SHS SPORTS

PANTHER PLAYMAKERS

Clockwise from top left: Zoe Wassman sends a nice underhand shot over the net; Hannah O’Daniel launches a kill shot against Whitehorse; Kiara Selmer concentrates on her serve; and Jade Cook sets up a return. Photos by Jeff Brady

Volleyball team snags a couple wins at home
Region V 2A-3A tourney ahead Dec. 6-7 in Klawock

The Skagway High School volleyball team hosted a mini tournament Nov. 15-16 and dropped matches to varsity competition from Haines and Whitehorse. However, the team was able to earn a convincing win against the Haines junior varsity squad.
Against regional competition last weekend at the northern seeding tournament in Haines, Skagway did not win a match but the team is showing a lot of improvement, said coach Katie Emmets.
At home, the Panthers lost in the opener Friday night against the Haines varsity (18-25, 22-25, 12-25). Skagway strung together some nice hits and blocks to lead by as many as six points in that second game before giving up the lead, but had nothing left for the final game. When the Haines servers are strong, they are hard to stop.
However, the Panthers rebounded well against the Haines second unit in a best-of-three match, winning 25-9 and 25-19. Emmets said it was great for the girls to get a win in front of the home crowd.
On Saturday, Skagway opened with a close match against F.H. Collins of Whitehorse: (21-25, 17-25, 25-22, 13-25). When the senior combination of Jade Cook setting to Hannah O’Daniel hitting was working, the Panthers racked up the points. With more consistent serving, this team could get more wins.
In the tourney finale on senior night, Skagway fell again to the Haines varsity (which also swept Whitehorse) in three straight games: (20-25, 12-25, 19-25).
The team played well in stretches of every game, Emmets said. They won a game against an experienced Whitehorse team, and showed great improvement since the first of the season against Haines, which dominated Skagway at the southern seeding tourney early this month.
That improvement carried over to last weekend’s tourney in Haines, despite the lack of wins. Although Craig, the region’s best team, and Metlakatla were weathered out, the Panthers played some good games in matches against Haines, Wrangell and Klawock.
“It’s nice to have coaches and refs who have seen us play in earlier tournaments tell me how much our team is improving,” Emmets said. “We did a lineup switch and had some players in different positions, and we finally have our best possible lineup to head into regional tournament at Klawock.”
Emmets said she is proud of the girls for “the dedication they have put into practices and how they have built upon what they have learned in games." – JEFF BRADY

Left, Ethan Goebel goes for a takedown against a Haines wrestler, and Dominique Foote tangles with another Glacier Bear. Photos courtesy of Duppy Ticarro, SSD

Trevor Cox wins thriller to take Brandon Pilot Tourney title match in Juneau

By JEFF BRADY

Skagway High wrestler Trevor Cox now knows that championship feeling.
The Skagway sophomore made it to the finals in the 132-pound division at the Bill Weiss Invitational in Ketchikan Nov. 16 and then again at last weekend’s Brandon Pilot Tourney in Juneau.
Cox lost to Craig’s Hunter Fitch in a 9-1 major decision in the Ketchikan final, but he made it to the top of the podium in Juneau with a thrilling 9-6 decision over Timothy Mack of Mt. Edgecumbe.
“At first I was winning, but he kept catching my elbow and rolling me,” Cox said after returning to Skagway on Sunday. “He started to catch up, and then we went off and on from there.”
But the Skagway wrestler never gave up his lead and held off Mack for his first high school tourney victory.
Cox was impressive in the matches leading up to the championship rounds. In Ketchikan he beat a Kayhi opponent 18-1, and pinned Michael File of Petersburg. In Juneau he scored two more falls in wins over Katrina Orsborn and James Simeonoff of Mt. Edgecumbe.
Cox said he will probably be seeded third for the Region V 1A-2A-3A tourney at Mt. Edgecumbe. Craig’s Fitch was not at last weekend’s Juneau tourney, and it remains to be seen if projected top seed Roger Miller of Wrangell will be there. He was injured in an Anchorage tourney.
Still, Cox will be ready for them, now that he knows what to do to get to the top of the platform. His Juneau win was his first tourney victory since winning a junior varsity event last year. He has the Brandon Pilot Invitational bracket as his reward.
Other Skagway wrestlers were in action last weekend in Juneau:
• Dominique Foote lost in a fall in the 138-pound quarterfinals to John Brook of Petersburg, but then beat Julian Andrew of Edgecumbe 13-11 in overtime to advance in the consolation bracket, where he lost a major decision to a Juneau-Douglas wrestler.
• Donovan Henson lost in a fall to a Sitka wrestler and then narrowly lost a 9-6 decision to Alex Muir of Juneau-Douglas.
• Ethan Goebel lost in falls to Walker Blair of Haines and Brylie Yadao of Thunder Mountain.

Registration opens for 16th annual Yukon River Quest
June’s “Race to the Midnight Sun” is world’s longest annual canoe and kayak marathon

WHITEHORSE – Registrations are now being accepted for the 16th annual Yukon River Quest which will be held June 25 to June 29, 2014.
The 715-kilometer (444-mile) wilderness adventure paddling race is held on the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson City in Canada's Yukon Territory. Held during the last week of June, the YRQ is the world’s longest annual canoe and kayak race.
It is known as the “Race to the Midnight Sun,” as paddlers race round-the-clock under a sky that never gets dark. There are just two mandatory rest stops of 10 hours over the course of the entire event.
The Yukon River Quest recently was named one of the ten toughest races in the world by renowned adventure racer and “Boundless” TV star Simon Donato in an article for huffingtonpost.com.
Carl Rumscheidt, race president, said it was gratifying to be listed among the toughest races in the world, along with winter’s Yukon Arctic Ultra race.
“It is a real tribute to all those dedicated paddlers who take on the physical and psychological challenge of the race,” Rumscheidt said. “I encourage paddlers everywhere to come to Yukon and share the experience.”
Registration for the 2014 Yukon River Quest opened on Nov. 1. Online entry forms are available via a link at www.yukonriverquest.com under the Register tab. Entry fees remain $850 (CAD) for tandem canoes and kayaks, $475 for solo canoes and kayaks, and $250 per person for voyageur canoe teams of six or more paddlers.
Deadline for entries is May 15, 2014, but teams are encouraged to register early due to the worldwide popularity of the event. There is a limit of 100 canoe and kayak teams, which includes a limit of 30 solo teams. These solo teams should register immediately to reserve a slot. Paddlers should have race or wilderness paddling experience, and all boats must meet the specifications defined in the 2014 YRQ Rules posted on the website.

Any Skagway paddlers interested should contact Jeff Brady at 907-973-2354 about getting on a voyageur team, or to see if the old Skagway Alpine Club canoe is available.

Teams are required to have a SPOT device mounted on top of their boats and activated for tracking before their team is officially registered. Introduced last year, this requirement allowed teams to be able to be tracked during the race from links on the Yukon River Quest website.
The 2014 race purse will be $36,500 (CAD) if a full roster of 100 teams is registered by the May 15 deadline. Otherwise the purse is adjusted downward on a percentage basis.
There are overall cash prizes for each class – tandem canoe, tandem kayak, solos, and voyageur canoes – as well as prizes for the top three in each division. There also are $500 cash prizes for the top all-Yukon canoe and kayak teams, and the top First Nations team. Several special awards are also donated by Yukon and Alaska sponsors. A complete prize breakdown can be found in the race rules on the website.
The Yukon River Quest remains a popular paddling event, drawing participants from all over the world. In 2013, 62 teams from nine countries started the race and 49 teams finished.
A tandem canoe won for the first time since 2004. Round Side Down, paddled by Yukoner Tim Lynch and Dave Lewis of Nova Scotia took the overall title with a time of 45 hours, two minutes. Lake Laberge was unusually calm for the second straight year, but thunderstorms and plus 30C temperature slowed teams. No records were broken.
The course record still belongs to Canadian voyageur Team Kisseynew’s winning time of 39:32:43 in 2008.
Teams must finish the YRQ in 55 hours to receive prize money, but many do the race for the personal satisfaction of staking their claim to a coveted finisher pin in historic Dawson City. Aside from two mandatory layovers at Carmacks (7 hours) and Kirkman Creek (3 hours), teams paddle non-stop to reach the “City of Gold”. The race is supported by more than 200 volunteers.
The Yukon River Quest is the premier paddling event in Canada’s North and is widely recognized throughout the paddling world. It has also been featured on NBC-TV, the BBC and CBC, in numerous paddling and adventure magazines and websites around the world, and in the National Film Board of Canada’s critically acclaimed “River of Life” about Paddlers Abreast, a voyageur team of Yukon breast cancer survivors.
Many other worthy causes have been represented as well, including Help for Heroes, a charity for those wounded in British conflicts that was supported by two Interserve teams in the 2012 and 2013 races.
For more information, view the pre-registration instructions, rules, and numerous paddler preparation links at www.yukonriverquest.com . For current news watch the site and the race’s Facebook page.
The race is organized by the Yukon River Marathon Paddling Association, based in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Major logo-level sponsors in 2013 were the Whitehorse Star, Kanoe People, Air North, yukoninfo.com, Pepsi–Aquafina, Up North Adventures, Gold Trail Jewellers. City of Whitehorse, Superior Roofing & Renovation, Driving Force, and CKRW-The Rush. Many small businesses also support the race by sponsoring paddler bibs – see details about sponsorship packages on the website or contact the race office.
The YRMPA welcomes new members. The YRMPA Annual General Meeting will be held at Sport Yukon at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 9, 2014.
If anyone is interested in joining or becoming a volunteer for the event, please contact the race organization at info@yukonriverquest.com or call 867-333-5628.