Just last weekend, the Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls soccer teams made their home debut.
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On Saturday, both of the Crimson Bears' teams will be celebrating their senior nights.
Both teams hope to go out with a bang, as the JDHS girls take on Pine Creek from Colorado and the boys face Washington powerhouse Bellarmine Prep.
"Normally we have Ketchikan at the last weekend of the year before state, this year it's reversed," JDHS boys coach Gary Lehnhart said. "It is weird, but for us to end with the game that we'll have Saturday night will be really special."
At 7 p.m. Saturday, the JDHS boys will host Bellarmine Prep. The Lions are among Washington's most storied soccer programs. The team won the state title in 2004 and was voted national champions by the National Soccer Coaches Association.
"That's a high-powered team and we're looking forward to that challenge," Lehnhart said.
Bellarmine Prep is coached by Joe Waters, a former professional soccer player in England and in the now-defunct Major Indoor Soccer League. The Limerick, Ireland, native also played for his home country.
Bellarmine Prep's visit to Juneau-Douglas should prove to be a major step up in competition and a terrific measuring stick for the Crimson Bears.
"It is a special thing," Lehnhart said. "A lot of people put in a lot of effort to get them up here. ... We're looking forward to it. It'll be a benchmark to see whether we deserve to be ranked and what we can do."
The JDHS boys will take on Chugiak at 3 p.m. Saturday, before playing Bellarmine Prep. The Lions will take on the Mustangs at 8:15 p.m. tonight.
For the girls, JDHS will face Chugiak at 1 p.m. before battling Pine Creek at 5 p.m., creating a tough challenge for the Crimson Bears.
The Eagles, from Colorado Springs, Colo., are coached by John Frederick. Pine Creek totes a 5-1 record and currently sits in second place in the Class 4A Metro division.
Admission is $5 for Saturday's session.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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