Referee Andrew Tronrud spies the sacred gap between shoulder and mat as Crystal Ketterman pins Scott Gustavuson of Hoonah in her first home match. Coach Josh Coughran and teammate Clayton Harris keep track of her points. Photos by Jeff Brady

Wrestlers give, take lumps in home meet
Kilburn, Harris look strong; first win for Ketterman

Skagway wrestlers posted some big wins, and some big losses, in its only home meet of the season on Oct. 13 against always-tough Hoonah and Juneau-Douglas’ freshman squad.
It was a Skagway freshman, Jeremy Kilburn who had one of the best records at the meet. Kilburn finished with three wins in four matches. Wrestling in the 130-135-pound division, Kilburn opened with a pin over Wilbur Skeek of Hoonah in just over a minute. After getting pinned by Juneau freshman Buckley Svinicki in his second match, Kilburn came back to pin Hoonah’s Aaron Bitz twice.
“It was nice to see Jeremy get a couple wins and do so well,” said Skagway coach Josh Coughran.
He also was impressed with 152-pound senior Clayton Harris, who posted two wins in five matches: a pin over Hoonhah’s Nick Goble, and an even more impressive 11-3 exhibition decision over Hoonah’s Robert Beltz, who was in a heavier weight class.
“Clayton wrestled that last match with no mistakes,” Coughran said. “I’ve been working on getting him to stay ahead all six minutes and win the match.”
Fellow senior Chris Shockley didn’t fare as well in the tough 140-145-pound division. After getting pinned in his early matches, Shockley started to take control in his last two matches against John Kuterbach of Juneau. However, in both matches, while ahead in points, Shockley allowed himself to get too high in trying to get a pin, and then got reversed and pinned by his opponent.
“We’re going to work on not getting him too excited and wrestle the complete match,” Coughran said, adding that Shockley is just starting to get comfortable at a new weight, and will definitely improve.
The small crowd that Saturday was its loudest during the intramural kids’ exhibitions, and when freshman Crystal Ketterman hit the mats. In her first home match, she did not disappoint: Ketterman pinned Scott Gustavuson at the 1:15 mark of the first period, lifting the 30 or so in the stands to their feet.

Chris Shockley grits his teeth in a match against a Hoonah grappler.

“It was awesome to see Crystal get that win,” her coach said.
She wasn’t as fortunate in her two other matches but fought off scrappy Logan Harvey of Juneau for most of the first period before getting pinned.
Skagway’s other wrestler at the meet, Kyle Mulvihill, took the most lumps. Despite seeing his freshman get pinned in all five matches, Coughran said he was impressed with Mulvihill’s competitiveness, and definitely saw improvement from first match to last.
Three Skagway wrestlers were either ineligible, didn’t have enough practices, or were out of town for the meet. The team was off this past weekend, and Coughran said all eight wrestlers should be ready for the next meet in Sitka on Oct. 26-27.

“I was impressed by our younger kids and I see our senior kids doing better down the road,” Coughran said.

Coach Coughran and his pee wees from the Elks Wrestling Camp: front- Emily Herbig, Paige Hahn, Jestine Ellis, Kaitlyn Surdyk, and C.C. Hahn; top, Shelby Surdyk, Bryce Jones, Connor Kasler, and Michael Brown. Photo by Denise Caposey

Coughran thanked Don and Betty Hather for helping organize the meet; Andrew Tronrud for doing an admirable job of refereeing all 48 matches in his first outing; and Rex Kilburn, Mark Jennings, Rod Fairbanks, Darren Belisle, and Kyle Ellis for scorekeeping.

• Complete results from the Skagway meet

Panthers in SE volleyball hunt after first matches of season

In its first trip of the year the Skagway volleyball team played like a wind-up toy, lively and energetic in the beginning, but sluggish toward the end. The Panthers went a combined 6-4 in their first matches and have shown definite signs of potential.
The Panthers played their first contests at the Ketchikan Invitational. Skagway’s steady dominance in day one put the team in the gold bracket of the tourney, an advancement over last year’s performance when the Panthers won the silver bracket. SHS went undefeated in its first day of action and hoped to fair well in the second day. However, Skagway suffered from communication errors, said coach Jeff Kasler, as the team went two and out in the gold bracket.
The Panthers weren’t dejected as one might have thought. Team members held their heads up high. “We would rather play bad in the gold than in the silver,” said Kasler. “We were still happy with how we played.”
The Panthers then crossed over to Prince of Wales island to enter Klawock’s tourney. SHS played in much the same fashion as the previous tournament. They played two unyielding matches against Klawock and Gustavus, manhandling the competition, and won by forfeit over Hydaburg. But against Kake and Hoonah, SHS didn’t meet its expectations.
“Kake really improved leaps and bounds,” Kasler said. “Fatigue was a factor. With only six girls playing, people have to play sick, tired and hurt. No one gets to have a break like other teams.”
On the team are seniors Ashley Law, Crystal Ackerman and Kristin Brown; juniors Colleen Ketterman, Miranda Collecchi and Kortney Grieser; and freshman Savannah Ames.
The Hoonah Braves look like the top team in SE 1A-2A, but anything could happen over the long season.
“They always put out a good program, they have 17 girls,” Kasler said. “We are definitely in the hunt. If we play to our potential then we are the second best team.”
Skagway has been working intensely on conditioning in practices this week.
“We need to be in better shape than anybody,” Kasler said. “We can’t afford any mental breakdowns.”
Or injuries. This week the Panthers had to scrap a trip to Juneau when one player rolled her ankle, and another had a bad tooth.
Dawn Brown is co-coaching the team, and Kasler looks forward to having her strategic mind on the bench. Since the Panthers aren’t going to Juneau, they’ll have a long break until their only home tournament on Nov. 16-17.