Elise Doland, Rori Leaverton and Amanda Jensen get set for a return, and the Skagway team poses with the top academic award.
State photos by Cody Jennings
Panthers second in state
Klawock sweeps Skagway in 1A-2A championship match
The Skagway volleyball team got its wish for a rematch against region rival Klawock in the state championship game, but again the Chieftains came up strong when the title was on the line.
It was the farthest any Skagway volleyball team had gone at State, and very similar to last year’s feat by the girl’s basketball team.
Barely a week after Skagway handed Klawock its first loss of the season in the region semifinals here, and after the Chieftains had come back to beat to the Panthers twice to claim the SE 1A-2A title, the two teams were meeting each other on an even bigger stage in Anchorage.
Klawock had been to the state finals last year, losing to 3A West power Barrow, but now that those larger schools were out of the mix for the small schools girl’s state tourney, the best 2A teams were likely to meet in the finals
Klawock got there with easy 3-0 match wins over its first two opponents, Ninilchik and Koliganek.
Skagway started off slow against Seldovia, a team that knocked the Panthers out of state title contention last year, dropping its first two sets. But with a lot of help from former Skagway residents in the Dimond High stands, they rallied to win 23-25, 21-25, 25-21, 25-15, 15-4. Player of the game was Paige Hahn.
The way they finished boosted Skagway’s confidence, and in the semifinal round, the Panthers jumped on Kalskag with two strong wins, and after a close third set loss, rallied for the match winner in the next set: 25-13, 25-13, 22-25, 25-20. Player of the game was Jesse Ellis.
In the championship Saturday night, Skagway started out great, going up 6-1 over Klawock behind the serving of Elise Doland in the first set. But the Chieftains rallied with strong serving to overtake Skagway, and win the set 25-15. After that rally, it was pretty much all Chieftains in the second, 25-19, but Skagway gave them a run in the final set, 25-23. Player of the game was Elise Doland.
Skagway coach Becky Jensen said her team played exceptionally well, except for a few serving errors. And when one player gets down, it seems to bring others down, she said.
“But we hung in there, we just could not pull it off,” Jensen said. “They should be proud of what they did.”
Skagway loses four seniors off the team, Doland, Hahn, Emily Herbig, and Amanda Jensen.
Doland and Ellis were named to the State All Tournament team, along with Tori Carl and Tess Larson of Klawock. Doland also was honored as the Best Server at the tournament, and Klawock’s Rebecca Armour was the Best Setter.
Skagway again won the Team Academic Award, with a 3.90 GPA. This was slightly lower than the cross country team which posted a 3.95 in the fall, but slightly higher than the volleyball and basketball team awards last season.
Jensen said Skagway should have a talented team next season. Klawock also loses four seniors, so these two SE powers could be on track for meeting each other for championships next season. – JB
Etue goes 1-2 at State Wrestling
Thomas Etue finished with one win at the 1A-2A-3A State Wrestling Tourney.
Etue, the fourth place wrestler in SE, faced off against the fourth seed in the state, Kaden Spurgeon of Nikiski, and lost in a fall at 2:27. Etue then bounced back with a quick pin of Elim’s Bart Jackson in 40 seconds. Next, Etue faced a more familiar opponent, Zach Ivanoff of Mt. Edgecume. Etue was leading the match, but got caught on his back and lost in a fall with just a second left in period 2.
“It has been such a pleasure to coach Thomas these past three years and his leadership and work ethic will be missed in the mat room,” said coach Duppy Ticarro. But we have a great group of underclass students that will be a force to be reckoned with in our region.” – JB
Thomas Etue, right, stands at the podium after receiving his medal for 4th place in SE.
High hopes for SHS hoop teams
The Skagway High basketball teams saw their first action Monday night in the annual games with alumni teams. The games started after this issue’s deadline, and results will be posted on the News website. See SHS Basketball Page.
The girl’s team returns everybody from last year’s state 2A runner-up, and they’ve added a senior who was away last season. Co-coaches Lara Labesky and Mark Jennings have a team that could be the best Skagway has ever assembled.
They’ve scheduled themselves some tough early season competition, as the girls will head to the Monroe Hoops Classic in Fairbanks Dec. 28-30, which will include some large schools competition.
The boys also have a strong core returning, and have added some new players which chould put them in contention for a region crown. Coach Chris Wassman had 14 turn out for basketball and is excited about their prospects.
They also will have an early season test. Both boys and girls teams head to region rival Yakutat after the New Year for Jan. 5-6 games against the Eagles, and then stay to participate in the St. Elias Tournament there Jan. 7-9.
The first official home action of the season for the Skagway teams will be during the Don Hather Tourney Jan. 14-16. Teams from Hoonah and Juneau’s new Thunder Mountain High School will join Skagway in competing against the three high schools from Whitehorse, Yukon.
Hoonah will stick around for league games against Skagway on Jan. 17-18. Watch for schedule and results updates at www.skagwaynews.com. – JB