SHS team members give low fives to their Whitehorse opponents before the start of the home tourney.

Photos by Jeff Brady

SHS volleyball team drops two at Regionals
Two seniors all-conference

The Skagway volleyball team ended the season without winning a single match, but they learned to work better together.
At its home tourney Nov. 22-23, the SHS girls dropped two close matches to F.H. Collins of Whitehorse (15-6, 11-15, 13-15 and 15-7, 5-15, 15-12, 7-15, 12-15).
Against Hoonah they were not as effective against the powerful Braves, failing to win a game (7-15, 2-15, 0-15 and 1-15, 2-15, 8-15).
Rebecca Heise stepped down from coaching the team following the home tourney (see sidebar).
Mary Almon and Sherina Cotton agreed to co-coach the team, and Almon took just six players with her to the Region V 2A tourney in Kake Dec. 6-7.
Thorne Bay defeated Skagway (15-2, 15-7, 15-13) in the opening match, and Kake then knocked Skagway out of the tournament, winning all three games by scores of 15-8.
Hoonah defeated Klawock in the championship, and both of those teams advanced to the State Tournament this weekend.
Despite not winning any matches this season, the SHS girls landed two on the regional All-Conference team, seniors Miranda Collecchi and Colleen Ketterman. Named to the regional Good Sports team were Lucie Straub and Sara Sternbagh.
“I think they did fantastic,” Almon said. “They were a great bunch of girls to travel with and be with and a vast improvement on what they were.” – JB & LS.

Volleyball squad changes coaches

Following its home mini-tourney in Skagway early this month, the SHS volleyball team underwent a coaching change.
Coach Rebecca Heise was replaced by co-coaches Mary Almon and Sherina Cotton prior to the team’s final trip to regionals.
Superintendent Michael Dickens explained that the change was “a mutual thing” and that Heise was not fired. During the home tourney, Heise had benched a player for disciplinary reasons, and no longer wished to travel with the team, Dickens said.
Almon, mother of team captain Miranda Collecchi, and Cotton, who houses another player, stepped forward to help, Dickens said.
“All left the meeting with a positive attitude,” Dickens said. “It was clear it couldn’t continue the way it was.”
Almon said the change was good for the team.
“Sherina and I offered to help them out after the little trouble they had at the home games,” Almon said before taking the team to regionals. “They have done a 180 in the week of practice since and I have high hopes for them.”
Heise declined to comment about the situation.

All-Conference Skagway players Colleen Ketterman (above) and Miranda Collecchi (right) spike and serve against F.H. Collins.

Wrestlers wind up season at regionals

The Skagway High School wrestling team did not place any wrestlers in the top three at the Region V 1A-2A-3A Championships in Craig last weekend, and thus had no one advance to the State Meet.
Kyle Fairbanks, the team’s senior captain, lost by two points in a semifinal match to rival Brian Newman of Petersburg. A win in that match would have guaranteed him a State berth, but he still had a chance in the consolation finals to finish in the top three. However, Fairbanks lost another close match by two points to a Hoonah opponent and did not qualify.
Sophomore Crystal Ketterman took fifth place in her division, gaining sweet revenge in her final match against a Thorne Bay wrestler who had beat her early in the tournament.
The freshmen improved. Michelle Harris was 1-2 in her division but did not place, and despite not winning a match, Madeleine Nyhagen advanced well into her rounds and took fourth in a small weight class.
The two freshman were selected for the regional “Good Sports” team.
“All in all, it was a good tourney, a fun trip, and I couldn’t be prouder of the kids this season,” Coughran said. “They stuck with it and toughened up. They are a really great group of kids to be around.” – JEFF BRADY

J-High girls take second in Haines

The Skagway junior high girls made it to the championship game of the Paul Potter Memorial Tourney in Haines over Thanksgiving weekend, but dropped its first game of the season to a much stronger A team from Floyd Dryden of Juneau in the finals, 37-9.
Leah Moore, who scored all of Skagway’s points in that game, was named to the all-tourney team.
The boys squad won just one game over the weekend, but landed a player on the all-tourney team, Connor Kasler.
The junior high teams will wrap up their short season this weekend at the huge Fast Break Tourney in Juneau. Both squads will compete in the B division.