Three Kayhi swimmers placed this past weekend in the state swim meet. Senior Bryce Mattson took 5th in the 100 yard backstroke, senior Laura Sherril placed 5th in the 200 IM, and senior Caity Pierson took 11th in diving. Although he is sad about this being his last swim meet, Mattson said he is very proud of the team.
“Even though only 3 out of the 7 of us placed, I’m still really proud.” Mattson said. “We all swam to the best of our ability. I’m also extremely proud of the people who didn’t make it to state, they all did their best this season, and improved greatly.”
Seven members of the the Kayhi Swim and Dive team went to Anchorage this Wednesday and will compete Friday and Saturday at Bartlett High School in the state swim meet. Senior Bryce Mattson said that the team is prepared for this weekend.
“Regions had some real bad upsets,” Mattson said. “I think our team has put that behind us now and are more than ready to compete this weekend.”
Kayhi’s 7 competitors make up less than 1% of the total 234 swimmers at the meet. Senior Emma Campbell said that the large amount of swimmers doesn’t bother her.
“All I have to focus is who my specific opponents are,” Campell said. “I don’t have to beat all 234 other swimmers, so the amount of swimmers doesn’t bother me at all.”
The competition began today at 1:00 p.m. with the swim prelims, followed by girls and boys diving. Saturday’s events will start at 9:30 a.m. with boys and girls diving semi finals; followed by swim and dive finals all afternoon.
Laura Sherrill (200 IM and 100 fly)
Bryce Mattson (100 fly and 100 backstroke)
Emma Campbell (200 freestyle)
Caity Pearson (Diving)
Emily Bolling (Diving)
Jenna Smith (Diving)
Larry Kuharich (500 Freestyle)
Despite the crushing disqualification of the men’s relay, 7 members of the Kayhi Swim and Dive team qualified for the state tournament last weekend during the regional meet in Juneau. Amongst those who qualified were seniors: Laura Sherrill (200 IM and 100 fly), Bryce Mattson (100 fly and 100 backstroke), Emma Campbell (200 freestyle), and Caity Pearson (Diving), juniors: Emily Bolling (Diving) and Jenna Smith (Diving), and freshman: Larry Kuharich (500 Freestyle). Although he didn’t qualify for state, senior Tyler Merle said he is extremely proud of the team.
“I went into the region meet thinking that our relay team would qualify and I’d be traveling to state for the first time.” Merle said. “Sadly that wasn’t the case, we were disqualified for a false start. On the other hand, I am extremely proud of my teammates that made it and I wish them the best luck without me at the state meet.”
Along with the 7 state qualifiers, the team earned the sportsmanship award. On Wednesday the team will leave for the state meet at Bartlett Highschool.
Kayhi volleyball is on its third coach in four years, but the coaching carousel might just stop with Kevin Johnson.
Johnson was hired in June after previous coach of two years Beth Sandefur left to go coach the Schoenbar Middle School volleyball team.
Kayhi last won a Region V title in 2015, that team was lead by Kevin Johnson’s daughter, Kreylyn Johnson who was a junior, but it seems longer after four near winless seasons.
Johnson wanted to coach because he thought the team needed to reach their full potential as well as putting in the effort that it takes while having fun.
“The program needed a coach who had some energy and that could get our girls to a higher level of playing,” said Johnson. “It’s to get the kids committed to understanding you have to work to win you can’t just show up and get lucky and I think the other part to that is that I want our kids to leave with a good experience”
Johnson has coached both boys and girls in basketball and volleyball and it’s his twenty third year of coaching.
“I’ve coached both this is my twenty-third year as a coach so I’ve been at it for a while, I’ve coached both genders,” said Johnson. “Girls you know you can coach hard, you can coach girls hard, you can push them you can drive them you can do all those things but the difference between males and females in coaching them is their ability to deal with what they internalize. With girls its a building progress but once they get there it’s over,” emphasized Johnson.
Senior Captain, Mackenzie Merrill has had three different coaches her four years of high school volleyball. Not having the same coach for more than two years has taken its toll on Merrill.
“It is definitely one of the biggest downfalls I struggled with as a player. Not being able to make a true connection with a coach was really hard,” said Merril.
Merril said that the team has had big leaps from last season to this season with Kevin Johnson.
“The biggest shift from last year to this year would probably be bringing in a new coach who wants to change the volleyball community in Ketchikan. He’s not only here to keep volleyball going but to make it a great program,” said Merril.
Merril thinks that the team connects perfectly with Kevin Johnson.
“I think we fit right in with Kevin Johnson. He is a coach who pushes and pushes until we reach our full potential. Even if that’s us slowly gaining progress or us losing our confidence he is right there to pick us up and show us what a team is,” said Merril.
Merrill is confident in what Kevin Johnson and the team can accomplish in the future.
“I know for a fact Kevin Johnson is going to lead this team to a region win and possibly a state win,” said Merril.
The Lady Kings won their first home game in 2 years over the past weekend. On Friday night the Lady Kings lost (3-2) and Saturday night the Kings won (3-1). Senior Erika Rauwolf was proud of how the seniors played this weekend.
“It was a good weekend of games. I thought I did pretty good of locking into the game and being focused, Mady had an amazing weekend of hitting and Mackenzie did a great job setting for us,” said Rauwolf. “It feels good to have two wins in our back pocket, it’s a couple more wins than we’ve had in the past couple years.”
Kayhi JV2 and JV also played this weekend.
(L) Kayhi JV2 vs Met JV (25-22 (Kayhi), 25-18 (Met), 15-12 (Met))(W) Kayhi JV vs Met JV (25-10 (Kayhi), 25-14 (Kayhi), 25-10 (Kayhi))
(L) Kayhi V vs Met V ( 25-19 (Met), 26-24 (Met), 25-20 (Kayhi),
25-15 (Kayhi), 15-14 (Met))
Kayhi V vs Met V (25-19 (Met), 25-15 (Kayhi), 25-19 (Kayhi),
The Lady Kings volleyball team is playing the Klawock Chieftains and the Metlakatla Lady Braves this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Although Klawock and Metlakatla are a 1A and 2A team, senior captain Erika Rauwolf does not think these games should be taken lightly.
“Klawock is a good team, they are a very put together team with talent, they play almost year round, same with Met.” Said Rauwolf. “We need to go into these games with a positive attitude looking for another win.”
5:30 PM Kayhi V vs Klawock V
5:00 PM Kayhi JV vs Met JV
7:00 PM Kayhi V vs Met V
11:00 AM Kayhi JV2 vs Met JV
1:00 PM Kayhi V vs Met V
The Lady Kings volleyball team won their first game of the season last Friday night against the Craig Lady Panthers. Senior captain and starting setter Mackenzie Merril was excited about their first win.
“This win was very important. It shows how much we’ve grown. I remember looking around at my teammates on the court and I thought to myself, wow, look how far we’ve come,” said Merril.
Senior co-captain Madison Purcell also thought this win was huge for the team.
“We developed as a team and finally pulled through and won a full set of games. We now know how it feels to earn a win, and it’s time to get stronger and smarter to feel that feeling again,” said Purcell.
Thursday: Ketchikan vs Craig
(L) (25-15, 25-12, 25-15) (Best of 5)
Friday: Ketchikan vs Craig
(25-21 (Craig), 25-23 (Kayhi), 25-18 (Kayhi), 25-18 (Craig), 18-16 (Kayhi)) (Best of 5)