All posts by J. Miller

Freedom is the Open…Ocean

Sophomore Andy Collins has plenty of experience on the water.

Kyle Smith
Staff Editor

On Andy Collins’s 16th birthday, his dad drove him to the Ketchikan DMV to take his drivers test. To some it is nerve racking, but for Andy it wasn’t anything to be too worried about. Pretty soon he’ll be driving down South Tongass in his Silverado with his music blasting, without his dad as a back-seat-driver.
Being a kid from Southeast with a father as a charter fisherman and a brother who seines, Andy has felt this sense of freedom before, when he took his boat out alone for the first time.
“I have been on and around boats as long as I can remember, when I was a kid my dad used to let me steer the boat,” said Collins. “Now I can go out on my boat basically whenever I want.”
“We don’t have a lot of road. I feel like I have way more freedom with my boat than I do with my truck,” said Collins. “I can leave and go explore new things, go wherever I want too, go hunting in different spots, and go fishing.”
Unlike down south, we don’t have a highway to take us around to 48 states. We have water. Some people like Jonathan Skaggs, who moved out of Ketchikan to Arkansas in 2016, has realized this change in lifestyle.
“When I lived in Alaska, my skiff gave me all the freedom I could ever need,” said Skaggs. “Now I have that same freedom, but with my 2005 Toyota Tacoma. There was so much to do out there on the ocean. You could do way more than you can do here.”
Ketchikan is a relatively small town with only 32 miles of pavement from one end of town to the other. The ocean is the highway from Ketchikan to other towns, hunting spots, and our main source of revenue, fishing.
Rick Collins, the owner of Explore Alaska Charters, and the maritime teacher here at Kayhi, finds having a boat a necessity for living in Southeast.
“I charter fish in the summers, and I could not imagine living in Ketchikan without a boat,” said Rick Collins. “My family has always been a little goofy with boats. When I was growing up we always had a few boats around, my dad was really into them.”
Owning a boat comes with a price. The price for maintaining a boat can be more than some people can afford, and being in Southeast Alaska could limit where you hunt, and definitely where you fish.
“Owning a boat really gives you an amazing amount of recreation opportunities,” said Collins. Unfortunately, owning a boat and paying for maintenance has gotten a lot more expensive over the years,” said Collins.  “Prices of motors and fuel have gone way up, and it’s harder for some people to be able to afford.”
Just like his sons Max and Andy, Rick Collins was inspired by his father and is always out on the water doing something, but when he was younger, it was overall cheaper, which made it easier.
When Rick was growing up, prices for gas were around 90 cents per gallon and maintenance was cheaper as well.
“In the mid 80’s, you could get a 28’ boat for $25 thousand easy, nowadays it would be closer to $300 thousand,” said Collins.  “It used to be somewhere around 85 cents a gallon for gas.”
Nowadays in Ketchikan, people are paying closer to four dollars a gallon.  For someone with a boat and a car, filling your tanks could easily be way too much money.
Gas is a big factor in pricing out a car too and unless you know how to do engine work, or how to do other mechanical work, you’re probably paying someone like Chevron or Shaub to do the work. It could be avoided if you knew how to work on your vehicle or knew someone like Clint McClennan, Kayhi’s auto shop and small engines teacher, to give you a hand.
“I make sure all of my kids know how to change the oil in their vehicles, fix a flat tire, and check fluids,” said McClennan. “It is very important to me. it’s cheaper, and it’s always good to know.”
While Rick was into boats growing up and still is, Mr. McClennan has the same passion. But, his just happens to be on four wheels.
“Before I had a car, we used to hitchhike everywhere,” said McClennan. “But when I got my first car, I was kind of a hotshot. It was a 1964 Ford Thunderbird and it looked like a spaceship.”
Young McClennan saw it sitting in his neighbor’s yard and always watched him work on it, when it was time to sell it, he knew he had to have it.
“That was always my only goal, to have a nice car. Even though I couldn’t even drive for another two years,” said McClennan. “I somehow convinced my brother to buy it when I was 14 from our neighbor, I worked all summer at the cannery, mowed lawns, and worked on other peoples cars, saved up 900 and bought it from him when I was 15. Kids at school were all asking ‘what is that thing?’”
We all need to get around somehow and being from Southeast, the water is our main highway, and source of income for many. If you live down south you may never get to experience what people would say is a blessing and a curse.

Softball Goes 0-2 at Home

The Lady Kings (6-6) went 0-2 this weekend against Sitka. With the win on Friday, Sitka (10-2) clinched a spot at the State Tournament.
“We pretty much gave Sitka the state bid,” senior Jenna Miller said. “We have been close all year, and we couldn’t get it done.”
Friday’s game didn’t go Kayhi’s way, and Sitka ran away with the game, winning 11-1.
Saturday looked good for Kayhi as they had a 7-1 lead early in the game. Sitka tallied four runs in the fourth to close the gap to 7-5. Kayhi carried the lead into the seventh, but couldn’t close it out, and lost 10-7.
“Last year we we’re in a similar situation,” Miller said. “I think we’ve grown as a team and realize that this weekend is really important to us.”

Last Game

Jenna Miller
Staff Editor

Softball becomes self defense when you get a line shot hit at you when expecting a ground ball. I won’t miss this, but I will miss just about everything else.
I’m having some weird feelings about playing my last softball game, but at some point it’s over for everybody. After going 12 years playing and falling in love with this sport, I wonder if I’ve made the right decision to not play in college.
I wrote last year that I wasn’t sure if I was going to play in college or not… now I’m not.
Freshman me was never concerned about playing my last softball game or what it would be like without it, but now I find myself constantly thinking about it.
I step onto the field and I take it all in, like if it were my last because I have taken for granted what it has felt like to be apart of something like this, something greater than myself. I play and I’m not playing for me, I’m playing for everyone around me and we rely and trust each other and I think that’s what I’m going to miss, is the connections with everyone.
Between the lack of motivation and the fact that I haven’t done anything all year, playing softball in college would just add to the stress of all of it.
I had a hard enough time picking a school as it was, I couldn’t imagine throwing softball in there and making my decision that much harder.
With the knowledge I have now, I would go back and say junior year Jenna, it’s okay that you’re not playing softball in college. It’s time to let it go and appreciate the fact that it’s ending and that you had a good run.
I’ve played 18 hours playing softball this year, 72 over my career. Including practice time, I’ve spent over 500 hours as part of the Kayhi softball program.
Throughout that, I’ve gone through two gloves, four pairs of cleats, one softball bag, one mask and endless amounts of sunflower seeds and gum.
I’ve acquired two scars on my left knee and one on my hand that are still there, along with countless times I’ve been hit in the leg or ankle with a ball.
Leaving behind this game is big for me, and I’ve never really thought about leaving it behind until last year. But it’s something that most people have to go through. Most people do end it after high school.
I know I’m going to miss parts of the game, but I won’t miss the bruises or the low grade hypothermia.

Staff Pick

Seniors! End of the year projects are…

Cody Kemble: They aren’t as bad as people make them. Most students just use the projects as something to complain about. By this point in my HS career, I am used to doing these. I know that I have to make time to do them and just go little by little and not just do it all in one night.

Tarrant Sasser: Stressful, but not that bad. I’ve been used to a huge workload around  this time a year from studying for finals. This year with no finals to study for the last couple projects make it feel like a normal ending. Although, sports and work haven’t made it easy. I would probably be done with them already if I didn’t leave town every weekend.

Cristopher Carlson: Kind of pointless. I just feel like teachers make us do them to keep us busy for the last couple weeks of school. It’s hard finding time to get them done with everything going on at the end of the year. Everything is just now starting to get chaotic and busy with graduation coming up and all the senior activities and  Regions for all the sports. They just add on extra stress towards the end of the year that is unwanted and needed. I’d rather take a final test or exam at the end of the year that’s based on what we’ve learned in the class than write an 8 page paper that’s heavily weighted based on one subject or topic.

Jonathan Barron: Overwhelming and overall pointless. Seniors should be able to enjoy their last month of highschool without the stress of heavily weighted projects that affect their overall letter grade. Many of us have already enough on our minds with sports, scholarships, AP exam prep, and passing the classes that are graduation requirements. The whole reason for teachers to assign hefty projects is to accomodate for a final typically and a reflection of what they learned over the year. I can understand that, but overall the majority of us seniors have already lost motivation to do much more and will not try as hard as we would earlier in the year resulting in not our best effort which isn’t a true reflection of what we learned. Therefore, those big projects are essentially a waste of everyone’s time and overall pointless.

Softball Splits With Sitka

The Lady Kings split this weekend against the Lady Wolves in Sitka. Kayhi is the first team in Region V to defeat Sitka this season.
“This weekend was really important to us,” Senior Jenna Miller said. “I wish we would have won the first game, but it was good to beat them on Saturday.”

Game 1
Breanna Gentry scored in the top of the first inning to give Kayhi a 1-0 lead. Sitka responded with two runs in the third inning to take the lead 2-1. Kayhi then scored another run in the fourth to tie things up at 2. The Lady Kings scored four more runs in the fifth to go ahead 6-2 and then Sitka tied things up in the fifth. In the sixth Kayhi fell apart defensively, and allowed Sitka to score nine runs, and the game was called due to run differential. Kayhi lost 15-6.

Stats
K. Hodges- 2-4
E. Rauwolf- 0-2
B. Gentry- 0-2
J. Miller- 0-3
G. Clark- 1-3, HR
J. Schultz- 2-3
L. Guevarra- 0-3
K. Bermudez- 1-3, 3B
D. Borer- 0-3

Game 2
Kayhi turned the tables from the previous day, and came out of the gates on fire. The Lady Kings scored seven runs in the top of the first inning. Sitka came back with two runs in the bottom of the first, and then Kayhi scored three more in the second to take a 10-3 lead. Going into the fifth, Kayhi held a 10-6 lead, and added three more runs in the inning. Sitka scored a pair in the fifth inning, and Kayhi tacked on four more in the seventh to take a 17-8 lead. Sitka scored another run in the seventh, but fell short. Kayhi won 17-9.

Stats
N. Edenshaw- 2-2, 2R
K. Hodges- 3-4, 7 RBI
E. Rauwolf- 3-3
S. Mendoza- 1-2
B. Gentry- 0-2
J. Miller- 1-2, 4R
G. Clark- 2-4
L. Guevarra- 0-5
K. Bermudez- 0-4
D. Borer- 3-5, 2 RBI

Staff Pick

Tourism is…

Jenna Miller: I love tourism. I mean, how could you not love it when there’s an extra 10,000 people in your home town crowding the sidewalks and walking out right in front of you when you’re driving. It’s also really fun that during the busiest time of the year there’s road construction going on downtown. It would make no sense to start these projects in the winter when nothing is going on. So thank you Ketchikan for choosing the most inconvenient time to do all this. Sincerely, everyone.

Madison Rose: What this town thrives off of. Ketchikan has sold its soul to the tourist industry and heavily depends for cruise ships to come. Revillagigedo needs these people to come and carelessly spend money so downtown stores and businesses can stock up and make a living. (Along with charter fishermen, tour guides, pilots, restaurants, and basically everyone who lives here.) Many people complain about the tourist season, but Ketchikan has grown a lot from this and without it we wouldn’t be able to provide for ourselves. On the other hand, we continue to entrust in this system and give up more towards tourism, rather than looking for better solutions. We tear down our roads and rebuild the side walks so they are more suitable for the visitors (who come once a year), while the local people are forced to handle construction in their daily lives. Are we actually becoming successful and making progress? Or have we made things worse for ourselves and become so desperate that we are willing to drain ourselves before tourism does.

Liam Kiffer: Tourism Is awesome. Most of the year, downtown Ketchikan is entirely dead. Besides Parnassus Book and Gifts, they’re open year round, 6 days a week. But other than them and a few other stores, downtown Ketchikan is almost completely empty. Tourism wakes up the downtown and makes the city feel alive again. I know people don’t really like tourists because they can be dumb, but I know I’d act the same way I was in a different country too. It’s so fun to see tons of new faces in town and meet new people from all over the world.

Staff Pick

What’s your favorite sign of spring?

Alex Malouf: My favorite sign of spring is the extended daylight. Spring is a good time for me to get caught up with winter projects that never got finished such as boat maintenance, and the extra daylight and improved weather provides some much needed motivation.

Cristopher Carlson:My favorite sign of spring is Easter. Spring doesnt really hit me until I start seeing random bunny and egg decorations around my house that my mom has put up. My family has always kept the same Easter traditions since I was little so thats how I recoginze that spring is finally here.

Micah Britt: My favorite sign of spring is the sun. When it’s bright outside in the morning, the birds are chirping, and there’s a light mist over the grass and trees, this is how I know it is spring. During the winter months it’s harder to get up and go to school, but when I wake up by a ray of sun peeking in through my window I tend to want to get up and go do things.

Jonathan Barron:There is one thing that sets spring different from the other seasons: the positive change in daylight hours. For me, I know spring’s arrived when my 6:30 a.m. alarm shudders me to the sight of sunshine beaming through the windows. In the winter, the lack of sun takes a toll on my mood whereas with the new abundance of natural light causes me to wake up immediately in a brighter mood and ready for the day. This new positive attitude only gets stronger as I peak at the budding trees and mostly sunny skies. Although the cold has only started to suppress, stepping into the fourty degree morning is rather refreshing, much different from winters’ horrid chilly thirty degrees.