The K-Highlites have been rated Superior consecutively since 2012 at the Region V tournament and are looking to further that streak. The dance team will compete in front of professional judges and will be given a rating from 0-100. Senior Captain Jacie Johansen explained how different dance competitions are compared to other sports. “We don’t really win, there is no 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place,” said Johansen. “Each team is judged and will receive a rating out of 100 and each team has the opportunity to win the same ranking.” The team will be judged on their theme, costumes, facial expressions, and the overall presentation of the routine. Senior Officer Molly O’Brien is going into the competition with a sense of reality that the judges can be a little biased and they can’t control everything. “It’s always a gamble with the judges because you never know who you will get” said O’Brien. “Sometimes they love us and sometimes they give us lower scores simply because they don’t like what we are wearing. Usually they are pretty fair and reasonable but you have to rely on your team to be ready and execute and I think we are prepared for whoever comes”. The K-Highlites have been practicing for 10 hours a week perfecting the region routine. Senior Captain Alyssa Mendoza spoke on how they have been preparing for the region competition. “We do our regions routine multiple times a week and work on every little detail such as positioning, formation, and facial expressions” said Mendoza. “We got our routine back in the beginning of January and have been working on making it our own with our certain skill sets we have individually”. The region routine is very different and complex compared to what the K-Highlites perform during halftime at the basketball games. The halftime routines are only 1.5-2 minutes long while the region routine is up to 6.5 minutes of continuous dancing. The region routine will contain different styles of dancing mixed together with costume changes and props. Head Coach Alma Parker is feeling very confident and excited for the region routine. “I feel we have a strong routine that also pulls in a lot of various strengths we have such as tumbling and hip hop tricks. We have visuals and an array of props that help bring the routine all together” said Parker. “Our theme for the routine is especially meaningful to us this season so we are putting a lot of heart into it”.
Region V Ratings Superior:90-100 Excellent:80-89 Good:70-79 Comments:Below 70
My Dad’s name is Dave. But Dave isn’t Dad at practice. My dad has been my coach for as long as I can remember. Our journey started when I was about six or seven years old. I decided I wanted to play basketball with my cousins, so we signed up for Ketchikan Dribblers League. Dave decided he wanted to be our coach and there it began, the start of an eleven year experience that I will never forget. We tried other sports as well, including softball, which he also coached, for about three years. Nothing was ever as fun as basketball. It was something that my dad and I could wake up on Saturday morning at nine, go to the Rec Center at ten, and spend an hour practicing together. He did things for me that I never really noticed or thought about much until now – shoe shopping, meetings, paperwork he had to do for the team, rides he had to give the other girls, and many more. He always gave me the best opportunities. I always had rides, even to early morning basketball with John Brown. On the drive home from practice last month, after partially dislocating my shoulder, we started talking about my basketball career. He revealed to me that he never expected to see me make something out of myself in this sport. He explained that all those mornings he drove me, he never expected his “lanky, awkward, uncoordinated daughter” to ever make it to the high school varsity practice, let alone get any playing time. He told me that he expected this all to end in disappointment for me. That he was just hoping to spend time with me and make the most of it. He then told me that he was proud of me for finding a way to stay in it and be successful. At first I wasn’t thrilled about being called awkward and uncoordinated, then I processed the rest of what he said. We have both realized that this experience, although long and sometimes very frustrating, is one that we would never change. All of the hardships and disappointments I have faced in this sport, are ones that would be much harder without his advice. Though not always wanted, his input is always something I’ve needed. I would not have the relationship I have with my dad today if we were not forced to spend so much time together. The majority of our varsity squad has been coached by Dave, and in his last year with the program, they are very sad to say the least. There is something to be said about a man who was never very good at basketball, but could help turn so many girls into the people they are today, just by being supportive, open minded, and caring. I am very thankful that I had the chance to be coached by Dave Smith.
The Kayhi Pep Club will be taking 25 kids to the Region V tournament in Sitka and will arrive, almost in time. The group will be getting on the Malaspina ferry tonight (Monday) but will not arrive until 30 minutes before the Lady Kings play Thunder Mountain Tuesday night. “We are all going to have to get to the game as quick as we can,” said Pep Club president Carter Thomas. “But we will be a little late.” The trip will take about 25 hours and will stop in Wrangell, Petersburg, and then Sitka. Senior Nikita Burnett said she has a couple different things in mind that will help her kill time on the boat. “I plan to watch a lot of Netflix as well as do a good amount of homework since there is not usually service,” said Burnett. “Most of all, I want to use the ferry ride to bond with the other pep club members as well as memorize all of the cheers.” The group had to do quite a bit of planning before the trip. “We already had a preset list of themes to pull from,” said Pep Club secretary Jacie Johansen. “Housing was just a matter of claiming a church basement to stay in before any of the other groups from southeast do. We were lucky to get one this year, most of the churches had already been taken.” The kids will be staying in Grace Harbor Church with Phaedra Painter, Kelli Carlin-Auger, and Kevin Johnson being the adult chaperones. Thomas said the church is about a 20 second walk from the grocery store, and there will be showers and a kitchen available. The themes for the week will be maroon out, white out, camo, American, and Hawaiian. Some of the members bought items for the themes, and some already owned clothes for them. “I ended up buying an american bandana for that specific theme of the tournament,” said senior Chanell Browne. “But for the most part I had everything I needed for the other themes.” Senior Ella Hillberry said that she tried to plan ahead and order stuff in advance, but I didn’t quite work out. “I ordered a bunch of different fun outfits about two weeks ago,” said Hillberry. “But sadly, they won’t even get here in time so it was kind of pointless.” Burnett said that each member will be bringing their “Kayhi Pep Club” shirts and the big ESPN booth to add to the atmosphere. Another big thing that the Pep Club will be doing prior to the tournament is making posters. Hillberry said that it takes about 2-3 hours to make all of their different posters, and it is sometimes difficult to find ideas. “Occasionally we’ll have to get inspiration from pinterest or the internet,” said Hillberry. “But most of our ideas we come up with the day of.” Junior CJ Jasper said he finds it quite difficult sometimes to help the other girls make posters, but he tries. “Yeah I want to help out,” said Jasper. “But it is hard sometimes because I am not allowed to sketch the letters because I have bad handwriting. So they only let me paint them after they sketch them.” The school and club had a few main requirements for members to be allowed to travel to the tournament. “Only the top people on the list of points, they had to get a permission slip signed, and they had to be grade eligible,” Johansen said.