The holidays are joyous occasions for everyone every year. Kids go out and get candy from complete strangers. Families gather together and eat turkey. Presents are given and received. Every couple is under Mistletoe. Parents are lifting their small children up and hanging ornaments. Life is supposed to be good, right? Four years ago, Christmas wasn’t a very happy occasion for the Karlik and Thompson families.
It was just like any other December for us. Dad and I had just finished our last shift of selling Boy Scout Christmas Trees. Wrestling season was done and I could eat again. Mom had just finished grading all of her assignments. Debi was being Debi in her room with her Pokemon and Sonic. Chris was hanging out with his crew in town. Everything was going right in our world.
On December 16th, Mom suddenly got a call and started crying. She whispered something to Dad and he sprinted out the door toward Uncle Chet and Aunt Alisa Thompson’s house. I had absolutely no idea what was going on. Mom wouldn’t tell me; she said I didn’t need to know yet. I got frustrated because she tells me everything. Then I paused and realized that she tells me everything and that I should trust her. I went downstairs and try to get my mind off of it and played video games.
It doesn’t work and I constantly lost my matches thinking about what it could be. “Are they getting a divorce?” No, of course not; they love each other too much. “Did dad get a new job somewhere else and we have to move?” No, Mom would’ve told me to start packing.
Time eventually passed and I went up for dinner and Mom told us life-changing news, Lance has Leukemia. I was shocked that my little three year old cousin had cancer. It was devastating. I didn’t think he would make it at first. I rarely heard a good story of a person surviving it. I thought I was about to lose my little cousin to cancer.
Over the first couple of months, it was a rough time for Lance. He couldn’t even be home for Christmas and really bummed us all out. January came and the community started a campaign to help raise funds for the Lance and the rest of the Thompson family called “Lancelot’s Crusade”. They made bracelets and T-shirts with this phrase and got donations. The money helped make care-packages to send to them along with the actual money. We did everything we could to help him.
We had no contact with Lance and the only way we got up to date was Alisa writing journal entries on the site CaringBridge.com. It’s a place where cancer families could write updates of their loved ones to people who supported them and even get donations. Those journal entries were the only things getting us through. Alisa was, and still is, an amazing writer. When mom first told me that Lance had cancer, she showed me the first entry. I cried so hard that day.
I couldn’t focus the next day at school. All I could think about was this little child being very sick. It sounded devastating. Mom and I sat down every lunch period for school and read what Alisa wrote that day. I read about Lance and his first reaction to steroids. He was a miniature Hulk destroying everything and even his parents were scared. I thought poor little guy. The next thought was, poor parents. They must being going through so much more than I am by a long shot.
Being the strong little boy he was, he trudged through the long and enduring battle. Lance got to go to a ton of sporting events as an honored guest. He got to tour so many sports teams’ practice facilities. He even got to go meet frickin Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks! When Sherman asked if he wanted to switch shoes, Lance, being the smart little boy he is, answered,
“Your shoes are too big for me.”
Chet was so starstruck and was so frustrated that Lance would miss this once in a lifetime opportunity. The three of them laughed it out. I still have that picture of them; it’s priceless.
We got frequent updates from Aunt Alisa on Caring Bridge. Some days we were joyous. Some days we laughed over her creative writing ability. Some days we heard minor and major setbacks and some of us cried (It was totally mom every single time. I never cried at all. At least in front of people).
Lance did make it and he is healthy and better than ever. He is now probably my favorite cousin (sorry Brian). He is my mini me. He loves sports and we have intellectual NFL conversations together. He looks more like me than his actual father. Considering I look nothing like my parents most of the time, I jokingly wonder if Lance and I are brothers in some other family. I am so glad he made it. I still wear that orange wrist band everyday with the strong and powerful words, “Lancelot’s Crusade”. I will never forget that strong kid and his story.
Taking journalism has definitely been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in high school. Leaving one of my favorite teachers and favorite class is going to suck, and I’m probably not going to find this anywhere else. Journalism changed my perspective on writing and it became something I want to pursue in college. It’s bittersweet to say that this will be the last thing I write for the Kayhi Current. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to explore something that I’ve grown to love. I will never forget the things I learned.
Twas’ the night before Thanksgiving and everyone exits their schools. The leaves are gone and so are the ghouls. This is usually a special occasion and everyone should join. I should be eating some juicy pork tenderloin. My friends are all eating, but something is flawed. For I did not join them, and the same goes for my wrestling squad. I can’t even eat my own turkey, being cut with the knife. These are the troubles of a wrestling life.
This year is the last time I will ever have to uphold this horrible tradition. I really love eating food, especially this time of year. Wrestlers have a huge responsibility that no other athletes have to truly do, that being to watch our weight. I walk around at roughly 143 pounds but have to be under 139.
People tell me, “Why do you do this to yourself?” or “That’s unhealthy, stop it!” or even “Do you ever eat?” Yes I do eat, just not as much as you. Every year I do the exact same thing, so I know how I’m going to feel that weekend. My thanksgiving dinner consists of a handful of fruit and nut trail mix, a lemonade vitamin water, a couple slices of lunch meat, and half a bagel. That is indulging myself. I shouldn’t even have the bagel. That’s like a special treat to us wrestlers.
As soon as I eat this though, my wrestling coach, a.k.a my dad, tells me to go run tonight so I don’t become too fat. I run for roughly 45 minutes to lose probably just the lunch meat and the water. I feel guilty to walk around with the trail mix inside of me, but I know I will lose it in my sleep.
The next day, I wake up at around 7 being 140 and unsatisfied. Everyone else is still in bed with a food coma that I never got. I sit on the couch and with a protein bar in my left hand and a shot glass-sized cup of water in my right. I raise my right hand to the air and make a toast to myself and say, “Happy Thanksgiving”.
This year though will be slightly different. I will run with more energy, I will eat with pride. I won’t walk around guilty, and I will raise my toast knowing one thing and one thing only, there’s a last time for everything.
The Kayhi swim and dive state qualifiers wrapped up their trip to Anchorage with one qualifying for finals. Kayhi sophomore Laura Sherrill qualified in the 100 yard butterfly with the third seed, and placed 6th in finals. While placing 7th last season with a 1:01.46, Sherrill bettered her time and placement in finals this year with a 59.46 and finishing with 6th.
Sherrill said there was a lot more competition this year than last.
“It was a lot more difficult to qualify this year,” said Sherrill. “Everybody had such great times this year.”
As a freshman qualifying for state, Kayhi freshman Zoe Spencer said hard work got her where she wanted to be.
“I focused on going to practice and working on my stroke technique,” said Spencer. “I wanted to perform as efficiently as I could.”
Rosie Kacenas and Gavin Salazar
The Kayhi wrestling team took third behind Colony and Palmer at the Colony Invitational. Out of the 11 that traveled to Wasilla, three qualified for finals.
Senior Max Collins said the tournament was a good learning experience for everyone that went.
“It went pretty well for me, I figured out where I need to improve,” said Max. “For only taking eleven wrestlers we did fairly well, and some kids had some pretty tough matches against returning state runner-ups, and state champions.”
113- Patrick Rauwolf
132- Brayden Linne
195- Cameron Harris
The Kayhi Lady Kings play this weekend in the annual Region V tournament hosted by Ketchikan High School. Kayhi will play the opening game of the tournament against Juneau-Douglas.
The seniors on the Lady Kings Volleyball team include Jadyn Lewis, Megan Cornwall, Lezille Sagrado, and the manager Torie Skillings. For the seniors, these are the last games for them on their home court. Coach Beth Sandefur said that she hopes the team will show their skills without focusing on the outcome of each game in the Region V tourney.
“It is very exciting. Our conference is so small that we don’t get to have many home games,’ said Sandefur. “I’m glad that the team gets one more chance to play in front of friends and family. We have very dedicated girls on our team, and they have maintained a strong work ethic and positive attitude throughout the season.”
Sandefur is happy with how the girls performed this season, and is looking forward for what is to come this weekend.
“I’ve been so proud of my players for their growth and their strength of character,” said Sandefur. “My hope for the Region tournament is that we all view it as an opportunity to show the team’s talent and skills without worrying about the final scores or being scared of the competition in front of a home crowd. The team worked hard and deserves to have a fun and positive close to this season.”
Region V 3A/4A Tourney Schedule
Friday Nov. 3
4 p.m. – 4A game 1 (Ketchikan vs. Juneau-Douglas)
6 p.m. – 3A game 1 (Sitka vs. Mount. Edgecumbe)
8 p.m. – 4A game 2 (Game 1 winner vs. Thunder Mountain)
Saturday Nov. 4
10 a.m. – 4A game 3
11:30 a.m. – (Competitions after game 3)
2 p.m. – 4A game 4
4 p.m. – 3A game 2
6:30 p.m. – 3A champion vs. 4A champion
The Kayhi volleyball team placed third in the silver bracket at the Juneau J.I.V.E. Volleyball Tournament over the weekend.
Kayhi lost their opening match to Craig, which put them into the silver bracket where they went 1-3 with a win over Metlakatla. Kayhi lost to Juneau-Douglas 3-0 in a conference game on Thursday, ending the weekend with a record of 2-13 in the tournament.