Q&A; with Kristian Pihl

Photo taken by Ronda Bouling

Nadire Zhuta
Staff Writer

Kristian Pihl is on his last year of his high school basketball career.  I asked him some personal questions about himself, the team and the upcoming season. 

Current: It’s your senior year of basketball what’s that feel like? 

Pihl: It’s a lot of emotions more than anything else I’d say. Growing up being one of the biggest fans of basketball I’ve never thought that my days of playing basketball would ever end but ever since I stepped into reality it’s been tough realizing that I really only have one more year.

Current: Winning State last year was huge has that “high” faded away or is it still there? 

Pihl: I think there is a time and a place where you can look back at your accomplishments and for me it took MONTHS to move on and realize that I need to start worrying and prioritizing this upcoming season, pat myself on the back of course for last year but it’s important to move on.

Current: Most of your offense was taken care of by the 9 seniors who graduated, how are you going to adapt that?

Pihl: Well I’m someone who tries not to worry about my personal shots I just try to go with the flow of the game but I think it will be in the best interest to look to score more which will be hard for me. My first three years I never really had to worry about trying to do everything, the other guys took care of that but I think I’m ready for that role.

Current: It seems as though you guys will have a very young team this year, what do you think about that?

Pihl: The people on the outside will definitely look at this year as a “rebuilding” year, me personally I think that’s a ridiculous statement, being my senior year I’m not going to let that be an excuse for us to underachieve, anyone can think whatever they want, last “rebuilding” year we had we ended up finishing in third and that was probably the most fun teams I’ve been a part of.

Current: What advice do you have for the young ones coming up? 

Pihl: First of all, I think they should show up, play their game, be ready to be coached and be ready to play hard. Just be willing to play any role that they need to play for the team to be successful.

Current: What’s your personal goal for this upcoming season?

Pihl: To win another region and state championship and to grow not as a basketball player but as a person and as a leader.

Kayhi Beats Met

Nadire Zhuta
Staff Writer

The Lady Kings beat the Lady Braves both Friday and Saturday at Metlakatla. On Friday night the Lady Kings won 0-3 and on Saturday morning the Kings won 3-2. Junior Zoe Rouleau said winning these games gives the team the confidence they need before heading into the region tournament.

“Winning these games definitely gives us some hope going into regions,” said Rouleau. “The team is really looking forward to regions and what we can do.” 

The Kayhi JV girls also played and won this weekend. 


(W) Kayhi V vs MHS V (25-16, 25-19, 25-13) 

(W) Kayhi JV vs MHS JV (25-15, 25-15, 25-12)


(W) Kayhi V vs MHS V (25-11 (MHS), 25-17 (Kayhi), 25-19 (Kayhi), 25-21 (MHS), 15-7 (Kayhi)) 

7 Qualify for State Swim Meet

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.

Volleyball Heads to Met

Nadire Zhuta
Staff Writer

The Lady Kings are heading to Metlakatla this weekend to play their last set of games before the Region Tournament in Juneau. Junior Zoe Rouleau is hoping to win these games before heading to regions next week. 

“This weekend in Met of course the end goal is to get a win, we’re mainly focused on playing as a team and getting a feel of how we’re going to play at regions,” said Rouleau. 

Bill Weiss starts Thursday

Dyllan Borer
Staff Writer

Kayhi will be hosting the Bill Weiss Tournament this weekend, their only home meet of the season. Bill Weiss is a three day tournament, starting with duals on Thursday, round robin on Friday, then brackets on Saturday.

The Bill Weiss is the biggest tournament in Southeast. Every team in Southeast will be here along with Glenallen traveling down from up north. Glenallen is ranked No. 1 in the state for division two.

“I’m excited, they’re really gonna test our team and help prepare us more for Lancer and state,” said junior Charlie Blair. 

Kayhi will be honoring five seniors this weekend. Captain Sully Schulz is one of those seniors and hopes to have a good send off. 

“I just really wanna make the finals,” said Schulz. “That’s like number one on my mind right now. It’s gonna be sad but I don’t think I’ll break down but I’m definitely not going to like leaving.”

Thursday- 4:30 p.m. – Final Match
Friday- 4:30 p.m. – Final Match
Saturday- 10:30 a.m. – Final Match
Finals – 6 p.m.

Sully Schulz
Chris Harris
Caden Thomas
Katlian Blankenship
Vincent Trujillo

Gilson Leads Girls’ Wrestling

Hayley Gilson competing at a wrestling tournament

Dyllan Borer
Staff Writer

Hayley Gilson started her Kayhi wrestling career by winning a region championship and finishing 6th at state her freshman year. Year two started even better; she is 8-2 overall and 8-0 in her weight class. She beat last year’s state champ twice in Wrangell the first week of the season. 

“Hayley has worked very hard,” coach Rick Collins said. “She went to some wrestling with Team Alaska. She just takes it very seriously.”

Gilson spent the whole month of June training this past summer with Team Alaska. The season started out in Chugiak right after school got out. She trained there with over 100 wrestlers with ages ranging from 8-18.  

After training for a week and a half, Gilson along with 17 others from Alaska traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma to participate in a tournament that consisted of team duals. 

“Hayley seems to really be on a mission,” said Collins. “I just expect great things from Hayley this year.”

Girls wrestling is a relatively new program to Kayhi these past four years. In the previous years they would have one or two girl wrestlers. For meets the girls would be intertwined together with the boys.

“We started about the same time as everyone else about 3 years ago,” said Coach Collins

In 2015 ASAA finally made an all girls state tournament 4 years ago. In years past girls would compete with the boys at regions to go to state; girls would rarely go to state due to the fact that the boys were just better usually, but not always. Now that we have an all girls team the girls do not have to wrestle the boys anymore and they have had more girls try out for the team.

“Our program has built that way up with better numbers than in the past. We have 10 girls now, very significant because we used to have only one,” said Coach Collins. 

Mt. Edgecumbe Lady Braves have clenched the region title for the past 3 years. Edgecumbe has about 20 more wrestlers than us. They fill the weight classes, unlike us. Captain Sully Shulz said our team would definitely have a shot at regions if we had more girls.

The State of Reading

Nadire Zhuta
Staff Writer

Only 1 in 4 students age 12-16 say that they enjoy reading.

Are students not getting the right “tools”, is it the constant pressure and push for it, do students not have the time for it or do electronics play a huge role in this? 

Ketchikan High School librarian Caitlin Jacobson thinks that there will always be split between people who strongly dislike or like reading, but there are also people who have not been given the chance to enjoy it. 

“I think there’s a little bit of everything. Some kids have not been given opportunities to read for fun or maybe they just haven’t found the right books for them,” said Jacobson. “Sometimes kids are reading things that are too hard for their reading level or they have been pressured to reading things that are more challenging and they are not given a chance to enjoy the experience. It’s important for teachers to be more flexible and give kids a chance to choose what they want.”

As Jacobson said “there’s a little bit of everything” there are book lovers, book haters and now there’s the internet junkies. Senior Leah Call believes it’s more convenient for kids now a days to pick up their phones rather than pick up a book.

“To teenagers being on our phones or watching netflix is easier and more fun than picking up a book,” said Call. 

Recreational reading can’t compete with the shiny speed of the Internet. 

Over 95% of teens have access to a device while only 45% of 17 year olds say they read a book by choice. Students are ditching the books and picking up their phones. But it’s not just to waste time. Instructional manuals have been largely replaced with instructional videos which are far more helpful. 

Senior Besjan Kamberi would rather pick up his phone and watch haircutting tutorials than pick up a book. 

“For the career I’m going into, which is cosmetology, of course I’m going to spend my free time watching hair cutting and dying videos than pick up a book,” said Kamberi. “It’s pretty useless for me to pick up Shakespeare and start reading it for “fun”, how is that going to help me in the long run?” 

Is recreational reading slowly being replaced by phones? Senior Leah Call doesn’t think so. 

“I think there will always be books and people who like reading, I don’t think technology will ever completely take over reading and those people who love it,” said Call. 

Academic vs. recreational reading. 

There is a profound difference between wanting to read, and having to read. 

“I don’t read books a lot because I don’t have time,” said Hannah Maxwell. “But I read news articles daily because I feel like it helps me to keep learning and growing as a person.”

So can schools and teachers do more to help students appreciate and enjoy academic reading? Junior Amanda Dale thinks if the assigned books that were read for academic purposes in English class were more in the students liking there would be a higher preference in reading among students. 

“I think that if the mandatory reading done in English was a bit more appealing to the students that maybe that would make reading more liked,” said Dale. “I’m more of a fiction type of person but I’m fine with reading anything given to me but I know some of my friends dislike fiction. So it really all depends on the person.” 

But how do you decide what 24 freshmen want to read? Do you ignore the classics that have the most impactful telling of the human condition in favor of vampire books because kids like them more? English teacher Jeff Lund says there’s a bit of both assigned books as part of the freshman curriculum and books that the students get to choose for independent reading.

“Most of the books are prearranged, we all do the same books just in different orders,” said Lund. “I try to allow [students] to read what they want for the independent novels.” 

Kids at Kayhi also get to choose their own English content areas for junior and senior year which almost no high schools get to do. So Kayhi has it good in this regard. If you don’t like Shakespeare, don’t take it. If Sports Lit is more your thing, take that. Same with Science FIction or Lit into Film. What more could kids want? 

“The fact that you get to choose is crazy, it’s been great as a teacher to be able to teach that and the kids can choose a genre that they like,” said Lund. 

The future of the life-long readers

It’s no surprise that Lund reads for fun. He’s an English teacher, but that’s not the reason. 

“I like a lot of nonfiction things that make me think and things can be be applicable to life,” said Lund.

Math teacher Evan Raber reads 5-7 books per year and prefers reading over television.

“I find it relaxing and I feel smarter versus watching TV,” said Raber. 

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