Junior forward Dillon Tomaro was selected by Juneau-Douglas High School hockey coaches and local media as the Crimson Bears’ player of the week during the team’s swing through Anchorage.
“I just did what the coaches told me to do,” Tomaro said. “Just all the small stuff and it made a difference. Like floor checking hard and correctly.”
JDHS head coach Dave McKenna stated Tomaro played a major role in the Crimson Bears success during the Anchorage trip.
“He’s a strong player who always works hard,” McKenna said. “He’s been paying close attention to the small details we ask the all the kids to focus on both offensively and defensively. When he combines smart play with his strength and work ethic he has a huge impact on the game. Right now his hard work is paying off for him, and it’s great to see.”
The 5-foot10, 170 pound Tomaro is fourth on the team in total points with 11 and his No. 24 jersey can be spotted at full speed during every second of his ice time.
“I just floor check hard and try to score,” Tomaro said. “And I back check and try to help out the defense. I like how the game is fast and there is a lot of contact.”
Tomaro hopes to play at the Arctic Winter Games fir Team Alaska after the season. When not on the ice he likes hunting and has pursued bear, deer and moose.
Tomaro is not afraid to mix it up along the boards or behind the net, yet has attracted just one penalty in all 12 games to date. Fearlessness and ice time will be valuable for the Crimson Bears this weekend.
“I think they are going to be really similar to Kenai. I think the skill level will be the same. We are more prepared than we were for the Kenai games so I think we will do pretty good.”
The Homer Mariners have benefited from a spring 2010 Alaska Schools Activities Association decision that allows small and large schools to field joint teams. This allows Homer to better compete in large school hockey, as they have added players from culturally Russian villages Voznesenka and Nikolaevsk, and gives the village players a chance to play and compete in a sport not at their school.
The unanimous vote in 2010 by ASAA allows schools with an enrollment under 451 students in grades 9-12 to participate in a cooperative school program with another member school with enrollment under 451.
Nikolaevsk was founded in 1968 by a group form the Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church known as Old Believers. The kindergarten -12 school (mascot, the Warriors) has more than 70 students and was built to house 250, and has a state of the art gymnasium.
Voznesenka (the Cougars) is located about 25 miles east of Homer and was founded in 1985 when some residents decided to leave Nikolaevsk.
“Homer will be a very strong team,” McKenna said. “They have always matched up well with us, and I expect the same this year. It should be an exciting weekend, and it’s one I always look forward too. Last year was their first year playing as a co-op program with the nearby villages of Voznesenka and Nikolaevsk, and they have a growing number of highly skilled players in the program. They also have great goal tending, so we’ll have to be ready to play hard both nights. I expect a very even match up and a lot of exciting hockey.”
According to the Homer News, the Mariners’ goaltender is all-conference selection Alex Sanarov. His twin brother Dennis is another player to watch, as are Mark Reutov, Kai Simmons and Eric Rosencrans. The Mariners have defeated Kenai this season for their first ever win against the Kardinals.
The ASAA cooperative ruling does not affect all sports and schools. Schools must be in the same district and have approval of administrators and the district superintendent.
The amendment is for baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. Individual sports such as cross-country running, diving, Nordic skiing, swimming, track and field, and wrestling are not included as there is no minimum number of individuals required for a school to offer that sport. If additional students from cooperative schools are added to another school’s sports program, no original students can be cut from that program.