Skagway coach Josh Coughran watches Ryan Forester mix it up with a Petersburg grappler. Klas Stolpe, Petersburg Pilot

Wrestlers learn ropes in Petersburg

Skagway wrestling coach Josh Coughran was reluctant to talk about wins and losses after the team’s first meet of the season in Petersburg Oct. 10-11.
“It was our first meet of the year and a measuring stick for us,” he said. “We figured out where we need to be.”
Coughran took four team members to Petersburg, and some are working on getting their weights down before the next meet in Hoonah at the end of the month, so they can wrestle in more favorable classes.
The two girls on the team, Michelle Harris and Crystal Ketterman had some good matches. Harris, wrestling at 160 lbs., pinned a Petersburg boy, and Ketterman, wrestling at 119 lbs., had another “epic battle” with rival Alenna Nielsen of Petersburg, whom she wrestled tough at regionals last year, Coughran said.
At one point Ketterman threw Nielsen on her back, but because the Petersburg wrestler ended up out of bounds, Ketterman got just one point out of the move. If it had been in the middle of the mat, she would have received three near-fall points, and might have pinned her, Coughran said.
Instead, Ketterman lost the match by four points. She’s working on getting down to 112 lbs., where she could have a better shot at regionals.
First-time wrestlers Kevin Wang (107 lbs.) and Ryan Forester (125 lbs.) learned all about Southeast competition and tasted the mat a few times.
Coughran hopes Wang can get down to the 103-pound class where he performed better.
Senior Thomas Knorr was unable to make the Petersburg meet, because it conflicted with the SAT test being given in Skagway. His coach hopes to place him in the 215 lb. division when the team travels to Hoonah on Halloween weekend. After that meet, they travel to Sitka Nov. 7-8. – JB

Volleyball team takes first match
Team goes 3-7 in Sitka, still chasing Hoonah

The Skagway girl’s volleyball team went 3-7 in games at their first competition of the season in the Sitka Small Schools Tournament Oct. 10-11, albeit against a lot of bigger school competition.
On their way home, they stopped in Hoonah Oct. 12-13 and went 1-4 in full best-of-five matches against 2A competition.
Skagway won its first competition of the season, posting two 25-20 wins in a two-game mini-match over 3A Craig in Sitka. In other games during first round play, Skagway split with the Sitka 2 squad, 25-14 and 15-25, and then were defeated by the Juneau 1 squad, 16-25 and 19-25. Both are 4A schools.
“We were close to that Juneau team at one point,” said Skagway coach Becky Jensen.
The Juneau 1 squad, made up of its younger varsity players, remained unbeaten and defeated 2A power Hoonah in a three-game championship match on Saturday.
Skagway placed into the “red pool” in Saturday’s second round and fell to 2A Klawock (22-25 and 14-25) and the Juneau 3 squad in two close games (25-27 and 22-25). The Panthers did not advance past that pool into the consolation or championship brackets.
The Panthers then faced all of their 2A rivals in Hoonah. They lost their first two matches in three straight games to Klawock (no score available) and Hoonah (7-25, 14-25, 9-25).
Skagway then battled Kake in a match that went all five games (25-19, 17-25, 22-25, 25-23 and 11-15). Jensen said the final game was shortened due to time constraints.
The Panthers then prevailed in their final match of the round-robin tourney, winning three straight games over Thorne Bay (25-20, 25-17, 25-18).
Jensen said Hoonah remains the team to beat in 2A, but the Panthers know they can win against the rest of the field.
“We are right there,” Jensen said. “There’s no reason we can’t beat Klawock and we should have beaten Kake.”
Getting serves across is the key. With the new rally scoring in effect this year, a team loses a point if a player serves into the net.
“We know we can do it,” she added. “We have to put our minds together and get our serves over.”
Skagway will not be able to travel to Thorne Bay and Ketchikan at the end of the month because the team will be short a player due to a prior scheduling conflict, Jensen said. Skagway has the minimum six girls on the squad.
Jensen is working with activities director Barry Beckett on trying to set up some home-and-home matches with Whitehorse. – JB