The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears football team will be honoring the military will free admission to Saturday night’s game against Fairbanks Railbelt Conference foe Lathrop High School at Adair Kennedy Field.
JDHS is offering free admission to active duty and veterans with their military ID. The National Guard will be present with their Humvees and various fun things to be tossed to the crowd through the night. The JDHS Cheer team has learned a special military themed cheer, sideline dance and a cadence dance just for the night. JDHS plans to add all 50/50 raffle proceeds as well as the cheer spirit table (noise makers, light up gadgets, mega phones, footballs, tattoos, red/white/blue scarves) proceeds to the Thunder Mountain High School “Falcon’s Care” pot from last weekend. The Crimson Bears stated they are excited to team up with the Falcons to honor and respect the military and an amazing hero in Staff Sgt. Thomas McRae.
“We cannot get too much of that,” JDHS coach Rich Sjoroos said. “The way those guys have sacrificed everything for us, this is the least we can do.”
The on the field battle will prove to be epic. Lathrop (2-2) has lost to West Valley (2-2) 13-12 and JDHS (3-1) has beaten Colony (3-1) 21-20. Palmer and North Pole remain undefeated, while Wasilla is 1-3.
The only common opponent so far for the Crimson Bears and Malemutes has been a dismantling of the Warriors, with JD winning 69-30 and Lathrop 48-32.
“All the track stars are coming to town,” JDHS coach Rich Sjoroos said of the Malemutes. “These guys are just burners.”
Lathrop also boasts quarterback Gabriel Cunningham. Cunningham put up over 1,800 yards last season on a team that won just a couple games. This year the Malemutes are senior laden. JDHS beat Lathrop last year in Lathrop 53-8.
“I think people will see a lot of speed in Lathrop,” Sjoroos said. “They are used to playing on grass. So this will be a big deal with them, we have to add a few miles per hour with the Malemutes.”
Sjoroos said Lathrop was similar to North Pole in that they have greatly improved over last year.
On another note, any Juneau Youth Football League player that shows up in their uniform can run with the Crimson Bears through the new Giant Bear tunnel in the pregame gauntlet onto the turf on Saturday. The gauntlet is at 7:15 p.m. and the Crimson Bears would like the JYFL to lead them onto the field. Game time is 8 p.m., junior varsity play at 5 p.m.