Break out your blankets, keep your winter clothes out, and your shovels handy because — you guessed it — spring sports are upon us. Baseball, softball, and soccer tryouts begin today after school. Track pre-season concludes today, marking the start of the regular season. Girls and boys soccer tryouts are at Fawn Mountain field at 3:30 and 5:15 respectively. Softball will be in the Kayhi Main gym at 7:15, while baseball will take the Norman Walker Field batting cages from 3 to 5. Track will have their first practice today right after school in the glorious Kayhi hallways and weight room.
A few dozen students are still looking for housing for next week’s regional tournament. Activities Director, Lynn Wadley, said she hopes that everyone will be housed. “We have no choice but to have them sleep in a classroom at the school if they don’t get housed,” said Wadley. “If they stay at the school we are required to provide one meal for them under the region policy.” Housing Director, Deidra Nuss, said the kids participating are responsible for housing. “Boys basketball, Girls basketball, Cheer, Dance, and Pep Band are all responsible for housing 2-4 kids,” said Nuss. “We still need housing for about 30-40 more kids. [If] the teams get group housed at the school-the problem with that is that there are only 8 showers.” English teacher, Linnaea Troina, said she doesn’t mind housing. “I like housing,” said Troina. We have friends whose house is too small so we are taking two of their people. My husband thinks it’s weird that we are housing,” said Troina. “Since I am from here I am used to it.”
The Kayhi Debate Drama and Forensics team had a strong performance at state placing 3rd out of 21 teams in the Forensics (speech) events. Kayhi competed against 32 public forum debate teams and had the most speakers finish in the top 10. Arick Mattson took first place in Public Forum Debate speaker points, and second in Humorous Interpretation out 64 and 23 participants respectively. Chris Brown and Piper Cooper went undefeated in the public forum (4-0)–one of three teams out of the 32 who finished with that record. While none of the Kayhi teams made it past the octofinals — sudden death where previous records and scores are disregarded — they did finish with the best overall debate record at the meet; all Kayhi teams finished at or above an even record.
Piper Cooper – 4th of 18 Original Oration, 7th of 64 in Public Forum Debate (PFD) speaker points, 7th in Student Congress Jared Valentine – 4th of 24 in Expository Speaking Frances Barry – 5th of 24 in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking, 7th in Duo Interpretation, 4th in PFD speaker points, 4th in Student Congress Thomas Brooks – 6th of 24 in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking, 7th in Duo Interpretation, 6th in PFD speaker points, 6th in Student Congress Chris Brown – 4th of 18 in Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking, 5th of 64, 5th in PFD speaker points Arick Mattson – 2nd of 23 in Humorous Interpretation w/ a command performance, 1st in PFD speaker points Sam Winburn – 9th in PFD speaker points
Public Forum Debate Chris Brown & Piper Cooper (4-0) Thomas Brooks & Madyson Traudt (3-1) Frances Barry & Henry Clark (3-1) Jared Valentine & Brendan Roof (2-2) Sam Winburn & Seth Chernick (2-2) Arick Mattson & Abbigail Gaugler (2-2)
The Kayhi Academic Decathlon team won the Alaska State Championship for the first time this weekend. Kayhi is the very first team from all of southeast Alaska to win state, scoring the fourth-highest amount of points in all of Alaska’s history. Kayhi’s championship team will be going to Texas in April to participate in the USAD national competition. Kayhi senior Largim Zhuta has participated in Academic Decathlon for three years, and said he is more than thrilled to have been apart of the team’s success. “It is totally crazy. Our team has improved every year, and we were very hungry for this title,” said Zhuta. “When the announcer said that we won, we were jumping up and down, cheering – it was definitely special, memorable for sure. We made history, and the atmosphere felt great, there was even some crying going on – but those were definitely happy tears. I can’t even think of the words to describe it.” Coach Peter Stanton said he is very proud of his team. He explained that Fairbanks ruled the system and no other schools had ever won until two years ago, so everyone was extremely proud when Kayhi was pronounced first this weekend. “Nationals is going to be very tough. It’s going to be teams from lots of different states, and even some other countries that do ACDC,” said Stanton. “Some kids have broken records with almost perfect scores, so there are some extremely hard-hitting decathletes elsewhere. We’ll probably be competing in the small schools competition, so I’m not sure who our competition will be, but I think we could do really well.” Kayhi senior and ACDC captain, Max Varela, expressed his excitement for the team and their success. “It was fun, it was really exciting to beat Lathrop and all the other southeast teams were really excited for us too,” said Varela. “It felt important, and really big. Nationals is a lot more competitive than state, but I think we have a good base and we’ll study really hard, and hopefully take home a trophy.”
The Lady Kings (14-9, 6-2) gain some momentum sweeping Thunder Mountain (2-18, 0-6) in their last regular season games of the year. Ketchikan won 63-30 Friday on Pink Night, and 61-25 Saturday on their Senior night. Senior Brittany Slick and junior Ashley Huffine together combined for 30 points Friday night single-handedly tying the Falcons’ final score. The Lady Kings will be trying to feed off of these two conference wins heading into the Region V Tournament looking to extend their recent region dominance by winning their fifth championship in a row. Senior Hannah Maxwell said she was excited about their win on her senior night and is looking forward to the region tournament. “It felt good to get the win on my senior night,” said Maxwell. “Everyone was playing hard and together, we pressed TM for most of the game and that really got us going. I can’t wait for regions.”
Boys Split with TM
The Kayhi Kings (12-10, 4-4) split the series with Juneau Douglas (10-13, 3-5) and Thunder Mountain (12-10, 5-3). Kayhi started their four day trip splitting with Juneau Douglas then played Thunder Mountain on Friday and Saturday. The Kings won the first day, 57-31, and lost the second day 54-59. The win earned Thunder Mountain the top seed at the upcoming regional tournament.
The Kayhi Lady Kings will play the Thunder Mountain Falcons at home today and Saturday. Kayhi has beat the Falcons 14 times in a row with a win average of 23.5 points, but the steadily improving Falcons will pose a threat to Kayhi. Earlier this month in the second meeting between the two teams, Thunder Mountain held Kayhi to 5 first quarter points and lead 12-5 before Kayhi opened up a lead with a 17-2 run. Still, the Falcons would not go away and Kayhi needed a 17-3 run in the second half to secure the win after TM pulled to within 2. Friday’s game will be the annual Pink Night, to support breast cancer awareness. Saturday night is Senior Night and the last regular-season games for Brittany Slick and Hannah Maxwell. Two wins will give the Lady Kings the No. 1 seed at the Region V tournament next month. Senior Brittany Slick has many emotions knowing that it will be her last regular season game for Kayhi ever. “It’s exciting but also sad,” said Slick. “ It will be the end to a sport that’s been a huge part of my life, but ending it on my home floor with my team is really exciting. It is also a huge moment of gratitude realizing how many people helped me to get to where I am today. I couldn’t have done it without my team, family, and coaches. Senior Captain Hannah Maxwell is very sad knowing that her high school career is coming to an end. “I’m definitely going to cry,” said Maxwell. “Basketball has been a part of my life since I could walk, and now it almost over. This weekend will be one to remember.”
Junior Marcus Lee scored his 1000th point in an 81-69 win over Juneau Douglas. Lee was the Kings high scorer with 35 points followed by Chris Lee with 12. Kayhi will now play the second half of a 4-game road trip. The Kings will play Thunder Mountain tonight and tomorrow. Kayhi split in their previous games, Kings winning the first game 54-48 and losing the second 77-67. Kayhi (3-3) is one game behind Thunder Mountain (4-2) in the race for the top seed in the Region V tournament. Thunder Mountain is No. 10 in the WPI rankings released on Wednesday. Kayhi is sitting at No. 9, followed by Juneau at No. 13.