indescribable dimension from sky to horizon and back again.
During the autumn the rotting leaves stick to the ground like wet paper-mache, filling every cranny, collecting behind every windbreak. The trees seem to poke out unnaturally from this rusty glaze, ragged claws attached to wretched branches, twisting and bare.
Here the howling wind is hard like polished steel and it cuts through the trees with shadowy blades. There are times, though, when it will settle after weeks of unrest. When the phantom groans of the north wind becomes a lighthearted rustle it is time to brave this terrain and seek its banks. There is bounty here, and as you approach the stream the sound of leaves crushing underfoot gives way to the soothing song of water.
In this place, the cold of the fall air embraces the skin with the sensation of electricity. Before the sun appears above the horizon it makes its presence known by clean, red light that bounces off the clouds onto each individual ripple in the water. Every reflection binds a perspective of a world that lay out behind, a world that is in motion with a current that pushes all things forward.
There are familiar sounds of latches being released from the tackle box, rods tapping against one another, the squeak in the line when a knot is pulled tight. These sounds make music with the constant backbeat of the water’s dull crackling. A sense of these things can only be attained when the turmoil of the earth lay dormant in the early hours of the day. If not for these sounds one would be hard pressed to distinguish the reality of the scene with the ethereal nature of a dream.
That is, until the first cast.
When the muscles of the body all work in harmony to hurl a slight, shining object as far as possible there is a moment of elemental symmetry. The lure is launched skyward only to descend, through the barrier of air and water, resting gently on submerged earth. Line spins out furiously behind the lure following its path through the sky like a pencil drawing a perfect semicircle on some imaginary medium. When the lure splashes into the water, the arc in the line falls delicately to the surface in curls, laying there still until the reel is put in gear.
Unknown to the eyes and ears, there is world in motion underwater. Grasses sway rhythmically with baitfish undulating in unison amidst their strands, quivering sparks of light swimming in synchronous orbit with enemies that swing in from below and devour without compassion. Amidst this fray the lure sinks, blending in and mimicking this underwater ballet.
Back on shore the mind is fixed in a trance, the sense of touch takes over, and it waits for the slightest hint of movement. The hands work together in a dance of their own. The left hand holds the rod upward while the right hand reels in time like a metronome. The mind is lucid and in tune with the most subtle tactile sensation.
With the brain clear of distraction it is simple to visualize what is happening beneath the surface. At times there is the slightest twitch, perhaps a fish moving in closer for a look displacing water from its course, its force delicately shifting the bait.
This irregular motion sets the senses on edge. The mind becomes alert with anticipation and it prepares the body to strike.
When the fish moves in, determined to feed, it opens its mouth wide and devours its prey in one robust dive. The move stretches the line from the knot back up through the eyelets of the rod driving the tip down. The arms rear back and the energy returns along its length, back to the knot, which constricts under the load.
This is the take, the bite, or the hit. Many names and phrases describe this moment, as it is a moment anglers wish to stretch out on the head of pin to savor for an eternity.
Feeling the hook penetrate the flesh of its mouth the fish steers against it with all of its sway. There is a humming strain in the line, the fluidity of the drag and the fight that will last until the fish concedes, and rests its weight into the hand of its captor.
This is the last cast; the last fish of another Skagway summer season. It is a fantastic memory to be forgotten, caught in the wake of a cruise ship as it disappears to the south, lost in the current and washed up on some unknown shoal.