Skagway High School Sports
The SHS volleyball team: Front row from left - Hailey Jensen, Hannah O’Daniel, Rosalie Westfall, Sienna Johnson; back row - Al Weber, Jade Cook, Denver Evans, Zoe Wassman, Kiara Selmer, Kara Whitehead, and Lily Goebel. Katie Emmets
Volleyball team ready to get back on court after year off
By JEFF BRADY
Girls’ volleyball is back at Skagway High School.
Second-year coach Katie Emmets, who didn’t have enough players to have a team last year due to low enrollment, said there are plenty of girls this year.
“Oh yeah, we had enough to make two teams at the start of the season, but we are down to 11 right now, including two eighth graders,” she said.
With the change in classification from a 2A school to a 1A school in the past year, a big choice had to be made before the start of the season: whether the school would continue to field a girls’ squad, or switch to a Mixed 6 coed program.
Emmets said the choice was put to the students early in the school year, and only one boy was interested in playing at the time, “so we went the all-girls route.”
The decision means Skagway had to move up to playing mostly 2A schools in girls’ volleyball, versus a mostly 1A field in Mixed 6. Klawock is the only other 1A school that will field a girls’ team in Southeast. Other schools Skagway will face are Haines, Craig, Wrangell and Metlakatla.
The team travels to Metlakatla this weekend for the season’s first tournament.
Starting for the team are seniors Hannah O’Daniel and Jade Cook; juniors Zoe Wassman and Rosalie Westfall; freshman Hailey Jensen; and eighth grader Kara Whitehead. They are joined by sophomore Al Weber; freshmen Kiara Selmer, Sienna Johnson and Denver Evans; and eighth grader Lily Goebel. The Alaska School Activities Association allows eighth graders on varsity teams for schools with low enrollment.
“So far this season, the focus has been learning how to play the game of volleyball,” Emmets said. “We’re going back to basics. Only three out of my 11 players have played the game before. I have only three returning players, and only one of them started games and saw playing time.”
Emmets said the team is learning a new rotation and picking it up quickly.
“We just implemented our rotation of five hitters and one setter,” she said. “This rotation, which is a 5-1, is what most advanced high school teams and all college teams run.”
In preparation for this weekend’s tourney, the team scrimmaged Tuesday, and Emmets said she was happy with what she saw on the court.
“Things are really coming together out there, and I’m glad we have another month for us to perfect our playing,” Emmets said. “I am aware this is a rebuilding year, but I’m really excited to see how we fare against other teams that didn’t have a break in their program. It will be really good experience for the girls to play against teams that have been playing volleyball together for years.”
After the trip to Metlakatla, the team will then head to Juneau for a small schools tourney on Nov. 1-2. The team will then face teams from Haines and Whitehorse for matches here in Skagway on Nov. 16.
Activities Director Cindy O’Daniel was able to add the home matches to the schedule recently.
“I am so happy about this,” Emmets said. “I think it’s really important for the girls to get to play in front of and be cheered on by their family, friends and community.”
Skagway wrestlers from left: Joseph Shelton, Richard Deichen, Donovan Henson, Dominique Foote, and Shane Sims. Not pictured: Trevor Cox and Ethan Goebel. Katie Emmets
SHS wrestlers score wins at two meets; Trevor Cox off to great start
The Skagway High wrestling program has grown 300 percent over last year, and all four varsity grapplers are in the win column after the team’s first two meets.
The four team members with weight classes are: senior Donovan Henson (145); sophomores Trevor Cox (132) and Dominique Foote (138); and freshman Ethan Goebel (152).
Coach Duppy Ticarro, now in his sixth season, is being assisted by Gregg Kollasch, Dylan Healy, Josh Sims, and Jeff Shelton.
The team opened in Petersburg on Oct. 11-12. Cox went 1-4 in the varsity bracket, while Goebel and Henson were both 1-4 in the JV bracket.
The results improved the following weekend in Hoonah, with all wrestling in the varsity bracket. Cox went 6-1, Foote and Goebel were 3-3, and Henson was 2-3.
And this weekend, they are all off to Wrangell.
“It will be fierce competition as most 1A-2A-3A schools will attend,” Ticarro said. “I expect great things from the experienced sophomore wrestling at a high level (Cox). Ethan and Dominique, as first-year wrestlers, have been wrestling great and catching on fast. The senior (Henson), raising the bar for himself, is improving greatly since taking a year off while with his father down south.”
After Wrangell, there will be a three-week break until the team’s next meet in Juneau, and then they head to regionals in Sitka. Ticarro said he hopes to be able to get in an Upper Lynn Canal scrimmage in Haines, but no home matches are planned.
He added that the boys are in “spectacular cardio shape” after a great cross-country season. Richard Deichen, the new exchange student from Germany, is practicing with the team and juggling travel with student council. Shelton is also working with junior high athletes in practice.
“Practices this year consist of technique and strength training,” he said. “All the boys have set wrestling goals and personal goals that are achievable.”– JB