The Kayhi boys soccer teams season is in full swing. Last year, the team went 7-10, beating JD (1-3) and TM (4-0). Senior Mark Jasper has been working on his game in the offseason, going to Sunday drop-ins at the recreation center, highschool drop-ins, and is in the indoor KYSL soccer league. “It’s different than other sports because you always have to be working on your touches,” said Jasper. Many Kayhi students go to drop-ins or go to the field with other team members to work on their skills. Senior Jake Taylor is one of the many students who depend on other activities to keep them in shape. “For me personally, I try and just count on basketball to keep me in shape for soccer,” said Taylor. “I don’t do much to prepare other than that because basketball keeps me busy.” The Kings lost many valuable players over the offseason. Junior Sullivan Schulz mentioned Dawson Daniels, Izaak Jensen, and Henning Pankow as some of the more valued players that the team lost. Nevertheless, he believes that the seniors will step up and fill those holes. “We have lost a ton of seniors that were valuable last year,” said Schulz. “Still, I think that our offense will be killer this year. Mark, Brayden, and Jake should step up and fill those holes.” Because Thunder Mountain didn’t lose any seniors, they should be much more of a threat then they were last year. It may not be as easy to go 4-0 against them. “I think TM is going to be a threat this year. They lost no seniors, and we are basically playing with a new team,” said Schulz. “ We only get a month to play together until our first game against TM, so hopefully we can play well.” Brayden Linne believes it may be difficult to beat rival Juneau Douglas because of the loss of seniors. Still, he and the rest of the team remain hopeful for the upcoming season. “I think it’s gonna be a lot harder with all the seniors gone,” said Linne. “But our team is young, and can hopefully learn what they need by the end of the year.” Taylor said that with a new varsity team, there will be plenty of new members that bring different strengths to the team. With Tim Cook back at goalie, it will make playing JD an interesting matchup. “We are trying to get a lot of people to play this year so that we will have lots of strengths,” said Taylor. “I think we have a good chance to beat or at least compete with Juneau this year.” During the offseason, co head coach Juan Robles has seen significant work put into the game by his players, with many kids in other soccer leagues to improve their skills. “We’ve been busy playing along with city league, and a lot of the younger kids got to be apart of the timber club team,” said Robles. “I have already noticed a lot of maturity in players since last year which is exciting for any coach to see.” Coach Robles is excited for this upcoming season, and is looking forward to all the new faces. “I am honestly just looking forward to getting out there and playing,” said Robles. “We have a great group of kids and a lot of new faces which is going to be a lot of fun.” The Kings first game is April 3rd in Juneau.
The Kayhi track team has had a week of full practice into this years season. The Kings have been training hard in the offseason, running through the Kayhi halls, ad hitting the field every other day. Coming off their first region title in 20 years (beating Thunder Mountain by 1 point), the Kings are eager to get after it again, but repeating will be difficult. Head coach Alex Pennino expects big things from senior Brendan Wong, the former region champion. “Wong was a region champion at the shot put, and placed in the discus,” said Pennino. “I think we are going to see a strong season out of him.” Pennino also is also expecting a breakout season from senior Justice Yoder, who put up big points for the Kings in the regional tournament last year. “He is pretty raw. Hopefully this year he will get more throws in and perfect his form,” said Pennino. “He should be a force to be reckoned with.” Coach Pennino has had teams that were much more talented than the one he had last year. Nevertheless, they were able to pull off the win against TM. He said that the team will need to find new runners if they want to be competitive again this year. “We didn’t really have any outstanding athletes, I had no idea how we would do at regions,” said Pennino. “Everyone just pulled together and we did very well, and ultimately came out on top.” Brendan wong has put hard work into increasing his distance in the shot put and disc throw, and is excited to see how he will do in the first meet. “In my opinion, the first meet will set the tone for the rest of the season for me,” said Wong. “I am really excited for this season.” Crist Carlson, a region champion last year, is hoping to shave 2 seconds off of his 110m hurdle. He is hopeful that the team can win back to back region titles. Because some valuable seniors have graduated, it will make regions more challenging. “I think my chances to win regions back to back are very high,” said Carlson. “I am hopeful that we can win regions back to back, but it will be a tough battle against TM.”
Girls Track The girls track teamplaced 2ndoverall at regions last year. Junior Ashley Cyr has been working hard in the offseason to prepare for the season. “I definitely think I will improve this year because I have been running on my own,” said Cyr. “I have also worked hard on eating much healthier and stretching often.” Sophomore Rachel Knight, who competed at state last year in the 400 meter dash, is feeling the pressure this year because of her past accomplishments. “I believe that I can reach the goals I have set to get myself to state this year,” said Knight. “However, I know this year there will be more competition which will make this goal harder to accomplish.” The Kings first track meet is April 19-20 at home.
Coaches: Laura Kinunan – Long distance coach. Alex Pennino (Head Coach) – Sprinting and mid distance. Michael Rhoads: Throwing Rick Shaner: Hurdles Shelly Tradel : Jumping
Freshman Shaelyn Mendoza hit a corner 3-pointer to beat Juneau-Douglas 52-51 at the buzzer Wednesday night. Mendoza’s three (her only points of the game) put the Lady Kings one win from a 6th straight Region V Championship. Kayhi trailed 48-44 with 1:21 left. Junior Madison Rose hit one of two free throws, the second was rebounded by sophomore Dyllan Borer who hit senior Ashley Huffine for a game-tying 3-pointer. Juneau senior Caitlin Pusich put the Bears back in front 50-48 with 29 seconds left, thanks to a foul call away from the ball. On the ensuing possession, Rose was fouled while setting an on-ball screen and hit the first of two free throws, pulling the Lady Kings to within 1. The Bears were able to run off 16 seconds before Sadie Tuckwood was fouled. Tuckwood sunk the first free-throw but missed the second. Rose collected the rebound and coach Kelly Smith called time out with 4.7 seconds left, setting up the dramatic shot by Mendoza after Huffine used a screen to streak the length of the court and find the freshman in the corner.
Kayhi will face Juneau again at 11:30 Friday morning for the Region V title.
In the last two years, the Kayhi boys have had four chances to win the region championship. All four times Juneau-Douglas won on back to back nights and took home the nets. It’s now or never for Kayhi’s seniors. Senior Jake Taylor has been playing for the team all four years of high school and has seen Kayhi come so close too many times. “We gotta do it this year,” Taylor said. “ It’s my senior year, and I’m gonna be so mad if we don’t win this year, everything has lined up for us to win, and I’m sick and tired of watching us lose every year.” The Kings have been the favorites all season and have beat both Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain by 30 points this year. Senior Cody Kemble feels the pressure about winning regions. “I can feel the pressure this year more than ever,” Kemble said. “We’ve beaten Juneau and Thunder Mountain 3 times each already, and although that boosts my confidence, that puts more pressure on us to win the championship and come home with the net.” Though Kayhi has lopsided victories over Thunder Mountain and Juneau, both have a level of confidence as both beat Kayhi on their home floors. Kayhi lost their first games against Thunder Mountain and Juneau-Douglas. Junior Kristian Pihl said that Kayhi wasn’t mentally ready in those games and believes it won’t happen again. “We came off too easy in those games,” Pihl said. ”We’re on neutral ground though now, no one holds the advantage in this game, so we’re gonna make sure we come out on fire against JD and Thunder Mountain.”
KNOW THE OPPONENT
Juneau Douglas (12-12, 3-5) Last Region Title: 2018 vs. Kayhi: 1-3 vs. other 4A teams: 5-11 Key Player: Cooper Kriegmont Watch out for: Phillip Gonzalez
Juneau Douglas beat Kayhi earlier this season so you can’t count them out. Kayhi needs to play tough defense and force Kriegmont to make a pass or a bad shot. Kayhi also needs to come out on fire, they can’t let JD get any leads in the first period.
Thunder Mountain (10-13, 3-5) Last Region Title: 2014 vs. Kayhi: 1-3 vs. other 4A teams: 8-12 Key Player: Bryson Echiverri Watch out for: Brady Carandang
Both Carandang and Echiverri are capable of catching fire from the three point line. Kayhi also has to watch out for Puna Toutaoilepo, 5’10” center that plays like he’s 6’3”.
Not everyone on the cheer team knows everything about the game, but we try. Here are five things you might not know about us.
Stunting is hard. You don’t realize how hard stunting is until you’re doing it. When we want to learn a new stunt, we search up “cool cheer stunts” on Youtube and a variety of things pop up. The coaches are then showed the video to determine if we are capable of doing it or not. Before trying it they show us the grip, tell everyone what they’re supposed to do and when, and get a whole bunch of spots around the stunt. Lauren is usually the one that steps right in and isn’t afraid of what could happen. Granted it usually doesn’t go as planned the first time, we keep doing it until we perfect it and is game ready. Our stunting usually gets more difficult for our routine, and often we show bits and pieces of it to the crowd during timeouts. The best part about that is they don’t even notice it and are still surprised when we do it in our routine.
We don’t choreograph our own routine. An all star cheer coach from Montana who professionally choreographs routines, comes to town. She teaches us what she had in mind and we make alterations as we see fit to make our team and routine better. When learning our routine we spend long hours at the gym over a span of three days. This year, we learned it during Clarke. So while you guys saw us smiling and cheering our hearts out on the sidelines for the boys and girls game, we had started the day at 8 a.m. and had been cheering ever since.
Standing on the sideline isn’t easy. We are constantly standing during cheer. We stand for an hour and a half or even longer with just a little break at half time. During time outs and in between quarters we have to go out on the floor, do our floor cheers or regions routine all while our backs and legs are secretly killing us. We get no rest, and I know this sounds ridiculous but seriously. Try standing for a whole basketball game and then having to go out there and stunt.
Cheering at Regions is different than cheering at any regular season game. The point of hometown games for us is to practice for regions and to make us better. It’s hard going out there for school song or starting five while trying to keep your nerves under control, and at regions it gets even worse. Everything is supposed to be better, this is what we’ve been preparing ourselves all year to go do. Our smiles should be bigger than before, our attitudes should be the best they’ve ever been, and our jumps are performances should be perfect.
Each night we… …do roughly 15 cheers a quarter. Each cheer has an average of 15 words. We repeat each cheer 3 times. That’s 675 words a quarter. There’s 4 quarters in a game so by the time we finish we have cheered about 2700 words per game, multiplied by two if both teams play, which brings us to over 5000 words – not including our floor cheers, the cheer we do in our regions routine or any other spontaneous words we shout out while cheering.
It’s weird to boo your dad. But sometimes he deserves it. When you’re in 8th grade sitting in pep club and he blows a call, it’s hard not to. I always know when he makes a bad call, because everyone tells me about it. “Tell Steven that he made a terrible call and that he sucks!” Yeah, sure I’ll tell my father that he sucks, I’m sure he’ll love that. Growing up, my friends would all look at me when my dad would make a call, like I blew the whistle. Sometimes I’d stick up for the call, and others I thought they were complete garbage. Booing your dad feels sort of wrong, but not really, it feels pretty good to let it all out with a relentless boo. One game he got booed pretty bad by the entire gym, and naturally I joined in. So after the game he asks me, “Did you boo me on that call?” I said, “Of course not! That was the right call.” My dad has been reffing far before I was born. He’s reffed at pretty much every region tournament, and been selected to a few state tournaments. Ever since the first time I started playing basketball, he has said how much he doesn’t want to ref me. I’ve always wondered why, until I got to high school. Officials in Ketchikan are pretty scarce. So occasionally he would have to ref a game or two that I was playing in. Sophomore year during Clarke I was looking forward to potentially getting some varsity playing time. That time came in the second quarter of the first game. The guy I was guarding shoots a three. What do I do? I lay him out, and guess who calls a foul on me? Steve Kemble. There is no way he should have the audacity to call a foul like that on me, the person who has stood by his side on every call, ever. Beginning of junior year for some reason we had Golden, CO come up for a weekend. Like why in the world did a team from Colorado come 2,000 miles to play a team that is 5’10” across the board? So the first game of the season I end up starting, which was a pretty big jump for me. The whole week my dad was complaining about having to ref the games. I told him it wasn’t that big of a deal. If only I had known how wrong I was. Typically when a father is officiating a son’s game, you’d expect him to be a little harder on his son, right? Well he took it a little too far. Kyle Smith fouled the Golden point guard in the backcourt during a press. Meanwhile, I was at half court. My dad goes up to the scorers table and reports the foul. “Foul is on white #13 with the hold.” I can hear my family in the balcony start to yell. I look down at my number and then up at the scoreboard. “Oh, I’m number 13…” So I sprint up to him and say, “Uh so was that foul on #13?” He sort of stared at me for a second, and then ran over to the scorers table to correct who the foul was on. He hasn’t reffed a game I’ve played in since.