2011 Sports Year in Review, Part I

January, 2011


• Jan. 1: The Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears boys and girls basketball teams both won their respective brackets in the 20th Annual Princess Cruises Capital City Classic held Dec. 27-29, 2010. De’Andre King and Sarah Tarver were tournament MVP and joined on the All-tourney team by Tony Yadao, Lance Ibesate, Eddie Hurtte, Nani Ostrom and Taylor Larson. Note - There was no CCC this year as teams dropped out due to increasing airfare costs. JDHS’ two new head coaches hope to bring the Classic back and are open to suggestions. “The tourney had 20 years running,” boys coach Robert Casperson said. “It was a wonderful showcase for our community and a great meeting place for recent graduates.”

• Jan. 9: The JDHS boys finished second at the 44th Annual Joe Floyd/Era Aviation Winter Classic Basketball Tournament at Kodiak High School even though they beat the host 75-54 in round robin action. The Thunder Mountain High School girls beat Mt. Edgecumbe 54-49 to finish 1-2 at the Winter Classic. The TMHS boys beat Angoon 92-40 to place second at the Golden Heart Basketball Tournament at Lathrop High School. The defending state champion JDHS girls dropped a rematch of that title game to Wasilla, but then beat Colony and Palmer handily.

• Jan. 10: The Juneau Rollergirls held a meet-and-greet at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center in an outreach for more players and as a demonstration of the new-to-Juneau sport is played.

• The TMHS girls swept Eagle River and 53-27 Saturday for their first-ever home wins. “This feels great. It feels good to be able to help change history for this school, and it’s really cool to be able to do it my freshman year,” Falcons forward Makayla Pierce said. “It’s great being a part of this team.”

• Jan. 20: JDHS alum Tim Kissner, 39, was promoted in the Chicago Cubs organization. Kissner is the new West Coast Supervisor. Kissner was formerly the Pacific Rim Coordinator for the Phillies for 10 years, and a scout for the Cleveland Indians before that.

• Jan. 21: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska announced its third annual Winter Fun Day at Eaglecrest Ski Area, giving some kids around Juneau the opportunity to ski or snowboard for the first time.

“We just want to get the bigs and littles up to Eaglecrest to learn how to ski or snowboard together,” Eaglecrest Director of Sales and Marketing and Snowsports School Jeffra Clough said. “Skiing or snowboarding, we believe, is a great thing to do as matches.”

• Jan.23: The JDHS hockey team had its playoff hopes dashed in a 4-3 loss to Houston at Treadwell Arena, but the Crimson Bears blasted Houston 6-2 on senior night Saturday. Seniors were Eric Verrelli, Ben Peyton, Taylor Lehnhart, Garret Cheeseman, Peyton Millay, Matt Whistler, Trever Held, and Cole Carnahan.

• JDHS boys beat Kayhi 44-38 for seventh place in the Alaska Prep Shootout at Dimond High. In that tourney the girls lost to West 71-47, Palmer 58-51 and Dimond 42-30.

• Hoops For Charity adult basketball tournament announced for Feb. 4-6, proceeds to benefit TMHS baseball and Special Olympics of Juneau.

• Jan. 28: Marmot Day, the second day in February, is acknowledged. Was backed by Wasilla Republican Sen. Linda Menard.

• Jan. 30: Guy Thibodeau was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award For Community Contributions at the Southeast Road Runner yearly banquet at DIPAC. SERR president Tristan Knutson-Lombardo presented the award and it will be titled the Guy Thibodeau Contributions to Running Award. Among the Empire Cup age group winners were overall point leader Fred Triem (60+), Jim Ustasiewski (45-49) second, Eli Gregory (8-10) third. “It’s a nice honor. I always like not to have any special recognition because I want the kids to be recognized,” Thibodeau said.


• Feb. 1: Guy Thibodeau, 60, retires as JDHS cross country-running coach after 35 years. it wasn’t the champion- ships or personal records that drove him so much as it was the kids he had the pleasure of coaching. “Seeing the success of a lot of the athletes we’ve had who have gone on to become really good, contributing members of their communities — that’s happening with our kids all over the place,” Thibodeau said. “They’re still involved with running and do a lot in their com- munities. So it’s nice to keep up to see what other athletes are doing.”

• Feb. 4: The Juneau 4H Nordic Ski Club enrolled 68 kids for the season. The club welcomes kids from the first-grade level to seniors in high school and exposes them to different instructional skiing opportunities available to them in the area.

“We tend to piggyback with the Juneau Nordic Ski Club, and sometimes throughout the year — usually in February or March — Eaglecrest or the Juneau Nordic Ski Club will end up making a race,” Kerry Lear, one of the club’s team leaders, said. “We certainly encourage the kids to participate if they want, but in a lot of ways, the skiing itself is more about getting out. We encourage families to come along as well so it’s kind of a social ski just as it is a technical lesson.”

• Feb. 6: JDHS girls win Dimond Prep Shootout with 46-30 win over Colony. Taylor Larson named MVP and joined by Sara Tarver and Nani Ostrom on All-Tourney team; Karli Brakes wins Havoc Award for most steals. The Crimson Bears also beat No. 1 ranked Wasilla 48-45.

• JDHS hockey goalie Garret Cheeseman named to the Mid-Alaska All Conference team. Only the second CB player to earn selection behind Nick Mow in 2009.

• Feb. 13: The TMHS girls get their first-ever Southeast Conference win at Ketchikan’s Clarke Cochrane Gym. Eyerus Tingley converted two free throws with 25.2 seconds remaining and the Falcons held on for the 39-36 win over the Lady Kings.

“It’s an incredible feeling for these girls,” Thunder Mountain coach Tanya Nizich said. “We’ve been working hard and practicing every day. We wanted this and they got it.”

• Feb. 15: JDHS basketball seniors De’Andre “Jazz” King, Ryan Baldwin, Colin Gozelski, Edward Hurtte, Nino Crisostomo, and Travis Godfrey are honored in weekend sweep over Ketchikan 74-72 and 56-46.

• Juneau Douglas Ice Association take part in nationwide hockey event that invites local kids to try hockey for free at Treadwell Arena. The event is part of USA Hockey’s fourth annual Hockey Weekend Across America celebration from Feb. 18-20. Juneau’s rink is the only Alaska rink participating along with more than 200 rinks nationwide.

• Feb. 18: Glacier Swim Club hosts 2011 Senior Region XIV Great Alaska Open. Assistant coach Scott Jones swam in competition with JDHS Nathan Messing and Tyler Mickelson among others. Auri Clark, Jocelyn Cayce, Talyn Ramos and Gabriella Muzilli mentioned on the girls side.

• The Eaglecrest Weather Station, maintained and supported by the University of Alaska Southeast and professors and students in the Environmental Sciences Department is explained in an Outdoors article. The weather station, located about three-quarters of the way up the mountain, provides data for Eaglecrest ski patrollers. It also acts as a study site for UAS students and faculty researching snow science and another data center in the quiver of City & Borough of Juneau Head Avalanche Forecaster Mattice, who draws data from multiple sites around Juneau to make his predictions.

• Feb. 20: Try Hockey For Free a success at Treadwell Arena. Similar to a “Field of Dreams” in baseball, Treadwell Arena’s motto on Saturday was “If you Zamboni it, they will skate,” as more than 50 local kids participated in a Try Hockey For Free clinic.

Hosted by the Juneau Douglas Ice Association, Treadwell Arena, one of 200 rinks nationwide, was the only facility in Alaska participating in the fourth annual “Hockey Weekend Across America.”

Madeline Quealey, 10, is on the ice for the second time and brought brother Dillon, 11, along for some family fun.

“My brother likes it so it is fun to play with him,” Quealey said. “I wouldn’t mind being a figure skater, but he wants to play hockey.”

• Feb. 21: JDHS senior Tyler Mickelson wins all his events at the Great Alaska Open. The GSC boys and girls combined to score 1,638 team points for first place. TMHS’ Calvin Walsh won the 200 freestyle. Michelson led in points and Jonah Swanson was second. Auri Clarke swam strong for the girls, as did exchange student Gabi Muzzilli.

• Sixteen teams from Juneau, made up of 138 kids in grades five through eight, took part in the 2011 Triple Threat Basketball Tournament in Haines. The eighth-grade girls won their bracket, as did the sixth-grade boys. The eighth-grade and seventh-grade boys’ teams and sixth-grade and seventh-grade girls’ teams each finished in second place.

• Feb. 23: TMHS senior lineman Tyrel Kramp, a two-time Falcons Lineman of the Year and All-Conference performer, committed his 5-foot-10, 250-pound defensive end body to play football at D-III Presentation College in Aberdeen, S.D. Presentation College will play as part of the Division III Upper Midwest Athletic Conference during its inaugural season this fall.

“I’m looking forward to the experience, the chance to play at the next level,” Kramp said. “I’m excited to be on another inaugural team. I guess I’m kind of used to that now.”

• Feb 25: High Gravity Games are announced to begin March 6 at Eaglecrest. The event is to celebrate 25 years of business by the local company The Alaskan Brewery Co. The law of gravity will be utilized to its fullest capacity next weekend as skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers, sledders and dummies will try to navigate a series of courses at Eaglecrest Ski Area to stake claim as winners of the first-ever High Gravity Games.

• Feb. 27: Ketchikan and JDHS finish the season tied atop the Southeast Conference as the Kings sweep the Crimson Bears at Clark Cochran Gym 62-50 and 44-42. The final tie- breaker will be a blind draw with the first team chosen seeded No. 1. The Region V secretary in Thorne Bay will conduct the draw Sunday afternoon, and the No. 2 seed will play Thunder Mountain at 6:25 p.m. Tuesday in Juneau.

• TMHS Falcons seniors Janie White and Madi Wells, were honored at Senior Night, although JDHS girls won 66-27 to finish the regular season 22-1 and 8-0 in conference. “I wasn’t expecting it to be over so fast. It finally hit me again that I’m a senior and I’m going to be leaving,” she said. “The first day of practice was intimidating and hard. I was scared of (head coach) Tanya (Nizich), but everybody was really welcoming and I worked my way up. “I wasn’t expecting to play at all but coach Arnold (Ibias) got me to play, and I’ve loved every moment of it.” The Falcons went from winning zero games during last year’s inaugural season to winning seven this year, with at least two more to play in next week’s Southeast Conference Tournament at JDHS.

• JDHS senior girls Nani Ostrom, Olivia Henderson, Karli Brakes, Sarah Tarver, Monica Ashenfelter, Maria Weyhrauch, Taylor Larson and Hannah Swofford were honored during the Crimson Bears’ 78-20 win over TMHS at JDHS. “The season has just flown by,” Weyhrauch said. “We started with a target on our back and a lot of pressure on us, but we’re really close as a team and all best friends. We all just love the game of basketball so we put our hearts into it at practice and in games.”

• Feb. 28: JDHS boys won the blind draw to determine the number one seed at the SE Region V tourney after finishing tied with Ketchikan.

• Juneau Trout Unlimited lost to Whitehorse Air North Eagles 7-2 in the ‘B’ Championship of the 2011 Rainforest Classic IX Old Timers ice Hockey Tournament at Treadwell Arena.

MARCH 2011

• Mar. 2: TMHS drops opening games in Region V 3A/4A Basketball Tournament. Falcons boys fall to Kayhi Kings 51-48 and girls fall to Lady Kings 45-36.

• Mar. 3: JDHS boys beats the Kings 53-45 in Region tourney. Crimson Bears girls top Lady Kings 64-30.

• Mar. 4: TMHS boys are knocked from Region tourney by the Kings 68-47. Falcons girls drop an overtime thriller to the Lady Kings 46-42 and are eliminated.

• Juneau Children Outdoors Coalition, is flourishing and working to make sure local youth are presented an outdoors opportunity each day. The group consists of organizations such as the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Discovery Southeast, the U.S. Forest Service, SAGA, the Alaska Fish and Wildlife service, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska Southeast, the UAF Co- operative Extension Program, the City and Borough of Juneau Parks and Recreation Department, the Association of the Education of Young Children Southeast Alaska and various individuals, parents and teachers.

• Mar. 5: JDHS captures both Region V 4A titles. The Crimson Bears boys beat Kayhi 61-53 and the Crimson Bears girls beat the Kayhi Lady Kings 54-17. Sarah Tarver injures ankle in the game.

The Mt. Edgecumbe Braves beat the Sitka Wolves 72-57 for the 3A boys crown. The Craig girls beat Sitka 56-40 for the crown and their first ever trip to state. The Sitka girls advanced to state with a 54-40 consolation win over Haines. The Sitka boys made state with a 70-59 win over Wrangell. In the 3A/4A Tournament crossover games the JDHS girls blasted Craig 71-42. On the boys side the Mt. Edgecumbe Braves edged JDHS 44-42. The two teams had split in the season.

• Mar. 6: 2011 Region V 3A/4A All-Conference teams include Sarah Tarver, Nani Ostrom, Karli Brakes, Taylor Larson, Tony Yadao and Lance Ibesate (JDHS) and Jonelle Staveland and Keith Ainsworth (TMHS).

• Glacier Swim Club’s girls’ ages 13-14 relay team of Ciera Kelly, Hannah Brockmann, Kaia Hamrick and Dakota Isaak led 39 of their club swimmers to a team championship at the annual Alaska Age Group Championship Swim Meet in Fairbanks. Kelly broke Jesie Lewis’ 1995 team record in the 50 free and Mia Ruffin broke her own record in the 11-12 girls’ 200 breaststroke.

Mar. 8: Girdwood’s Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, 21, won second place in The NorthFace Masters extreme snowboard competition and was awarded the Young Gun Award.

• Mar. 11: JDHS cleans up on All-State basketball honors. Lesslie Knight is Coach of the Year: Sarah Tarver and Lance Ibesate first team, Karli Brakes and Taylor Larson third team, Tony Yadao honorable mention.

• The Science on a Sphere exhibit at the Alaska State Museum, a 3-D high-tech projection system created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and projected on a 6-foot diameter sphere was highlighted. Used as a tool for displaying complex scientific models of earth processes. It illustrates real-time, animated weather patterns, earthquake activity and worldwide flight pat-terns, to name a few. In all, master computers have the ability to display around 400 images on the sphere.

• Ease of learning to ski at Eaglecrest highlighted.

• Mar. 20: The JDHS girls defense of their state title ended in the championship game to Wasilla 36-30. The Crimson Girls beat South 60-22 and Colony 47-34. Karli Brakes, Taylor Larson selected to All-State Tourney Team. The JDHS boys lost to North Pole 51-45, beat Kodiak 55-49 and lost to Wasilla 52-47. Colin Gozelski was selected to All-State.

• Mar. 25: The revamping of the old ski trail through the meadows connecting the John Muir and Peterson Lake cabins is highlighted.

• Mar. 27: Kake Tlingit Heat win sixth consecutive C Bracket championship at 65th Annual Juneau Lions Club Gold Medal Tournament over Hoonah 79-75. Angoon defended their “B” bracket title in a rematch against Haines 101-84. The Huna Masters beat Yakutat 55-39 in the Masters bracket for the title.

• Matt Lessmeir won the Glacier mile run and Bryan Hitchcock the Glacier 10k.

• The Glacier Swim Club’s Jonah Swanson, coach Scot Griffith, Thane and Noah Reishus-O’Brien, Kenny Fox, Ciera Kelly, Mia Ruffin, Dakota Isaak competed at the Northwest Age Groups Sectionals in Federal Way, Wash.

• Mar. 28: Hockey legend Steve MacSwain holds skill development clinic at Treadwell Arena.

• Mar. 29: Capital City Judo’s Kylie Lager (9-10), Chris Coulson (11-12), Bryan Olson (mens medium) and Orion Kraus (men’s heavy) win respective age group titles at the 2011 Alaska Judo State Championships.


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