It has become a survival of the fittest in the various state football polls.
The Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears football team was not rewarded for its lopsided win over visiting Pemberton, B.C., according to the Alaska Sports Broadcasters Poll.
JDHS’ 72-0 win over the mismatched Grizzlies still has the Crimson Bears (5-1) sitting in third on the medium-size school poll bench.
Soldotna (6-0) beat Homer (1-4) 59-0 to retain the high and mighty spot.
Somehow Kenai (6-0) was at second after its 45-0 win over Skyview (2-4), ahead of North Pole (5-1) after the Patriots went all “Fairbanks-style” over Colony 44-27. Small school Nikiski (4-2) was given fifth after a 46-6 win over Vosnesenka (the school Sarah Palin mistook as seeing from her back yard in the unforgettable “I can see Russia from here” or something like that).
The Juneau Empire Sports poll, however, has vaulted the Crimson Bears to number one.
I get it, and I agree.
Yes, the win was, actually, hard to watch.
The touchdown cannon sounded a little bit louder than usual and the night air had turned to the temperature that allows cannon smoke to just hang in the air above the vanquished opponents on the field.
Readers believe the Crimson Bears are the team to beat, and the return of JD Hudson to the burly, surly Juneau line will be a tough hurdle for any opponent to overcome.
Especially the running offense of the Stars.
Soldotna’s lull-you-to-sleep-up-the-middle runs and then “hey-here’s-a-pass” has all the earmarks of failure if they face JDHS in the state title game.
Get past the Crimson Bears line, if you are lucky, and face the wrath of the secondary.
Soldotna is second in the JES poll, North Pole third, Kenai fourth and Kodiak fifth.
The Patriots get more love because they came down with Juneau to the medium-school level. The Kardinals are not as good as 6-0 and the K-Bears need to be wary of who they face from the Southeast Conference when the playoffs make the second round.
Thunder Mountain gets the sixth place nod because they are a lot tougher than last weekend’s 60-0 loss to Kodiak and I would drive across town to watch senior Ben Jahn play against anyone.
And if I lived in Anchorage I would be pushing for the road to be built from Skagway to Berners Bay to catch a peek.
When opposing coaches (as overheard from Soldotna and Viewpoint during their wins at TMHS) start cringing about the power on a Jahn tackle it speaks highly of his competitiveness.
Readers have Ketchikan in seventh because, well, Southeast readers are just as loyal to Southeast as the other pieces of the state are to their teams.
On the large school side Service (5-1) claims the top ASBN spot after beating South 37-36. Palmer (5-1) is at number two after running over Lathrop (4-2) 42-19. Moose will do that to Malemutes, ask any musher out on the trail.
South (4-2) slips to the third position with their loss to Service.
Chugiak (4-2) is at four, thanks to a 44-28 win over Eagle River (1-5) and West (4-1) is fifth after getting past Dimond (3-3) 17-14.
The JES poll agrees because, quite frankly, it is a time suck to worry about it since JDHS is no longer on the big boys’ fields. I would be sticking the Crimson Bears at three, local readers higher, and the Falcons in the top 15, local readers higher.
And this is my column. So there (at this point I have my thumbs in my ears, my fingers wiggling upwards, and my tongue is straight out).
The JES poll has Dimond (3-3) over Lathrop (4-2), just by virtue of the Lynx tradition, for sixth and seventh. Wasilla (3-3) is eighth after a 49-6 win against Houston, West Valley (3-3) ninth after beating Eielson 47-0, and Bartlett (1-5) is into the Top 10 with a 14-7 win over East Anchorage. I like the Golden Bears because my college teammate was a basketball star at Bartlett; that goes a long way in the poll standings.
For local sports fans, JDHS travels to Wasilla this weekend and TMHS will host Kayhi in a game with possible playoff implications. It will also be the Falcons’ senior night. A last chance to see Jahn on his home turf, as TMHS will travel to either North Pole or Adair Kennedy for the first round of the playoffs on Oct. 11.
Of course there will also be the final regular season game pitting the celebration of the JDHS seniors against the visiting Falcons in the Glacier Bowl on Oct. 4.
The JES poll is still hoping there will be a Cross-Division All-Alaska Title game after the various school size tiaras are passed out.
Just like in the good old days of Southeast basketball play.
One game. One day. Hoosiers in a parka and cleats.
Survival of the fittest.
It was actually Saturday Night Live comedian Tina Fey, impersonating Palin, who said, “I can see Russia from my house!”
Sarah Palin answered an NBC interview question concerning insights she had about Alaska being so close to Russia with, “They’re our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.”
And then she spiked a football.
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