Hellfest 2002
Also known as the Klawock/Ketchikan volleyball trip

This trip, for what it’s worth, helped the team find out more about itself.
Some people found out what it takes to make them happy, whether with the team or not. Some found they have leagues of patience when called upon. Others found how far they can push their physical limits. Scratch that, many found where their lines are when it comes to physical endurance. But through it all, the girls found they’re ready and willing to act like a team and will try their hardest to make it through this season.
First, it started out by just getting to Klawock. Any girl’s suitcase weighed over 50 pounds (they were weighed) – the heaviest was senior Colleen Ketterman at 76 pounds. She packed a TV in with her clothes and shoes.
Everywhere we went, people did double takes at our luggage and all transportation officers groaned in horror at our bulk. We were weighed before we went on a float plane. All together, people and luggage, we were 12 pounds under the plane’s capacity, around 1,978 pounds. We also brought a surround-sound stereo system along, and many movies, many DVDs. Senior Miranda Collecchi summarized our feeling towards packing, “It’s my senior year, it’s my last year playing, I’m going to pack whatever I want!”
The float plane was interesting. It was my first time flying in one and I was petrified. The pilot, knowing this, decided to make a quick drop in mid-flight, causing many girls to scream and my heart to crawl into my throat and hide.
We finally made it to the school in Klawock and found out we had 10 minutes to get ready for our first game. So naturally we were confused and disorganized.

The SHS volleyball girls practice a bumping line for the big tournament ahead of them. -JB

The team playing us took full advantage of that and naturally we lost. Luckily though, as we played more and more games we got better and were able to work as a team. We were even laughing on the court and everyone left with a good feeling. Throughout the tournament we struggled to keep that happiness, sometimes achieving, sometimes failing as we played Thorne Bay, Klawock, and Craig. We made friends with Hoonah and cheered for them whenever they played. They taught us a lot of tricks and helped us along. So naturally when we played them, they knew our weaknesses. No competition there, so we just had fun.
The next day was horrible. Senior co-captain Colleen Ketterman was diving for a ball and fell on her knee, ripping her cruciate ligament. She was trundled out of the gym on a stretcher and everyone cheered for her. Senior captain Miranda Collecci took pictures of the event for her yearbook class, much to the dissatisfaction of Ketterman. We lost the other matches for the rest of the tournament except for one game against Craig’s junior varsity and we all were angry at each other again, despite the encouragement of Collecci. I received several double-hits – if you’re in volleyball you know what I’m talking about – during the tournament and had to sleep on my back one night.
The last day we were in Klawock was much better because we had no pressure of the games. We went shopping in Craig and ate out for once. Pizza tastes really good when you haven’t had a decent meal in about a week. That night we sat up telling each other ghost stories until two in the morning. Except for two of my stories, everyone laughed at mine. I don’t know if it was the way I was telling it or what, but at least I kept my audience happy. And I scared Candi Ketterman and Brandie Schneider, so I’m happy.
The next morning, we woke up at 6 and went over to Ketchikan to play in the next tournament. We arrived around noon and found we wouldn’t have a room until three that evening. Tensions built again, and Schneider doubled over in pain and had to be rushed to the hospital before our first match ensued. Coach Rebecca Heise went with her to keep her company and fill out the paperwork.
The Hoonah coach offered to give her assistant coach and a bench-warmer player to fill in for us and we jumped at the chance. So with a new coach and “Brandie,” we began to play. We did excellent in the first round, but tensions caught up with us again and we did poorly. Candi Ketterman and Tiffanie Potter collided as they both dove for a ball. Candi was unhurt, but Potter also whacked her head on the ground and was dizzy for the other match. We lost the game and Potter started to get sick and was still dizzy. We rushed her to the hospital and the doctors said she received a minor concussion. Just as Schneider came back from the hospital, Potter was taken in. I can just imagine what Coach Heise was thinking. Collecchi and Ketterman were taking dibs on who would get hurt next. With three players out, we had to forfeit the rest of the tournament. Needless to say, no one on the team was in high spirits that night.
The next day the team sat down and had a meeting. Coach Heise laid down the law on how to treat each other and how to treat other people. Then we went around and let out any problems we had with each other and worked them out. The meeting took two hours, but we felt so much better after the meeting and felt like a team again. We were at the ultimate low, and now we were back on track again.
So we went shopping at the nearby mall and at WalMart. The team came back and either worked on homework or watched the tournament. We cheered for Hoonah as they reached gold and were in the top rings in the tournament.
We left that night in the pouring rain, and were pleasantly surprised that the planes were still flying, since everyone was positive they weren’t flying. Coach Heise, still in hopeful spirits yelled at us in a joking manner, “Shut up! We will fly even if I have to fly the plane!” Her favorite quote that night.
In the Ketchikan airport, senior Schneider decided for personal reasons to leave the team and Coach Heise was close as well. Luckily the rest of us pulled together and convinced her to stay with us. The rest of the trip went smoothly and we all eagerly disembarked the ferry in Skagway, thankful that we were home.
Though the trip didn’t sound like a Sunday picnic, we did learn a lot from the trip. We learned how we can pull together as a team and make it through the toughest times together and come out the other end. We were determined to make the team work and get through whatever was thrown at us.

Wrestlers off to good start
The small Skagway wrestling team made a big impact at its first match of the season, an eight-team tourney in Hoonah Oct. 18-19.
Team captain Kyle Fairbanks, wrestling in a combined 130-135 pound division, took his 135 pound bracket with a 14-9 victory over Brian Newman of Petersburg.
“It was one of the best matches I’ve ever coached,” said coach Josh Coughran. “It went back and forth, and Kyle bore down and won it.”
However, that match must have taken a lot out of the Skagway wrestler. When he faced off against the 130-pound bracket winner in the championship, Fairbanks was pinned in the first round.
Two of the three Skagway girls on the team posted wins. Junior Crystal Ketterman, wrestling at 119 pounds, won three matches by pins but lost in the consolation semifinals to a Wrangell kid who went to State last year. She will be working on getting down to 112 pounds for her next meet.
Freshman Michelle Harris started her high school career by winning her first two matches by pins in the 152-pound division, but then lost two on Saturday. Madeleine Nyhagen (103-pounds) didn’t win a match, but Coughran said she gave it a good try.
The team is down to four wrestlers for the regular season. Freshman hopeful, Trevor Cochran, is in a cast after breaking his foot during warm-ups in practice. His coach hopes to have him back prior to region tourney.
“For our first tournament I was really impressed with our kids and hope to improve on that on down the road in Petersburg (Nov. 1-2),” Coughran said. – JEFF BRADY