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"Poll-loney!"

Posted: September 30, 2013 - 11:06pm
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The Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears football team is ranked third in the state by a national high school poll.  KLAS STOLPE | JUNEAU EMPIRE
KLAS STOLPE | JUNEAU EMPIRE
The Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears football team is ranked third in the state by a national high school poll.

Oh Horse Feathers!

And I do think the Marx Brothers are figuring out some of these high school football polls.

Once again, sportscasters in Alaska have left our Crimson Bears treading water midstream.

Right in the middle.

Sinking in at number three.

I admit, I am a sportscaster. I talk out loud when writing my sports stories.

Polls are all relative anyway. South is related to Service is married to Soldotna who is friends with the brother-in-law of Kenai.

The Alaska Sports Broadcaster Network Poll has put undefeated Soldotna and lossless Kenai at one and two.

Now the nice thing is both of these Northern Lights Conference teams will be playing next weekend.

The loser of that game should fall below JDHS in the final season poll. But really, who cares?

You beat the best to be the best and someone is going to have to tangle with the Crimson Bears soon.

Juneau-Douglas is the one seed in the Southeast Conference.

And should stay that way.

Unless a pig flies into Groucho, lands on Harpo, the Ketchikan Kings lose to Sitka this coming weekend and the Falcons win the Glacier Bowl on Friday night at Adair Kennedy Field.

And all four of these would have to happen.

While ASAA (ahhhhhh saw — just to be clear on the pronunciation) says four teams can be in the SEC playoff picture, the real powers-to-be decided at the May 15 Athletic Directors meeting that they would just have three, with the number one team getting a pass into the semifinals.

This AD vote, in the Region V Southeast Conference by-laws, was done with respect to the Kayhi and Sitka financial situations and the assumption that one or the other would be the fourth seed and possibly have to travel up north. At the time they did not have the money or athletes to do so.

Whereas a three seed might have had to do a little bit more on the gridiron to earn that ranking and may not be at such a disadvantage against the number two team.

A fourth seed in a four-team league could just back into a playoff spot.

So Kayhi will travel, I assume (you never know what financial decisions will be made at the powers-that-be levels), to North Pole for the first round of the SEC playoffs and JDHS will rest some injured players, scout this coming weekend’s Sohi Stars and Kenai Kardinals matchup and not worry about any more polls.

The Crimson Bears earn an automatic spot into the Alaska Medium School semifinals at Anchorage’s Dimond High School on Oct. 19.

“All (ASAA) needs from us is to furnish them with two teams to play in Anchorage,” Ketchikan AD Ed Klein was quoted in the Ketchikan Daily News.

Kayhi will battle the Patriots at Fairbanks and the winner will join JDHS to play the top two remaining teams from the Northern Lights Conference playoffs.

To date, the NLC playoffs still need a game decision this weekend between undefeated’s Soldotna and Kenai (at the Kardinals nest).

The loser of that game will host Kodiak (NLC three seed) in the first round of the state playoffs and the Crimson Bears will wait to play whoever survives that opener.

Early in the season Kenai won at Kodiak by one point; two weeks later Kodiak traveled to Soldotna and lost 63-0.

The winner of this weekend’s Sohi/Kenai matchup will open state tourney play against NLC fourth seed (the winner of this weekend’s Houston at Homer game).

If all the “Stars” align, Soldotna should win their opening playoff game and face the winner of North Pole and Ketchikan in the semifinals.

So if I were a predictor, which I am not (I don’t do fantasy leagues or predictions), I would foresee JDHS vs. Kenai in one state semifinal and Soldotna vs. North Pole in the other.

JDHS and Soldotna have both beaten the large school Colony Knights this season. JDHS and Kenai have both beaten Wasilla on the road.

No disrespect to Kayhi. They blew my last week’s prediction (if I were a predictor) of Thunder Mountain getting the win.

The Kings looked like they could run all night, and they did. I just don’t know if they can run against a full defensive line of juniors and seniors hardened by the brutal Fairbanks winds.

ASAA may just decide to go with a four-team medium school state playoff next season. Two from SEC and two from NLC.

One respected coach thinks that could happen. And that those four teams, since they schedule large school powers on their schedule, should all get first round byes to the semifinals. The extra week off would allow for healing and scholastic improvements.

“We are going to use this year’s bye to our advantage,” JDHS coach Rich Sjoroos said. “Get some kids healed up and hopefully have a good showing up at the state tournament.”

First up, however, is a good showing at Friday’s Glacier Bowl against the TMHS Falcons. Game time is 8 p.m.

The Crimson Bears senior appreciation is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. They have 18 seniors to be honored. That means a lot of reloading for next season.

Now if polls really mattered we would see that a respected national high school poll has JDHS ranked 2,286th in the nation.

That would be a big playoff scenario to be in.

That same poll, however, ranks them as third in the state of Alaska:

1. South Wolverines; 2. Soldotna Stars; 3. Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears; 4. Service Cougars; 5. Kenai Kardinals; 6. Palmer Moose; 7. Lathrop Malemutes; 8. Chugiak Mustangs; 9. West Eagles. 10. North Pole Patriots.

Not a bad poll.

Here is the other...

ASBN Poll:

Medium-small schools, record, next opponent

1. Soldotna (beat Skyview 54-0) 7-0 vs. Kenai.

2. Kenai 6-0 vs. Soldotna (beat Skyview 54-0).

3. Juneau-Douglas (beat Wasilla 42-6) 6-1 vs. Thunder Mountain (lost to Ketchikan 41-14).

4. North Pole (beat West Valley 28-13) 5-1 vs. Lathrop (beat Homer 49-0).

5(TIE). Nikiski (beat Eielson 35-20) 5-2 vs. Monroe (beat Vosnesenka 54-0).

5(TIE). Monroe (beat Vosnesenka 54-0) 5-2 vs. Nikiski (beat Eielson 35-20).

Others receiving votes Kodiak (beat Houston 37-7).

Large schools

1. South (beat Dimond 42-14) 5-2 vs. West (beat Service 52-16).

2. West (beat Service 52-16) 5-2 vs. South (beat Dimond 42-14).

3. Chugiak (beat East 27-13) 5-2 vs. Bartlett (beat Eagle River 65-6).

4(TIE). Palmer (lost to Colony 31-20) 5-2 vs. Wasilla (lost to JDHS 42-6).

4(TIE). Lathrop (beat Homer 49-0) 5-2 vs. North Pole (beat West Valley 28-13).

5. Service (lost to West 52-16) 5-2 vs. Dimond (lost to South 42-14).

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