Jessie Ellis slams a ball over the net against Thorne Bay. The Panthers celebrate above with a “Whoop, Whoop” after making a big point.

Volleyball team takes 2nd to Klawock

The Skagway volleyball team finished a series of matches in Juneau and at home at the end of October and beginning of this month, winning most of their matches. They should be a lock for second seed at next month’s region tourney.
The girls split into two teams at the Juneau Invitational. The A team took third out of 20 teams, said coach Ashley Bowman, while the B teams placed second in its bracket.
At home for the North Seeding Tournament, the Panthers had no trouble with Thorne Bay and Hoonah in the first day of matches, sweeping games versus both teams. The Panthers played strong and took an early lead in most of their games against Klawock, but the Chieftains roared back to win all three.
On the second day of matches, Skagway stumbled in an early morning match against Hoonah, losing the pivotal fifth game. They had little trouble with Thorne Bay, but again could not overcome Klawock. See complete game scores below.
Next up for the Panthers is a home match against Whitehorse’s Porter Creek at 1 p.m on Sunday, Nov. 16. Then there’s the Region V Tournament in Klawock Dec. 5-6.

Panther mascots climb the backs of cheerleaders Devin Fairbanks and John Doland. Photos by Jeff Brady

Skagway North Seeding Tourney • Nov. 2-3 Results
Klawock def. Hoonah: 25-23, 25-14, 25-14.
Skagway def. Thorne Bay: 25-16, 25-11, 25-13.
Hoonah def. Thorne Bay: 25-18, 13-25, 25-15, 25-15.
Klawock def. Skagway: 25-20, 25-20, 25-12.
Skagway def. Hoonah: 25-15, 25-13, 25-8.
Hoonah def. Skagway: 21-25, 25-21, 26-24, 18-25, 15-11.
Klawock def. Hoonah: 25-16, 25-14, 25-13.
Skagway def. Thorne Bay: 25-12, 25-16, 25-10.
Hoonah def. Thorne Bary: 25-19, 25-12, 26-24.
Klawock def. Skagway: 25-20, 25-19, 25-18.

More high marks for DDF team in Sitka

Four members of the Skagway Drama, Debate, and Forensics traveled to Sitka at the beginning of the month for the team’s second tournament of the season. Jayce Ellis, Brandy Mayo, Alini Jashiki and team captain Shelby Surdyk submitted 11 entries in six different events, an impressive number of entries for such a small team.
Jashiki’s powerful portrayal of Oscar Wilde’s Salome made it to the final round, a notable feat for a dark and serious piece that was up against mostly humorous and light-hearted pieces in the event of Solo Acting.
In the event of Dramatic Interpretation, Mayo’s portrayal of the manic and delusional lead character in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper took second at the tournament.
Skagway entered two speeches in Original Oratory, an event where speakers try to pursuade the audience to change their attitudes or actions with regard to a topic of some concern. Both of Skagway’s entries in this event were new speeches that had not yet been tried in competition, and both did very well for their trial run: Jashiki’s talk on understanding and preventing juvenile delinquency placed fifth, while Ellis’ speech on the rights of non-smokers and the protection of minors from second-hand smoke placed fourth.
In Expository Speaking, Ellis’ speech to inform others about the effect of commercial jet aviation on the environment placed sixth overall. Surdyk presented an informational talk about nuclear energy which took second place in the tournament and was given commands at the awards ceremony, meaning that she was asked to present her speech in front of all those in attendance.

From left, Jayce Ellis, Shelby Surdyk, Brandy Mayo, and Alini Jashiki relax in the theatres between performances. Shelby Surdyk performs her command piece on nuclear energy. Photos by Jacqueline Ashwell

The Skagway team had a very strong showing in the Extemporaneous Commentary event, where students are asked to choose from three randomly drawn topics and are given twenty minutes to prepare a speech which they then present without the benefit of notes. Over 20 students entered this event, and all three of Skagway’s students who competed made it to the final round. Mayo finished fifth, Surdyk fourth, and freshman Ellis took second place overall.
Skagway also entered one team, comprised of Mayo and Surdyk, to debate this month’s topic: resolved that the United States should significantly increase its use of nuclear energy. This was only the second time Skagway had ever been entered in this event, and it was the first time Mayo and Surdyk had debated as a team. They won four of the six debates in which they participated and placed fourth overall—an exceptional finish given the number of debate teams competing and the steep learning curve involved in this event, which demands a solid command of the issue being debated and the ability to think on your feet. In addition to the team finishing near the top of the pack, Surdyk received special individual recognition, placing fourth overall among all the debate speakers at the tournament.
Members of the team also performed at the Veterans Day dinner last weekend. The team’s next meet is Nov. 21-22 in Haines. – Jacqueline Ashwell