Juneau-Douglas High School senior Byron Wild doesn't think he'll have the opportunity to play college basketball, so he appreciated learning Saturday that he'd been voted to the second-team Class 4A all-state team by a panel of sportswriters from around the state.
Wild, a 6-foot-5 center-forward, plans to attend Reed College in Portland, Ore., and Reed doesn't have a varsity athletics program.
"This may be it for me," Wild said of his basketball career. "I may come back and play in Gold Medal or in the city league when I'm older, but for now I'm done."
Wild was one of two Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears to earn second-team honors when the all-state lists were released on Saturday. Danielle Larson, a 5-9 power forward on the girls team, also was honored.
"I'm definitely really excited," Larson said when told of her second-team selection. "It's nice because you could measure where you were when you started and where you finished out. It's really cool so many of us got picked, almost our whole starting five."
Joe Ayers and Bryan Hamey both earned honorable mention recognition for the Juneau boys, while Kendri Cesar, Letasha McKoy and Amy Neussl were honored for the Crimson Bear girls. Others from Southeast making the Class 4A honorable mention lists were Calin Bjur of Ketchikan for the boys, plus Anne Elliott of Ketchikan and Sidney Wyman of Sitka for the girls.
The boys Class 4A player of the year was Bartlett sophomore guard Mario Chalmers, who edged 7-0 senior center Ray Schafer of Wasilla 5-4 in the balloting. Mario's father, Ronnie Chalmers, earned coach of the year honors after leading Bartlett to its second straight state championship.
Besides Chalmers and Schafer, the Class 4A boys first team included Chris Devine of Chugiak, Buddy Bailey of Wasilla and Doug Hardy of Bartlett. Schafer, who was ranked among the country's top-100 college prospects, will play for the University of Oregon next year, while Devine will play at the University of California-Santa Barbara.
Ashley Mickens of East Anchorage, a diminutive power forward, earned Class 4A girls player of the year honors, while Jon Schroeder was voted coach of the year after leading Chugiak to its first state title since 1994.
Besides Mickens, the girls Class 4A first-team all-state list included Chandice Cronk of Wasilla, Erica Putnam of Chugiak, Marsha Schirack of Wasilla and Rachel Besse of Soldotna.
Juneau boys coach George Houston said the Crimson Bears didn't use Wild enough early in the season. He said later in the year the Crimson Bears used Wild more, taking advantage of their best post presence.
"I felt like we didn't utilize him better this season," Houston said of Wild. "When we got the ball into him, good things happened. He'd either pass it out for an assist, or he'd make a post move to the basket. He's a competitor and he battled. He faced a wide range of styles. He's played Schafer a lot, and he also guarded Ozelle Jamestown (of East Anchorage, another second-teamer) who's generously listed as 6-2 but is more like 6-foot. He was able to stay up with his (Jamestown's) quickness."
Larson hasn't committed to a college yet, and she's debating whether or not to play basketball or softball. Larson is a first baseman-left fielder who made the all-state tournament team last year when Juneau won the state title in softball.
"I'm looking at two colleges, one for softball and one for basketball," Larson said. "We (the softball team) just got back from Arizona. We only played one game - we won 12-0 over Glendale (Glendale Union) High School of Glendale, Ariz. - and all the rest of the time was spent in clinics."
This was the first year for a Class 3A team - in past years Class 3A has been combined with the Class 4A list for a large schools team - and Craig senior guard Raymond Douville earned boys player of the year honors. Craig coach James Carle was named boys coach of the year.
Douville was joined on the Class 3A first team by teammate Freddy Hamilton, the Valdez duo of Carl Arts and Mark Banner, and Teddy Street of Bethel.
The Class 3A girls player of the year was Karen Rabung of Nikiski, while coach of the year was Nikiski's Ward Romans. The girls Class 3A first team included Rabung, Janay DeLoach of Eielson, Martina Leavitt of Barrow, Hisa Miyara of Nikiski and Evelyn Conwell of Kotzebue.
"I wasn't expecting this," Douville said when told of the honor. "I'm just mostly surprised. It's definitely a reward for working hard. The last couple of years we've gotten better and everything just fell into place this year. It's nice to know my teammates were picked, too. They're a big part of how I got this. It was more of a team effort."
The boys Class 2A/Class 1A player of the year was Hydaburg junior forward George Peratrovich, while Hydaburg's Jim Holien was named coach of the year. The boys first team included Peratrovich, Darren Zibell of Noorvik-Aqqaluk, Darren Edenshaw of Hydaburg, Clayton Edwin of Nenana and Jacob Peterson of Cook Inlet Academy.
Whitney Leman of Ninilchik won her third straight girls Class 2A/1A player of the year award, while her father Dan Leman earned coach of the year honors. Besides Leman, the girls first team included Danielle Knudsen of Kake, Courtney Stewart of Mountain Village, Danica Wilson of Bristol Bay and Aggie Nashookpuk of Point Hope-Tikigaq.
"I thought it was pretty good," Peratrovich said. "One of our main goals was to win state, and I think if we work hard enough we can do it again. We're going to be in there again. Our junior high team was undefeated, and they've got a good little point guard who will be with us next year. It's going to be exciting. It's kind of rare seeing people on the island (Prince of Wales Island, which also is where Craig is located) winning like this."
Charles Bingham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS/ ALASKA MEDIA
ALL-STATE BASKETBALL TEAMS
The Anchorage Daily News/Alaska Media All-State Basketball Teams released on Saturday. The teams were voted on by a panel of sportswriters around the state, and the results were compiled by the Anchorage Daily News. Juneau Empire sports reporters Charles Bingham and Andrew Krueger were members of the panel.
CLASS 4A BOYS
Player of the year - Mario Chalmers, Bartlett Golden Bears.
Coach of the year - Ronnie Chalmers, Bartlett Golden Bears.
First team - Mario Chalmers, 6-foot-2, sophomore, Bartlett; Ray Schafer, 7-0, senior, Wasilla; Chris Devine, 6-8, senior, Chugiak; Buddy Bailey, 6-2, senior, Wasilla; Doug Hardy, 5-10, junior, Bartlett.
Second team - Byron Wild, 6-5, senior, Juneau-Douglas; Joe Reza, 6-2, senior, Colony; Ozelle Jamestown, 6-2, junior, East Anchorage; Ryan Shaver, 6-5, senior, Lathrop; Bennie Holt, 6-4, senior, East Anchorage.
Honorable mention - Joe Ayers, Juneau-Douglas; Calin Bjur, Ketchikan; Zack Bowman, Bartlett; Daniel Brown, Bartlett; Justin Coffman, Colony; Ian Foley, Kenai Central; Bryan Hamey, Juneau-Douglas; Jordan Jamestown, East Anchorage; Ben Kuhns, Homer; Aaron Loges, Chugiak; Josh Lohrenz, West Valley; Chad Mortenson, Kodiak; Kinzey Reeves, Lathrop; Luke Schafer, Wasilla; Caleb Schooley, Kenai Central; Steve Spidell, Kenai Central; Steve Steiner, Kenai Central; Vince Stewart, Dimond; Landon Swank, Colony.
CLASS 4A GIRLS
Player of the year - Ashley Mickens, East Anchorage.
Coach of the year - Jon Schroeder, Chugiak.
First team - Ashley Mickens, 5-9, senior, East Anchorage; Chandice Cronk, 5-8, junior, Wasilla; Erica Putnam, 6-1, senior, Chugiak; Marsha Schirack, 6-0, senior, Wasilla; Rachel Besse, 6-1, senior, Soldotna.
Second team - Kari Reabold, 5-9, junior, Lathrop; Elyse Hartman, 5-9, junior, Chugiak; Jennifer Sennette, 5-4, senior, Soldotna; Kristina Klapperich, 6-0, junior, Colony; Danielle Larson, 5-9, senior, Juneau-Douglas.
Honorable mention - Aiesha Ailey-Brown, East Anchorage; Sharde Burkhead, North Pole; Emily Bolling, Palmer; Letricia Castillo, Bartlett; Kendri Cesar, Juneau-Douglas; Alana Clooten, Lathrop; Anne Elliott, Ketchikan; Keisha Hooker, Palmer; Letasha McKoy, Juneau-Douglas; Amy Neussl, Juneau-Douglas; Trista White, Wasilla; Annie Withrow, Kodiak; Sidney Wyman, Sitka; ZeeZee Young, Dimond; Hillary Zobeck, Soldotna.
CLASS 3A BOYS
Player of the year - Raymond Douville, Craig.
Coach of the year - James Carle, Craig.
First team - Raymond Douville, 5-10, senior, Craig; Carl Arts, 6-5, junior, Valdez; Mark Banner, 6-4, junior, Valdez; Fred Hamilton, 6-0, senior, Craig; Teddy Street, 6-0, senior, Bethel Regional.
Second team - Rusty Guttierez, 6-1, junior, Heritage Christian Schools; Aaron Severson, 6-8, senior, Petersburg; Matt Fisher, 6-6, junior, Delta Junction; Jack Packer, 6-2, senior, Barrow; Jordan Savage, 6-1, senior, Craig.
Honorable mention - Sam Adams, Delta Junction; Todd Alden, Anchorage Christian Schools; Chris Bryant, Metlakatla; Kris Craig, Valdez; Harley Danner, Barrow; Steve Echtinaw, Eielson; Eric Hamilton, Craig; Tim Ingalls, Grace Christian School; Randy Lam, Monroe Catholic; Zach Madren, Anchorage Christian Schools; Jared Reando, Heritage Christian Schools; Jason Reando, Heritage Christian Schools; D.J. Sandidge, Houston; Evan Skinner, Eielson; Kyle Skinner, Petersburg; Josh Thomas, Barrow; Travis Weiss, Nome-Beltz.
CLASS 3A GIRLS
Player of the year - Karen Rabung, Nikiski.
Coach of the year - Ward Romans, Nikiski.
First team - Karen Rabung, 6-0, senior, Nikiski; Janay DeLoach, 5-6, senior, Eielson; Martina Leavitt, 5-2, junior, Barrow; Hisa Miyara, 5-4, senior, Nikiski; Evelyn Conwell, 5-8, senior, Kotzebue.
Second team - Katie Floyd, 5-7, senior, Nikiski; Michelle Dieckgraeff, 5-10, senior, Seward; Carolyn Berg, 5-11, junior, Monroe Catholic; Kayleigh Short, 5-8, junior, Petersburg; Britni Birchell, 6-1, junior, Petersburg.
Honorable mention - Barb Benson, Barrow; Krista Birchell, Petersburg; Katie Blackburn, Valdez; Elizabeth Bodfish, Barrow; Lisa Burglin, Monroe Catholic; Naomi Brunette, Nome-Beltz; Stephanie Christiansen, Grace Christian School; Brandy Cole, Petersburg; Tara DeRuwe, Seward; Heather Douville, Craig; Ellie Jackson, Mount Edgecumbe; Ann Linville, Seward; Maggie Matteson, Heritage Christian Schools; Vanessa McCormick, Eielson; Ella Morris, Mount Edgecumbe; Brittany Peterson, Anchorage Christian Schools; Linnea Pudwill, Houston; Leah Stepovich, Monroe Catholic.
CLASS 2A/1A BOYS
Player of the year - George Peratrovich, Hydaburg.
Coach of the year - Jim Holien, Hydaburg.
First team - George Peratrovich, 6-1, junior, Hydaburg; Darren Zibell, 5-11, senior, Noorvik-Aqqaluk; Darren Edenshaw, 6-2, senior, Hydaburg; Clayton Edwin, 6-2, senior, Nenana; Jacob Peterson, 5-11, senior, Cook Inlet Academy.
Second team - Jarret Brown, 6-2, senior, Skagway; Tory Andrew, 5-6, freshman, New Stuyahok-Chief Ivan Blunka; Vinny Edenshaw, 5-8, senior, Hydaburg; Ryan Shewfelt, 5-10, senior, Fort Yukon; Allen Tibbetts, 6-3, junior, Bristol Bay.
Third team - Kyle Nettles, 5-8, junior, Cook Inlet Academy; Calder Hillyer, 6-3, senior, Cook Inlet Academy; Luke Myers, 6-0, senior, Cook Inlet Academy; Steven Miller, 5-9, senior, Ninilchik; Othniel Oomittuk, 6-3, senior, Point Hope-Tikigaq.
Honorable mention - Rodney Ahtuangaruak Jr., Nuiqsut-Trapper; Noah Brauner, Lumen Christi; Alexie Charlie, Nenana; Jason Chunak, New Stuyahok-Chief Ivan Blunka; Tommy Elia, St. Mary's; Vern Emmons, St. Mary's; Peter Kosbruk, Nuiqsut-Trapper; J.R. Lane, Point Hope-Tikigaq; Jesse Lang, Aniak; Jon Morris, Noorvik-Aqqaluk; John Nichols, Unalaska; Stephan Nikitenko, Nikolaevsk; Shane Padgett, Kake; J.R. Peterson, Aniak; Brandon Thomas, Fort Yukon; Simon Thome, Fort Yukon; Peter Tipiken, Nikolaevsk; Dean Towarak, Unalakleet-Frank Degnan.
CLASS 2A/1A GIRLS
Player of the year - Whitney Leman, Ninilchik.
Coach of the year - Dan Leman, Ninilchik.
First team - Whitney Leman, 5-6, senior, Ninilchik; Danielle Knudsen, 5-10, senior, Kake; Courtney Stewart, 5-10, sophomore, Mountain Village; Danica Wilson, 5-10, sophomore, Bristol Bay; Aggie Nashookpuk, 5-7, senior, Point Hope-Tikigaq.
Second team - Katherine George, 5-5, junior, Akiachak-Moses Peter; Amanda Matson, 5-10, junior, Ninilchik; Ariel Tweto, 5-3, freshman, Unalakleet-Frank Degnan; Holly Hildebrand, 5-2, junior, Nulato; Sidney Stewart, 5-8, freshman, Mountain Village.
Third team - Janet Geary, 5-2, sophomore, Buckland; Savannah Ames, 5-5, sophomore, Skagway; Destiny Bell, 5-6, sophomore, Hydaburg; Heather Richardson, 5-5, junior, Matanuska Christian School; Mandy Evans, 5-4, senior, Cook Inlet Academy.
Honorable mention - Jubilee Brost, Matanuska Christian School; Tiffany Edwards, Bristol Bay; Kelsey Deiman, Ninilchik; Carmen Estrada, Angoon; Jamie Geagel, Seldovia-Susan B. English; Angie Gingue, Tok; Grace Ishnook, Koliganek; Jackie Ivanoff, Unalakleet-Frank Degnan; Cassie Lamphear, Tok; Iris Lane, Point Hope-Tikigaq; Romaine Roach, Tok; Kaleigh Ryno, Klawock; Betsy Thomas, Buckland; Cheryl Tunguing, Koliganek; Nichole Turner, Shishmaref; Pauline Tutiakoff, Unalaska; Ayla Tweto, Unalakleet-Frank Degnan.