Due to a heavy amount of snow on Esther Shaye Field, the Kayhi girls soccer games against Thunder Mountain High School and Sitka have been canceled this weekend.
A pending reschedule for the games has yet to be determined.
The runner-up at regionals, the Kayhi Kings varsity baseball team will be kicking their season off in Arizona on Thursday at 11:30 am against Joy Christian High School (Glendale) to start off the Coach Bob invitational.
The Kings had an outstanding season last year having Alaska Gatorade player of the year Nathan Bonck who is now a pitcher for Seattle University. This 2017 season, Kayhi will have 8 returning seniors, 4 of them were previous starters and 7 returning juniors.
Junior Gabe Bowlen believes that the team will have a great start to the season.
“I think that the team will do exceptionally well this year. Even though I’m just a third year returner not knowing the full potential of the team without last years,” Bowlen said. “My freshman year, both the freshman and sophomore classes had a lot of good team chemistry. Since we are gonna be playing a lot of the same kids, I think we’ll do pretty well this season.”
Andy Berntson, is now heading into his 7th year of being a head coach and 10th with the program and has high expectations of the team.
“In this group we have an excellent combination of kids. I think that will be fun. The young guys making an impact, which will be a different thing,” said Berntson. “We have had years past where the older groups have been so talented that makes it hard to get everyone playing time, so that will be something to keep an eye on.”
Kayhi’s next games will be on March 31 at 8:30am against Seaside High School OR, and against Joy Christian High School on April 1st at 10am. Last season the Kings lost to Joy Christian 8-4.
“I watched her play in fourth grade,” said girls basketball Coach Kelly Smith. “She dominated, even though she was small, she was skilled, that’s when I knew she was going to be special.”
AJ Dela Cruz could be described in the same way her senior year as she was in fourth grade; small, skilled, and dominant. She is now a four-time region champion, a member of Alaska’s all-state team (third team), and is recognized as one of the best shooters in the state of Alaska.
Despite her accolades, AJ was forced to watch from the bench as her team lost to Dimond in the state semi-finals last season. Her ACL betrayed on a simple jump stop late in the season against Juneau.
“It felt horrible missing regions and state last year,” said Dela Cruz. “I had played basketball with those seniors from 6th grade on, so it hurt at first, but it was good to see them still playing well.”
AJ is also not just about All-Conference this, and All-State that; she makes a big impact for her team off of the court as well.
“Her passion for not just basketball, but life is contagious,” says Coach Smith when asked about AJ off the court. “I am proud to get the chance to not only coach her, but to know her as a person. She is a class act.”
When she came back to the court this year, it wasn’t an immediate success, but as she slowly built up confidence in her leg and in her skills, she became the short, dominant force again.
“At first I was just excited to be back there and win,” said Dela Cruz. “We didn’t win my first couple games, but we eventually got to where we wanted to be and started winning.”
Kayhi went 7-1 down the stretch to win the region title. At the state tournament AJ averaged 15 points and ended her career with 21 points in a loss to Chugiak. Most basketball players don’t get the chance to go to state four years in a row and be all-state after a potential career ending injury. AJ Dela Cruz has done it all during her four years as a Lady King.
Click below for Information on Kayhi’s first round opponents at state.
A study done by professor Herb Schroeder at University of Alaska, sparked conflict recently when he found that 71.5 percent of students graduating from Kayhi, take at least one remedial class at UA even though many had passed a similar class in high school. This study was used in several publications which lead to the misrepresentation that Kayhi graduates are ill-prepared when moving on to further education.
Schroeder said the study was intended to better understand why students coming from Alaskan high schools were so underprepared when arriving to a university.
“There is a disconnect between the grades students earn in high school and the knowledge that they acquire,” said Schroeder. “If a student earns an A in trigonometry that should mean they understand trigonometry. The study showed that for most students, this is not the case.”
The study has become a controversial topic between Kayhi’s teachers and staff members throughout the high schools mentioned in Schroeder’s study.
“Our school is listed as one of the top five schools that are needing the most remediation,” said Principal Bob Marshall. “It bothers me because I’m curious to know more about his study because it seems like where he chose to use his data and facts don’t add up to what we know about our students that leave here and go to universities.”
Schroeder’s study has left many questions regarding the validity of the data. The small sample size in his data left people concerned because it would go on to make the percentages look more substantial than they really are.
“I don’t think he has enough numbers to draw conclusions,” said counselor Robert McClory. “If he is saying that we have one kid up in Anchorage that’s taking a remedial math course that certainly doesn’t sentence anybody to failure at any university.”
Though some might believe the study suggests Kayhi, among other schools, are failing their students, Science teacher D Jay O’Brien strongly believes that the teachers go out of there way to help the students learn the material.
“That data contradicts this study to some degree,” said D Jay O’Brien. “It would be unfair to say that Kayhi as a whole is unprepared, because we have a whole lot of data to show that our students are doing very well in the universities.”
According to many staff members at Kayhi, the University of Alaska doesn’t attract the majority of our top students. Traditionally top students at Kayhi go on to pursue further education down south where more opportunities are presented.
“Knowing that we have students that aren’t just qualifying for University of Alaska, but have major universities down in the lower 48 that are accepting our students shows a lot,” said Marshall. “It’s easier to point to the one or two that are going to Harvard or West Point Academy, but the fact that we have students that continue to go to good schools across the country says something about the program that we have here at Kayhi.”
Superintendent Robert Boyle, is concerned about the misinterpretation that the study has provided and hopes people don’t get the wrong idea about the quality of education at Kayhi.
“I have spoken with other people that are associated with the University, and they don’t feel that way about our students,” said Boyle. “Instead of me thinking it is a flaw within our school, I see it being a flaw within the University of Alaska system. It doesn’t matter what grades you have or how good you did academically, if you enroll they will make you take the Accuplacer test, which you must score above a certain score, or else you will be placed in a developmental class.”
Most colleges don’t use the Accuplacer test for student placement because the classes students take in college would then depend on a single score rather than previous grades and academic achievements.
Though the study was intended to raise awareness of potential unpreparedness, some are concerned about the misrepresentation of these high schools.
“I feel he has insulted you as students, he’s insulted our former students, our school board, all our administrators, and clearly me by saying I have not been doing my job, all of that based around an alleged study that he’s done on a very small sampling of students from our schools,” said Boyle. “We have had countless incredibly successful students graduate from our school, and to suggest that our teachers are not doing their job well, I think that shows he has a very narrow mind in terms of what happens in the public school system.”
School was in session for Ketchikan students Friday because the unprecedented weather conditions got a late start. Director of Human Resources Rick Rafter said the decision to have school was made before the snow started.
Rafter said decisions regarding school happen around 4 a.m. Parts of Ketchikan did not start seeing snow until two hours later.
All after school activities were canceled.