The Skagway elementary and junior high kids were in full playoff stride this week as the intramural basketball season came to a close. From top, Greg Eagan of the Rockets drives against the Polar Bears, Polly Brown gets a steal for the Sonics as Zack Wassman gives chase, Thomas Etue of the Ninja Hamsters scoots past an opponent, and Rabid Gopher Anna Korsmo sets a screen against Jayce Ellis, giving Paige Hahn an open lane for the shot. Photos by Jeff Brady

Wrestlers open season in Sitka

Michelle Harris started her senior wrestling season with a 3-1 record at a “mix and match” tournament at Mt. Edgecumbe Oct. 14-15, said Skagway coach Josh Coughran.
Harris, wrestling in a lower weight class (145 lbs.) than last year, defeated a rival from Craig 13-10 in her opener, and then beat a girl from Edgecumbe and a boy from Metlakatla. In her final outing, a rematch with the Craig wrestler, she lost a tough match in overtime.
Coach Coughran said Harris had a great tournament, and the four other kids on the squad had some bright moments.
“It was especially good for us getting experience and learning ability levels,” he said.
Ryan Forester, a junior at 135 lbs., posted two wins.
“He has shown big improvement,” Coughran said. “Ryan hadn’t been on a mat since his freshman year. We’re excited to see him back.”
Sophomore Tom Littlefield (171 lbs.) wrestled three matches but got hurt on Saturday when he fell on his elbow wrong, giving him a “stinger” injury. Coughran said he had some nerve damage and was having a hard time making a fist.
“In wrestling you need to be able to support your whole body with your hands and make grips, so we held him out the next two days,” Coughran said on Tuesday. “He’s still questionable for Wrangell this weekend.”
Two newcomers to wrestling made progress, Coughran added.
Sophomore Josh Cotton (171 lbs.) got his first win over a kid from Edgecumbe. He may drop down to the 160-lb. class by regionals. And freshman Tylor Forester (103 lbs.) for his first time on mat, learned a lot and showed great enthusiasm.
“Coming off the mat, he’s like the little dog in the cartoon: ‘Let me at ’em, let me at ‘em!’” Coughran said. “By the end of the season we’ll see a couple wins out of him.”
Skagway is going up against some stacked teams throughout the region this year, Coughran said. Unfortunately, there won’t be an opportunity to see the kids wrestle in Skagway. A local tournament was postponed from earlier in the season, but the rescheduled date saw most SE teams heading to a tournament in Anchorage, and it was on a weekend when there was no Friday ferry.
“The meet here didn’t work out, but we don’t lose our place in line, and hope we can do it next year,” Coughran said.
After the Wrangell meet this weekend, the wrestling team will be idle until mid-November.
The Skagway girl’s volleyball team will see its first action of the season next week with tournaments in Klawock and Ketchikan. A look at their season will appear in the next issue. – JB