Not many people from Juneau booed Matt Carle during the Gold Medal championship game. Here are my thoughts:
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The Lions Club caters to out-of-town teams. Thirty or 40 years ago, the Juneau Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood played in Gold Medal - but not recently.
Five years back, I gave my opinion on how Haines brought an in-your-face attitude and represented everything the Gold Medal isn't - rough fouls and the I-didn't-do-it face. The referees played right along, so Haines even won some championships that I believe should be removed.
Why do the same refs return, 10 to 15 years now? It couldn't be from lack of funds; the event creates $3 million to $5 million. Half of that goes to the gate in tickets and cash.
Here's a bit of inside news: The Lions Club is so by the rules, that to play in Gold Medal, all you need is to stay in a town one month to be eligible for that team. Juneau needs some of that.
Lastly, instead of booing Carle, he should have been cheered for taking a stand against questionable officiating in the first Haines and Hydaburg game. A Haines player threw a Haida player and the ball out of bounds, and the refs awarded Haines the ball. Few in the full-capacity gym raised an objection. I did. I yelled, "Foul!" to remind the refs of their responsibilities.
I honestly believe there should be an AA bracket. Then Haines can play themselves and be champions every year.
Fred J. Stevens Sr.
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