On Andy Collins’s 16th birthday, his dad drove him to the Ketchikan DMV to take his drivers test. To some it is nerve racking, but for Andy it wasn’t anything to be too worried about. Pretty soon he’ll be driving down South Tongass in his Silverado with his music blasting, without his dad as a back-seat-driver. Being a kid from Southeast with a father as a charter fisherman and a brother who seines, Andy has felt this sense of freedom before, when he took his boat out alone for the first time. “I have been on and around boats as long as I can remember, when I was a kid my dad used to let me steer the boat,” said Collins. “Now I can go out on my boat basically whenever I want.” “We don’t have a lot of road. I feel like I have way more freedom with my boat than I do with my truck,” said Collins. “I can leave and go explore new things, go wherever I want too, go hunting in different spots, and go fishing.” Unlike down south, we don’t have a highway to take us around to 48 states. We have water. Some people like Jonathan Skaggs, who moved out of Ketchikan to Arkansas in 2016, has realized this change in lifestyle. “When I lived in Alaska, my skiff gave me all the freedom I could ever need,” said Skaggs. “Now I have that same freedom, but with my 2005 Toyota Tacoma. There was so much to do out there on the ocean. You could do way more than you can do here.” Ketchikan is a relatively small town with only 32 miles of pavement from one end of town to the other. The ocean is the highway from Ketchikan to other towns, hunting spots, and our main source of revenue, fishing. Rick Collins, the owner of Explore Alaska Charters, and the maritime teacher here at Kayhi, finds having a boat a necessity for living in Southeast. “I charter fish in the summers, and I could not imagine living in Ketchikan without a boat,” said Rick Collins. “My family has always been a little goofy with boats. When I was growing up we always had a few boats around, my dad was really into them.” Owning a boat comes with a price. The price for maintaining a boat can be more than some people can afford, and being in Southeast Alaska could limit where you hunt, and definitely where you fish. “Owning a boat really gives you an amazing amount of recreation opportunities,” said Collins. Unfortunately, owning a boat and paying for maintenance has gotten a lot more expensive over the years,” said Collins. “Prices of motors and fuel have gone way up, and it’s harder for some people to be able to afford.” Just like his sons Max and Andy, Rick Collins was inspired by his father and is always out on the water doing something, but when he was younger, it was overall cheaper, which made it easier. When Rick was growing up, prices for gas were around 90 cents per gallon and maintenance was cheaper as well. “In the mid 80’s, you could get a 28’ boat for $25 thousand easy, nowadays it would be closer to $300 thousand,” said Collins. “It used to be somewhere around 85 cents a gallon for gas.” Nowadays in Ketchikan, people are paying closer to four dollars a gallon. For someone with a boat and a car, filling your tanks could easily be way too much money. Gas is a big factor in pricing out a car too and unless you know how to do engine work, or how to do other mechanical work, you’re probably paying someone like Chevron or Shaub to do the work. It could be avoided if you knew how to work on your vehicle or knew someone like Clint McClennan, Kayhi’s auto shop and small engines teacher, to give you a hand. “I make sure all of my kids know how to change the oil in their vehicles, fix a flat tire, and check fluids,” said McClennan. “It is very important to me. it’s cheaper, and it’s always good to know.” While Rick was into boats growing up and still is, Mr. McClennan has the same passion. But, his just happens to be on four wheels. “Before I had a car, we used to hitchhike everywhere,” said McClennan. “But when I got my first car, I was kind of a hotshot. It was a 1964 Ford Thunderbird and it looked like a spaceship.” Young McClennan saw it sitting in his neighbor’s yard and always watched him work on it, when it was time to sell it, he knew he had to have it. “That was always my only goal, to have a nice car. Even though I couldn’t even drive for another two years,” said McClennan. “I somehow convinced my brother to buy it when I was 14 from our neighbor, I worked all summer at the cannery, mowed lawns, and worked on other peoples cars, saved up 900 and bought it from him when I was 15. Kids at school were all asking ‘what is that thing?’” We all need to get around somehow and being from Southeast, the water is our main highway, and source of income for many. If you live down south you may never get to experience what people would say is a blessing and a curse.
The Lady Kings (6-6) went 0-2 this weekend against Sitka. With the win on Friday, Sitka (10-2) clinched a spot at the State Tournament. “We pretty much gave Sitka the state bid,” senior Jenna Miller said. “We have been close all year, and we couldn’t get it done.” Friday’s game didn’t go Kayhi’s way, and Sitka ran away with the game, winning 11-1. Saturday looked good for Kayhi as they had a 7-1 lead early in the game. Sitka tallied four runs in the fourth to close the gap to 7-5. Kayhi carried the lead into the seventh, but couldn’t close it out, and lost 10-7. “Last year we we’re in a similar situation,” Miller said. “I think we’ve grown as a team and realize that this weekend is really important to us.”
The Lady Kings soccer team (3-9-1) play their last regular season games this weekend against Thunder Mountain at Esther Shea Field. The Lady Kings will take on the Falcons tonight at 5 p.m. Kayhi will be honoring eight seniors on Saturday at 5 p.m. The Lady Kings are 0-2 against Thunder Mountain this season. Senior captain Olivia Kinunen said their record against the Falcons has given the team motivation. “We are pretty even with TM so it’s nice to be able to potentially get a win for the last games of my high school career,” said Kinunen. “We aren’t relying on that though, and we’re going to work hard like we do when we play JD.” Kinunen said senior recognition will be a very emotional night for her. “My dad has been my coach and mentor ever since I was little,” said Kinnunen. “I just want to make the most out of these last games and make him proud.”
Friday Varsity: 5 p.m. Jv: 1 p.m.
Saturday Varsity: 5 p.m. Jv: 1 p.m.
Boys Soccer will play their last games this year against JD at home. If Kayhi were to upset JD this weekend, they would not be able to travel to the state tournament for the first time in history. Junior Sullivan Schulz and the rest of the team plan to do just this. “We plan to score goals, thats all weve been practicing all week,” said Schulz. “We would love to send JD home empty handed.” The kings will kick off at 7 pm.
Kayhi track will defend their region title this weekend against Juneau TM and the rest of the southeast teams today and tomorrow. Events will start at 10 a.m. This meet will determine who goes to the state tournament. Placing top 3 in an event will punch your ticket to Anchorage. Senior Crist Carlson ( former 110m hurdle champion) said that he can defend his title, and that the team can come out on top again if they battle. “I think I have a very good chance at winning regions in the 100m again,” said Carlson. “Its gonna be a hard fought battle this weekend, but I believe our boys can come out on top again. It’s just going to be extremely close because its so competitive this year.” Senior Brendan Wong, a defending shot put region champion, said that the team has the tools necessary to pull off another win as long as everyone pulls their weight. “We have the talent, we just need to execute,” said Wong. “I expect our to do good if everyone does their part.” Senior Ivers Credito took 1st place last year in the 300m hurdles. He plans to just plain outwork his opponents. “Im just going to go out there and give 110% in every race and try and improve,” said Credito. “There are a lot of other athletes that are running well this year, but I think I can beat them.” Sophomore Rachel Knight, who qualified for state in the 400m dash last year, said she might not be able to qualify again but shes going to give it her all. “This year my chances for state are very low,” said Knight. “You won’t always make it, but you can give it your all.” Knight said that the girls team will have a difficult time because their team is much smaller than TM or JD’s. “I do believe that we can beat our scores last year, however our girls compared to TM and JD are very low.”
The Lady Kings host the Sitka Wolves this weekend at home. Kayhi and Sitka split in their last matchup. The games will be tonight at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 12 p.m. Saturday will be senior night. “This weekend will definitely be weird,” senior Jenna Miller said. “I’ve been playing on this field for 12 years now, and I only have three more games left. It’ll be sad but I think this weekend is going to make me appreciate the game and community more than I have in the past.
Softball becomes self defense when you get a line shot hit at you when expecting a ground ball. I won’t miss this, but I will miss just about everything else. I’m having some weird feelings about playing my last softball game, but at some point it’s over for everybody. After going 12 years playing and falling in love with this sport, I wonder if I’ve made the right decision to not play in college. I wrote last year that I wasn’t sure if I was going to play in college or not… now I’m not. Freshman me was never concerned about playing my last softball game or what it would be like without it, but now I find myself constantly thinking about it. I step onto the field and I take it all in, like if it were my last because I have taken for granted what it has felt like to be apart of something like this, something greater than myself. I play and I’m not playing for me, I’m playing for everyone around me and we rely and trust each other and I think that’s what I’m going to miss, is the connections with everyone. Between the lack of motivation and the fact that I haven’t done anything all year, playing softball in college would just add to the stress of all of it. I had a hard enough time picking a school as it was, I couldn’t imagine throwing softball in there and making my decision that much harder. With the knowledge I have now, I would go back and say junior year Jenna, it’s okay that you’re not playing softball in college. It’s time to let it go and appreciate the fact that it’s ending and that you had a good run. I’ve played 18 hours playing softball this year, 72 over my career. Including practice time, I’ve spent over 500 hours as part of the Kayhi softball program. Throughout that, I’ve gone through two gloves, four pairs of cleats, one softball bag, one mask and endless amounts of sunflower seeds and gum. I’ve acquired two scars on my left knee and one on my hand that are still there, along with countless times I’ve been hit in the leg or ankle with a ball. Leaving behind this game is big for me, and I’ve never really thought about leaving it behind until last year. But it’s something that most people have to go through. Most people do end it after high school. I know I’m going to miss parts of the game, but I won’t miss the bruises or the low grade hypothermia.
Boys soccer (2-9-1) went 2-2 in the Mat-Su Valley over the weekend. Junior Sullivan Schulz said that it felt great to finally get a few wins in the books. “It was great to win against Houston and Redington,” said Schulz. “It would have been nice to beat Barlett because we lost by 1 in the final minute of the game, but overall im proud of how our team competed.” The Kings last games will be this weekend against Juneau Douglas. This season they are 0-2 against JD. Schulz and the rest of the team will remain optomistic about these last games in hope of a win. “I don’t think our record accurately repesents our team, we have just had a tough schedule this year,” said Schulz. “It would be great to beat JD this weekend, because if we beat them they can’t go to state. We will have Brayden Linne back, so we should have a good shot.”
Pensinsula games: Houston: 4-1 W Redington: 8-2 W Chugiak: 2-0 L Bartlett: 2-1 L
The meet wasnt exactly the send off the seniors wanted, due to a ferry breakdown that resulted in other teams not making the event. Senior Cristopher Carlson said this meet wasn’t taken completely seriously beacuse it was against Petersburg. “This meet just wasn’t very competitive,” said Carlson. “It was more like a dress rehersal rather than an actual meet.” Because the meet was so chaotic, they did not keep overall team scores. Instead, members of the track team worked on PR’ing in their own events. Hunter Mathews injured his knee in his final long jump of the meet. He is an important point scorer for the Kings, and would be missed if he were to not attend regions in Juneau. “If he cant go to regions our coach will put our best athletes and we will practice all week to try and fill that void,” said Carlson. “He would be missed a regions, but well have to step up and make it up in other events.” The Kings next meet will be in Juneau for the Region V tournament for all southeast teams. The top 3 from each event will be in attendance.