All posts by leahcall

Knowing when it’s over

Dyllan Borer
Staff Writer

Jenna Miller knew it was over when she had no desire left in her to keep playing. Mr. Raber knew it was over when he had only four years of eligibility.  Mr. Collins knew it was over when he stepped off the mat for the last time his senior year.

Every athlete knows that one day their sports career will end but no one is ever really ready. Whatever the reason – graduation, loss of passion, personal reasons, single-sport focus – athletes have to adjust to their new lives. 

Maritime teacher and wrestling coach Rick Collins played football, baseball, ran cross country, and wrestled, which was his main sport. He enjoyed playing sports and it was a tough transition for him when it was all over. He always had someone on him about his grades and keeping him focused but that all changed in college.

“When I got to college all of a sudden there was less structure in my life,” said Collins. “I picked Western [Washington] partly because they didn’t have a wrestling team because I was worried I would have a hard time wrestling and keeping up with school. In the end that may have been a mistake, with the less structure I filled that time with goofing off.”

Collins ended up replacing wrestling with Judo. 

“It didn’t have the big commitment like a varsity sport which was good for me,” said Collins. “If I needed to skip practice to study for a test I could.”

Eventually Collins found his way back to wrestling and is now coaching. This has changed his perspective as he now sees athletes participating in their final seasons and matches. 

“As a coach it’s sad when a senior walks off the mat for the last time,” he said. “You’re used to breaking down the mistakes so they can gear up for their last match but this is their last one. Then all of it is put in perspective and it’s sad, but I know I have taught those kids more than just how to wrestle but life long lessons.”

Before graduation

There’s a difference between knowing your career is over and being too mentally weak to handle a coach or being committed to the time required of a program. 

One day it just isn’t fun for them and everything changes. In 2016, The Washington Post reported that 70% of kids stop playing sports by the time they are 13. A lot of it due to the time commitment, and sports being year round. If you want to be competitive and go on to play college you have to be invested but there aren’t enough months in a year for two 10-month seasons. This eventually happened to Jenna Miller with basketball. 

“With me it was my freshman year trying to handle basketball and softball, and trying keeping up with my grades,” said Miller. “I just felt like I didn’t have enough time and that I wasn’t good enough. I was focusing my energy into something I wasn’t really into anymore.” 

Miller played basketball for as long as she could remember and she ended up not trying out for the team her sophomore year. She was known as a basketball player to most of the town, so people asked her for months why she didn’t play. That was a tough subject for her. In a town that revolves around basketball it isn’t a decision that athletes take lightly, that you’re letting down the community, program, your family, and the school. 

“You stop playing the sport you’ve grown up playing,” said Miller. “You’re always going to second guess your decision and wonder what things would’ve been like if you kept playing.” 

Going to the games was a struggle for Miller for a long time. She eventually realized there was nothing she could do about it but move on. 

“I did have doubts at first and questioned myself a lot after the first couple months of tryouts. I mean I couldn’t even set foot in the gym for a while without wishing I was out there playing but eventually I came to terms with the fact I wasn’t playing.”

Miller played softball for Kayhi, and had the best season of her career. Her sophomore year she batted .450 and maintained a 4.0 the whole year. 

Sometimes you have to go out on a limb and try something new and Miller did. Her junior year she tried out for the cheer team and made varsity. 

Miller really enjoyed cheer and said she was really happy with the decision she made.  

“I still felt involved with everything,” said Miller. “I was cheering next to my friends and cheering for my friends who were on the basketball team.”

Miller finally found something she really enjoyed doing and was happy with herself. It took her awhile to find out what she really wanted but once she did she had a blast working hard with new teammates and learning a new sport. 

Similar to how Collins found Judo to replace wrestling, Miller found cheer. 

“Life is a lot easier when you find a passion you’re really into,” said Collins.  “Then it’s so much easier to work hard and you love to go do that thing and you genuinely enjoy it.” 

Ending after college

Raber had an even more difficult time letting go since his career lasted until after college.

“It was sad, I just knew, I only had four years of eligibility, I had to give up a dream, but I was lucky,” said Raber. “I got to play in college because not everyone gets to.”

If you ask any athlete if they have any regrets they will almost always say yes. Sometimes in the moment athletes are looking for shortcuts while others think they are doing all they can. Still others reflect and wish they had done more. Raber is one of the many that have regrets now that he is older.

“Always wish I would have had more effort and less whining about the small stuff,” said Raber.

Athletes that play in college usually have two practices a day during season, consisting of practice and weights. You have someone telling you what to do and when to do it everyday- it stays consistent. Raber had no idea what to do with his time. He took up skiing and did that a lot until he got involved in an old mans hockey league later. He said he got super lazy and never worked out until he was older.

“I got super fat and never did anything,” said Raber. 

Raber has since changed his habits and does local distance runs and is dedicated to staying in shape. He hasn’t been an athlete on a team for a while, but is staying athletic. 

When sports end you determine what you do with your life now. You can decide to use what sports have taught you or not but sports teach you great life lessons, and give you attributes you can use your whole life. 

“It really helps you in life, not everyone can be a college athlete or even a pro,” said Collins. “So you can take what you learned in athletics and turn it into working hard to achieve goals and learning to deal with failures and setbacks.” 

AcDc competes in home meet

Francis Sherman
Staff Writer

Over the weekend ACDC finished their home meet, competing against Juneau and Metlakatla. Campbell Sande came in first overall against the 40 other students. 

“The team has improved so much,” Stanton (ACDC Coach) said. “We even had a three way tie for first place in music.” 

Kayhi’s team has improved by more than 60 points since their last meet.

Logan Cope-Powell 3rd
Evelyn Nutt- 2nd
Matthew Nutt- 1st
Franchezca Correa- 1st
Campbell Sande- 1st

Social Science
Franchezca Correa- 1st

Campbell Sande- 2nd
Franchezca Correa- 1st

Campbell Sande- 3rd
Franchezca Correa- 2nd

Evelyn Nutt- 2nd

Evelyn Nutt- 2nd

Matthew Nutt- 3rd

Campbell Sande- 2nd

Evelyn Nutt- 1st

Campbell Sande- 3rd

Regulations vs. Morals

Michael Thacker
Staff Writer

“If I could shoot 4 deer, I could technically keep them all,” D’Jay O’Brien said. “But I never would because I don’t need that many to feed my family.”

Need can be a funny thing. It’s often a perceived need that leads people to how much they harvest while hunting and fishing. Whether the need is for personal recognition or feeding their family, people tend to feel that the regulation amount is either just right, or not enough. What people fail to realize is that that’s why we have regulations. To protect the species that surround us from people’s personal beliefs. 

Ross Dorendorf from the Fish and Game Department of Ketchikan Alaska has first-hand knowledge of the regulations and why they’re updated. He knows the history of market hunting and how it impacted the start of hunting and fishing regulations.

“We have to limit people to a certain bag limit because if we didn’t they would harvest everything they could,” Dorendorf said. “Eventually, nothing would be left.”

Doerndorf gets complaints all the time about changing regulations and thinks the main issue is misinformed people. Many people blame the local Fish and Game Departments for regulations when most of them are made at the Federal level. 

“People put in proposals and they get to decide which ones get put in effect. Of course, the F&G Department put in most of the proposals for regulation changes cause we see them first-hand, but anyone anywhere in the world can do it,” Dorendorf said. “If more people knew that information, more people could make proposals to maybe cause a difference”

Morals are to blame for whether you open the door for a lady and how you eat at the table, it only makes sense they would affect the way you harvest game. The people with the best morals do whatever possible to conserve the wildlife, even if it puts them at risk. 

“The way people treat nature affects how we have to monitor the wildlife,” Dorendorf Said. ”An example of someone with great ethics would be if they reported themselves when there was no one else around for something like hitting 2 deer and going over a bag limit. Many people would try to keep it hushed up, just to get in a hot heap of trouble when they get reported.”

Mark Finses is a Wildlife State Trooper in Ketchikan, Alaska that deals with enforcing game regulations all year round he says he deals with issues all year round. He says the office gets up to 10 calls a day in summer and 10 calls a week in winter. Unfortunately, most big events are nearly impossible to prevent. 

 “It’s generally small things like fishermen snagging on the wrong side of the bridge in Hering Cove that’s quick to fix just by informing the public,” Finses said. “Big things though are almost impossible to resolve. Spotlight hunters on Gravina may never get reported, let alone tracked down and prosecuted.”

Finses feels personal ethics conflict with legal ethics and that’s where the problems start. 

“Personal ethics vs legal ethics conflict a lot. Most people have a different outlook on every regulation whether it be setting a higher standard for themselves or setting it even lower. For example, no law says you can’t shoot a duck on the water. Some people take this and information and refuse to shoot them until they’re flying. I, however, would shoot all I could while they were still.”

Learning ethics
Most people learn their morals from friends and family. The perfect example for me was my father, Jonathan Thacker, who is someone who sets the bar higher for himself because of the way he lived as a kid. I remember him throwing back my first catch as a child because it wasn’t big enough. He learned his respect for nature as a child. 

“As a kid, my family had little to no money. We relied on the rivers in Kentucky to feed us.” Thacker said. “We set out trotlines and checked them daily. We got tens of pounds of fish every day and threw back all the small catfish and everything after our limit. This meant that most of our fish went back into the muddy water they came from. It was our way of showing respect even though we needed the food. We respected the regulations and lived off the same river for almost 20 years. More if you count my father’s childhood.” 

Thacker has seen many people not share similar respect to nature and that’s why even today in Ketchikan he set’s the bar high. He feels that if everyone had the same respect for nature as he did as a child there would be no need for regulations.

“I see people hunt and fish in protected land all the time in my line of work. We’ve even had someone break into the Whitman Lake Hatchery and steal king salmon fry. People like that are why I set the bar so high for myself. To make up for what gets overlooked. and maybe give nature a chance to support everyone. Its an issue of respect for the land.”

Why it matters
In Ketchikan, Alaska the public has already been informed there is no harvest allowed for pelagic rockfish in the upcoming year. This is a perfect example of why it matters. If people did “the right thing” and released undersized fish, there would be no need to cut off harvest. 

O’Brien fears a future in which our beautiful species of wildlife have just disappeared.

 “I never want it to get to the point where we have to tell our grandkids that it used to be cool to be able to catch these things called yelloweye,” O’Brien said. “They grew really slow and if you caught one that’s a decent size it would be 60 years old just to hear, “Really grandpa I’ve never seen one of those.” That would be one of the most tragic things to hear. That’s why the regulations are here, to protect resources like our different fish species and I feel you should, at the minimum, adhere to them.”

Looking in the United States history alone shows plenty of examples of unfortunate species lost in time due to over-harvesting. 

“It used to be perfectly legal to obtain and sell game products like meat and furs in masses,” Dorendorf said. “So many people did it that we eventually started harvesting so much we were killing off entire species like the buffaloes of the Midwest. Much of our past was like this.”

Lady KIngs Face On Lady Braves

Nadire Zhuta
Staff Writer

Kayhi will face Mount Edgecumbe at home on Saturday at 5:15 p.m and Sunday at 12 p.m. Last year the Lady Kings went 3-1 against Braves 

Senior Madison Rose is excited about the team chemistry that has been built. 

“I am looking forward to the new atmosphere that coach has set for us, and the encouragement of the team, working together and playing selfishlessly.” 

Due to weather cancellation of school on Friday the Lady Kings and the Lady Braves will face off on Saturday and Sunday.

Basketball Break Recap

Nadire Zhuta
Staff Writer

Boys Basketball 
Kings were crowned champions in the 2019 Clarke Cochrane Christmas Classic for the third time in the last four seasons. The Kings cruised past Craig 64-29 in the first round. In the semi-finals Kayhi trailed Monroe 61-60 with 11 seconds left, Kayhi freshman Joeban Lorenzo hit two clutch free throws to send the Kings to the championship game. The Kings then defeated West Anchorage 60-58 to claim their second consecutive Clarke Cochrane championship victory. 

Days later Monroe got revenge at their tournament and beat Kayhi 84-78, the Kings also fell to Grace Christian 57-52 then beat Valdez 63-54 to finish 3rd in the McKinley Bank Holiday Classic in Fairbanks. 

Girls Basketball 
The Lady Kings finished 2nd in the CCCC. The Lady Kings beat Eagle River 49-34 in the first round and then defeated South Anchorage 43-37 in the semi-finals to head to the championship. The Lady Kings fell to Esperanza (CA) in the championship game 54-32. 

The Lady Kings finished 2nd in the McKinley Bank Holiday Classic in Fairbanks. They dropped their first game of the tournament to Monroe 44-39. They then beat Grace Christian 43-22 the second night and beat Valdez the third night 50-40.

CCCC All-Tournament Team 

James Nordlund 
Chris Lee (CCCC Free Throw Champion)
Kristian Pihl (CCCC 3-Point Champion)
Madison Rose
Nadire Zhuta
Jenae Rhoads 

McKinley Bank Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team
Kristian Pihl
Chris Lee
Jenae Rhoads
Nadire Zhuta

Wrestlers head to State

Dyllan Borer
Staff Writer

Twenty-three Kayhi wrestlers will compete in the state tournament starting Friday and finishing Saturday night.

Junior Andy Collins is a 3-time state qualifier and a 2-time region champion and has his eyes on a trip to the Finals this year. 

“My weight class is tough,” said Collins. “ I can’t just go out there cold, I need to be warm and ready to bang heads.”

Wrestling often has its upsets, which will give several Kings the opportunity to advance. 

“Technically everyone has a shot at winning which is the beauty of wrestling, you can be down 12-15 and then put someone on their back and pin them and win, things like that can happen and happen a lot. 


Klawock Invitational

Nadire Zhuta
Staff Writer

The Kayhi boys and girls JV basketball teams are heading to the Klawock for a three day tournament.

Freshman JJ Parker is looking forward to getting some game minutes at this tournament and said it should be a pretty good tournament.

“I’m looking forward to playing some actual games with the boys,” said Parker. “I think it’s going to be a pretty fun and successful tournament.”

Sophomore Gabby Mas is also looking to get some more game time in Klawock and hopes to improve as a player.

“I’m looking forward to playing a lot and getting better as a player,” said Mas. “I want to learn to control the ball better and not panic.” 

Thursday, December 19th
Kayhi C  vs Thorne Bay JV 4:30 p.m. (Boys)
Hydaburg vs Thorne Bay 5:45 p.m. (Boys)
Kayhi JV vs Thorne Bay 7:00 p.m. (Girls)
Kayhi JV vs Klawock 8:15 p.m. (Boys) 

Friday, December 20th
Kayhi C vs Thorne Bay JV 4:00 p.m. (Boys)
Kayhi JV vs Hydaburg 5:15 p.m. (Boys)
Klawock vs Thorne Bay 6:30 p.m. (Boys)
Klawock vs Thorne Bay 7:45 p.m. (Girls)

Saturday, December 21st 
Kayhi C vs Thorne Bay JV 1:45 p.m. (Boys)
Kayhi JV vs Thorne Bay 3:00 p.m. (Boys)
Kayhi JV vs Klawock 4:15 p.m. (Girls)
Klawock vs Hydaburg 5:30 p.m. (Boys) 

Hoops Season Tips Off

Nadire Zhuta
Staff Writer

Ketchikan will get its first glimpse of the defending state champs and six-time region champs on Saturday at Meet the Kings. 

 Senior captain Kristian Pihl is reminiscing as his last Meet the Kings approaches. 

“A lot of different emotions go through my head, a lot of memories,” said Pihl. 

Freshman Lindsay Byron is excited and anxious to play at her first Meet the Kings. 

“I’m nervous. Especially being on Varsity as a freshman, it’s a lot of pressure for us three freshman,” said Byron. “I’m very excited though, it’s going to be fun with my girls by my side.” 

There will also be a filipino dinner fundraiser for the boys basketball team during Meet the Kings. Tickets are on sale for 15$ and there are limited quantity at the door. 

Pihl said that Meet the Kings is one of the teams biggest fundraiser due to the fact that the community is willing to donate so much money to the team.

“Meet the Kings has turned into one of our big fundraisers because of how our community supports us and wants to give us money,” said Pihl. “There’s no other place that has what we have, we are so fortunate.” 

Both the boy’s and girl’s Varsity and JV basketball teams will be playing as well as a performance from the K-HighLites, Kayhi Cheer, the SMS Knightlites and Studio Max Dancers. 

Saturday December 14th
6:00-6:30 p.m. Lady Kings JV/C 
6:30-7:00 p.m. Kings JV/C
7:00-7:45 p.m. Lady Kings Varsity 
7:45- 8:30 p.m. Kings Varsity 

The Nutcracker opens tonight

Domenica Troina and Kelsey O’Brien after their second Nutcracker Performance

Nadire Zhuta
Staff Writer

Freshman Domenica Troina was in third grade the first time she was an angel in the Nutcracker and six years later she’s the lead angel. Troina would have never imagined having the opportunity and said with the higher role as the lead angel comes greater responsibilities. 

“As you get older you have to get stronger on point,” said Troina. “I never thought I’d be the lead role, it’s really cool to think that one year you can go from being in a group dance to working hard to have a solo.” 

Senior Bella Roberts has been a part of the Nutcracker for nine years and said her competitive drive has landed her some big roles in the Nutcracker.

“Some of my accomplishments have been me getting some of the biggest roles, such as Clara the main character. But also the more technical pieces such as Snow Queen and this year the biggest one is Sugar Plum,” said Roberts. 

Roberts said there’s a lot of preparation, time and work that come with being in the show. Numerous amount of hours are spent each day two weeks prior to the show as well as individual conditioning needed to maintain a good amount of stamina. 

 “Each of us dance six hours after school two weeks leading up to performance day. We try to maintain the stamina needed. The week leading up to the show I try to make sure I’m doing extra stuff like running after rehearsals and cross training.” 

Senior Carter Thomas got asked to play the role of a dad by Amanda Dale. It’s Thomas’s first year being a part of the show he said that it’s nothing like the sports he has done before, such as basketball and football. 

“It’s a lot different from the sports I’ve been playing like football and basketball, football and basketball you just play and if you make a mistake you can make it up but with dance it’s different because you have to be at an exact location on the stage at an exact time or it’ll mess up your whole performance,” said Thomas.       

The Parents

D Jay O’Brien whose daughter Kelsey is in the Nutcracker said the preparation needed to be a part of the Nutcracker is a big load for kids. O’Brien thinks that juggling school, dance, and any other activities that kids have during this time is a big to take on by kids. 

“It’s a big undertake” said O’Brien. “[The Nutcracker] it’s similar to march madness, or any of the other big events for athletes such as Regions. Are kids really able to juggle all the things that they have in that crucible week?”

Dominick Pader has two daughters in the Nutcracker this year, Pader jokingly stated that he has been their “personal unpaid uber driver”  throughout their years of being involved in the show. 

The Alumni

Largim Zhuta participated in the Nutcracker his senior year of high school which was two years ago (2019). Zhuta was reaching the end of his high school days and said he wanted to take a chance and venture outside of his comfort zone since. 

“An opportunity arose where I could take a risk and venture outside my comfort zone and doing ballet. I simply saw that I had never done anything outside my comfort, and when the opportunity arose for me to satisfy that desire I rationally took it. It was more of a “What have I got to lose?” process.”

Zhuta said that what the performers did was no joke and that the crucial amount of hours they spent perfecting their performance during “Hell Week” was a lot. Zhuta had never done this type of dancing before so he struggled he even explained how he had trouble with simple tasks such as warm ups. 

“The skill the ballerinas had was quite impressive. I remember doing a warm up routine with the some of the younger dancers and ballerinas, and I remember struggling with it,” said Zhuta.  “I do remember dress rehearsals during “Hell Week” being very long. We started right after school and went on till around 7. So actually if you do the math right there. We spent 4 hours a day at the school that week for 4 days. Then we performed two shows, one on friday and one on saturday. So if you add that all up you get a lot

The doors open for the Nutcracker tonight at 7 p.m.  the show will start at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday doors open at 1:30 p.m. and the show will start at 2 p.m. 


Basketball Tryouts

Girls Basketball Tryouts 

Tyler Slick 
Staff Writer

Girls basketball tryouts are this week on Wednesday from 3:00-6:00 in the Kayhi gym. 

Senior captain Nadire Zhuta says that the key to tryouts is a “Mind Over Matter” mindset. 

“The most important thing you need to have to be able to try out for the team is discipline,” said Zhuta. “You have to be able to tell yourself that you can do it and push yourself mentally. It’s all in your mind, if you tell yourself you”ll get through it, you will, but if you doubt yourself and tell yourself, you can’t, then you won’t make it far in tryouts.”

Senior Lianne Guevarra thinks that the best thing to do is to compete regardless of tiredness. 

“I would want the kids to know to try their best,” said Guevarra. “Regardless of the people around them. Coaches like kids who try, it’s not all about talent. It’s about kids who fight through the drill no matter what he [the coach] puts in front of you”

Boys Basketball Tryouts 

Nadire Zhuta
Staff Writer

Boys basketball tryouts are this Wednesday in the Kayhi gym from 6:00-9:00. 

Boys team head coach Eric Stockhausen talks about tryouts.

“I’ve already written up the tryout plan but it depends on the number of guys you have, how many returners and where your starting point is,’ said Stockhausen. 

Senior Kristian Pihl is is very prepared for his last high school basketball tryouts. 

“I am very prepared,” said Pihl. “This is my last rodeo, I feel I have a good idea of what will be thrown at me, and I’ve never been more excited to start this year.”