The Kings are traveling to the state tournament in Anchorage today. Kayhi will battle West Valley from Fairbanks Thursday at 10 a.m.
The Lady Kings (3-9) will host the regional tournament this weekend. The Lady Kings will play the Thunder Mountain Falcons at 4 p.m. tonight. The last time the teams met, the Falcons outscored he Lady Kings 26-1. The Kings are also responsible for the Falcons only loss of the year, beating them 11-4 in April.
Junior Grace Clark is optimistic about playing TM again.
“I think that since we’ve beat them before, we can beat them again,” said Clark. “We’re coming in as the four seed but we know we can play with anyone.”
Senior Alex Boegler emphasized playing at home for her last season.
“I think it’s really awesome that my last regions will be at home,” said Boegler. “It’s nice to be able to play my last game as a Lady King in front of my town, with them in the stands supporting me.”
Boegler touched on the abilities of the team going into the tournament.
“I think the team will do great on our home turf, the other teams aren’t used to our field and it will be a shock to them to play in the rain. We are coming into this regions tournament ready to fight.”
The Kings (11-1) travel to the Region V tournament in Sitka today. Kayhi has a first-round bye then will play the winner of Sitka and Petersburg Thursday at 6 p.m.
Head coach Andy Berntson said the Kings aren’t over looking regions.
“We know that despite the records, all of the teams are very equally balanced when at full strength, so the regular season doesn’t mean anything once the tournament starts,” said Berntson. “The regular season champion is not the regional champion, and that is our goal every year. Also, the regional champion earns our conference’s NO.1 seed in the state tournament, which can be very beneficial as well.”
Berntson emphasized that the key factor to this weekend is consistency.
“We need to focus on consistent play and execution, including throwing strikes and making the routine plays to stay out of big innings,” said Berntson. “Offensively, we need to take better advantage of our scoring opportunities and have more productive at bats.”
The Kayhi Lady Kings Soccer team (1-8-1, 0-5-1) will face the Juneau Douglas Crimson Bears this weekend for the last games of the season.
The Lady Kings are not only going up against the dominating Bears, but they are also going up against history. Kayhi has not beaten JD in about five years – over 20 games, 1600-plus minutes of game time.
However, the Bears are not invincible. The Thunder Mountain girls tied JD 2-2 two weeks ago. Kayhi tied the Falcons three weeks ago at home.
The Bears are going to be missing two high caliber players in tonight’s game due to an injury and a red-card suspension — an uncanny resemblance of the circumstances of the Kayhi Boys soccer win over JD last weekend.
Seniors Farren Linne and Sydney Nichols can taste the bittersweetness of going out to play their last set of games dawning the maroon and white jersey.
“I was definitely a little sad after the last practice yesterday,” said Nichols. “I’m going to miss the competition and all the travel to the other towns.”
Linne expects to share Nichols’ sentiment later tonight.
“It hasn’t hit me yet, but I think after we start playing it will,” replied Linne.
“I have known and played with so many of these girls since I was little, it’s going to be sad to not be able to do that anymore.”
Kayhi boys soccer will end the season at home against Thunder Mountain this weekend. Friday JV will play at 3:45 and Varsity at 7:15, and on Saturday JV is at 11:00 and Varsity at 3:00. Senior recognition will take place before Saturday’s varsity game. Head coach David Mitchel is sad to see this big group of seniors, that he’s been coaching for years, go.
“We are out of the race for the conference championship so it’s kind of a combination of honoring the senior and still competing and trying to win,” said Mitchel. “It’s kinda sad at the same time because ya know you’ve been coaching this group for five years through the Schoenbar program so it’ll be sad for me to coach them for the last time. I’ll try to be nicer to them maybe this weekend.”
Junior captain Brayden Linne is looking forward to these last few games with the seniors.
“I’m excited for the seniors, gonna go do bigger and better things but it’s sad knowing that these are their last games. Playing with them for the last time, I mean I’ve played with them my whole life so, it kinda sucks knowing that I’m never gonna play with them again,” said Linne. “We definitely improved a lot, at the beginning of the year we were not scoring any goals and now we actually can pass and score but we definitely improved a lot.”
The Lady Kings will play the Juneau-Douglas Bears tonight at 7. The teams split in their last meeting, yet the bears outscored the Kings 21-10 in their two games. Junior Grace Clark said that she expects to see some changes in the line up to get something rolling before regions.
“We’ve had a very up and down season this year,” said Clark. “ I feel as a team we haven’t found our groove. This weekend I hope we can change some stuff up and find it so we can play well for regions at home.”
The Lady Kings will play Thunder Mountain tomorrow and then play both teams again on Saturday.
The Lady Kings softball team (2-4) will be facing off against the Sitka Wolves (2-4) tonight at 6:00, and tomorrow afternoon at 4:00 and 6:00. Kayhi went 1-2 with Sitka in their last series, with the losses being their two conference games of the weekend.