Kilburn Toots Way to Honor Band

Skagway is usually recognized for its excellence on the athletic playing field. However, last week Skagway freshman Jeremy Kilburn was named to the Southeast Honor Band.
This select group was assembled through the entry of hundreds of standardized tapes ranging from the northernmost point of the Lynn Canal to the southernmost point of the state, Annette Island.
Barry Beckett, music director of the Skagway program, said that even though Kilburn was the last chair on the saxophone line, it did not mean that Kilburn was the lowest ranked sax player there.
“Most of getting there is about putting together a good tape.” Beckett said. “Most of the musicians that got there were from Juneau, and in quite a few cases the person who was in the higher chair in their respected bands were flip-flopped at honor band. Some people just put together a good tape.”
“I think that I did pretty good,” Kilburn said. “Everyone else was either a senior or a junior. They were friendly toward me. They accepted me into their clan.”
Beckett and other band teachers from around the region examined around 25 other tapes in order to pick the best possible group. In some cases the band took less players then they needed, because they felt that the performance level was not up to par with the rest of the band. Two chairs remained open for baritone players even though there were plenty of audition tapes for those chairs.
Kilburn said he enjoyed the experience and looks forward to making the band next year.
“I hope to make it back there,” said Kilburn. “I think that I one day will be as good as the top chair.” – STAN BUSH

Skagway team gels in the frozen Yukon
Team ready to defend home turf at tourney here Nov. 14-16

For a team that seems riddled with injuries, the Skagway Panthers volleyball team has certainly found many ways to play. After missing the Juneau Invitational due to players on the disabled list, the team was able to schedule matches with F.H. Collins in Whitehorse last weekend.
The Panthers took a huge step in contending for the region title and a possible birth at the state tournament, said head coach Dawn Brown.
“They are very committed girls and have improved 100 percent from their last games,” Brown said. “They are working very hard at their goal of a region championship and going to state.”
Brown emphasized the stand-out play of team leaders Crystal Ackerman and Ashley Law and was particularly impressed with the fearless play of Miranda Collecchi from the back row.
“They had this girl that was like 6’2’’, Brown said. “When she spiked the ball everyone kind of backed off, but Miranda dove on the floor and had a great dig from the back row.”
The team had a real awakening on Friday morning. After a slow 0-4 start against the varsity team, they got a win over the frosh team. But on Saturday, the Panthers finally came together with three wins in five games against the same FHC varsity team.
“F.H. Collins really intimidated the girls during warm-ups,” said Brown. “When they got on the court they realized that they could play with them.”
The Panthers have one more set of regular season games until the region tournament. That tournament will take place here in Skagway Nov. 14-16. Klawock, Kake, Gustavus, Hydaburg, Tok, and the region’s top team, Hoonah, will be at the tournament which could serve as preview of things to come for regionals in December.
“Jeff (Kasler, assistant coach) thinks that we can definitely beat Hoonah.” said Brown. “I’m really excited for the tournament.”
The Panthers hope that excitement turns into solid play. With next week’s tourney as the final regular season action, it does not leave the team with a lot of time to make adjustments.

Shockley bounces back on mats at Sitka, Hoonah
Coughran says more wins will help improve regional seeding

Senior wrestler Clayton Harris gets his arm wrapped by coach Josh Coughran during a break in a match at home last month.

Members of the Skagway wrestling team are starting to post some big wins as the season moves past the midpoint. Every match is important and each win counts toward seeding at next month’s regional tournament.
Every wrestler on the team posted at least one victory at last weekend’s Hoonah Invitational. Senior Chris Shockley and Jeremy Kilburn were the top Panthers, notching third place finishes in their weight classes.
Shockley has shown the most improvement over the past two weeks. After losing some tough matches at home last month, he wrestled very well at both Hoonah and Sitka, where he took fifth, said Skagway coach Josh Coughran.
Once again, Crystal Ketterman boosted the Skagway team’s spirits with a pin in her first match over a Mt. Edgecumbe opponent at Hoonah, her coach said.
He added that senior Clayton Harris, wrestling in a crowded weight class, scored some tough wins, even though he did not place. “He’ll be tough come regionals,” Coughran said.
The Sitka tournament two weeks ago was a good preview to regionals, with all but two or three Southeast teams there, Coughran added. Besides Shockley, freshman Garrett Henry placed in sixth position, and Harris had a tough draw and just missed placing.
Coughran is seeing improvement in all his wrestlers.
“The freshmen are stepping it up, and the seniors are getting there,” he said. “We’re coming down to crunch time for seeding at regionals.”
Coughran, based on what he has seen from other teams, said it’s possible for Skagway to have as many as three wrestlers qualify for the State meet. To do that, they’ll have to finish in the top six at the Region V meet, among all Southeast schools, he noted.
The Panthers will see more big school competition this coming weekend at Ketchikan.