The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears boys and the Thunder Mountain Falcons girls will open state high school soccer tournament play today at Eagle River High School.
The Crimson Bears, winners of five state crowns (2011, 2010, 2008, 2003, 2001) and runners up six times (2012, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2002, 2000) since the inaugural first tournament at Skyview High School in May of 2000, have to be the pre-tourney favorite.
JDHS is ranked 10th among Alaska and Washington teams according to a pacific northwest poll, with no other 49th state team in ahead of them. The Crimson Bears also have the 2013 Gatorade State Bys Soccer Player of the Year and a talented cast of teammates along the pitch.
The Crimson Bears should face Anchorage’s best side in West High in the semifinals but first they have to get past the Knights and West needs to stop the North Pole Patriots. These are expected to happen.
On the opposite side of the bracket, South Anchorage opens with Wasilla and Dimond takes on Soldotna.
The Thunder Mountain girls are making history, win or lose, as they step onto the state soccer pitch for the first time in the program’s young history.
The Falcons will have their hands full as they open with powerhouse Service. The Cougars upset top ranked and undefeated Dimond in their conference tourney to get the number one seed.
Dimond is in the other side of the state bracket and opens with power South. West Valley opens with Colony on the Falcons side of the bracket and Soldotna tangles with Grace Christian on the opposite side.
Game times: JDHS boys vs. Colony, 3:45 p.m. at Eagle River High School. TMHS girls vs. Service at 5:30 p.m. at Eagle River High School.