Senior Night Volleyball Victory – From left, Coach Cindy O’Daniel honors her four seniors – Camille Gentili, Kailyn Surdyk, Kaylie O’Daniel, and Jesse Ellis with gifts; Rori Leaverton hits a ball past the outstretched arms of assistant coach Jed Thompson; and team members celebrate a point during the final game of a grueling five-game match which they won over the town team.Photos by Jeff Brady

SHS volleyball team on to State with second place SE finish
Lady Panthers hope for upset at Dimond in Anchorage this week

The Skagway High volleyball team again found itself facing Klawock in the Southeast region championship game, but the result was all too familiar.
Still, the runner-up Panthers advanced to State for the fourth straight year, where they began competition Thursday afternoon in Anchorage against New Stuyahok, the champion of the Great Alaska conference. If victorious, the Lady Panthers would play the winner of Cook Inlet Academy and Tri Valley in a semifinal on Friday at 6:45 p.m.
All games are at Dimond High, concluding with the championship at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. To check on their progress, go to and click on the volleyball link to the 1A-2A-3A West state tourney.
The team traveled straight to State from Regionals at Thorne Bay.
Reached by phone Tuesday after getting to Anchorage, coach Cindy O’Daniel said the team played well in Thorne Bay.
They opened with a sweep of Hoonah, but then got swept in three games by Klawock in the semifinals. This dropped them into a match with Thorne Bay for the right to face Klawock again for the championship. Skagway dispatched the host Wolverines in three games.
However, the championship match was another sweep by Klawock.
“They have some stuff to get ironed out,” she said. “I’m hoping they will iron stuff out more when they are here.”
The Panthers were the only school to land three players on the All-Conference team: Jesse Ellis, Kaylie O’Daniel and Rori Leaverton.
In other awards, Ellis, O’Daniel and fellow seniors Kaitlyn Surdyk and Camille Gentili made the All-Academic team, and sophomore Polly Brown and Gentili made the Good Sports team.
Before Skagway left for regionals last week, they played a spirited five-game match with a local team, and coming back to win the deciding fifth game, 16-14. O’Daniel honored her four seniors between games. – JB

DDF Showcase at Eagles
Team performances prepare for first meet

The three members of the school’s Debate, Drama and Forensics team will perform at the Eagles Hall Theatre tonight, presenting a showcase of pieces they are preparing for their first competition later this month.
The fund-raising event begins at the Eagles after the burger feed at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a dessert auction.
The team was scheduled to compete last weekend in Wrangell, but that meet was cancelled due to a tragedy in the community, said Skagway DDF coach Tegan Baldwin. The team instead will now go to Ketchikan Jan. 13-14 for a meet they had originally planned to skip.
The three members of the team are seniors Brandy Mayo and Alexis Grieser and freshman Jade Cook.
Tonight’s performances will include a Readers Theatre piece featuring all three girls called “Politically Correct Fairy Tale”.
Orations will be presented by Mayo on “Legalization of Marijuana”, and by Grieser on “Blame”.
Mayo and Grieser also will present a Drama Duet called “10,000 Cigarettes”, a fast-paced piece about smoking.
Cook will present a Dramatic Interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic story, “The Cask of Amontillado”.
Baldwin said the small team got a late start practicing this year and can only attend two meets. The second meet will be in Juneau, where members will compete to qualify for the State DDF meet in Anchorage in February.