The fall sports season kicks into high gear this weekend as four Juneau-Douglas High School teams will be in action this weekend.
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The Crimson Bears' cross country, volleyball and swimming and diving teams will make their season debuts while the football squad flies back to Fairbanks for a game against North Pole.
In Ketchikan, the Juneau-Douglas swimming and diving team will take on the Kings and other Southeast teams for a pair of meets. Today's meet starts at 6 p.m. while Saturday's meet kicks off at 1 p.m.
Crimson Bears coach John Wray said he's taking 26 athletes to Ketchikan.
Wray said he is using this meet to gauge the team's fitness.
Juneau-Douglas (2-0, 1-0 Railbelt) at North Pole (0-2, 0-1 Railbelt)
2 p.m. Saturday (broadcast live on KINY radio, AM 800).
27 carries, 364 yards, 6 TDs
46 carries, 300 yards, 1 TD
9-for-23, 176 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs
16-38, 267 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs
5 receptions, 133 yards, 1 TD
8 receptions, 113 yards, 3 TDs
3 points allowed per game
41 points allowed per game
26 yards allowed per game
291 yards allowed per game
76.5 yards allowed per game
47.5 yards allowed per game
7 takeaways, 3 giveaways
3 takeaways, 5 giveaways
"For some of these kids, it's the first time to see them race and see how they handle themselves. It's one thing to watch them swim hard in practice and another in a race."
With this weekend being the first meets of the year, racking up the most points or posting a blistering time isn't the primary goal.
This meet serves as the starting point to the season.
"I really don't have much in the way of expectations or team scores or individual placement," Wray said. "Just race hard, don't give up and be gracious whether you win or lose.
"I don't see the winning as the issue. What I can see with the issue is each kid sets goals and that each kid is progressing toward the goals."
The cross country team makes its debut at noon Saturday at Sandy Beach. Juneau-Douglas will host teams from throughout Southeast Alaska in its only home meet of the year.
JDHS sophomore and defending state champion Leah Francis owns the course record at Sandy Beach in 18 minutes and 32 seconds.
Starting today, the JDHS volleyball team will take the court for the first time when it takes part in a preseason jamboree.
In the jamboree, teams from the region will play multiple games against each other over the course of two days. While the games won't count toward any conference or overall standings, it'll be the first time most of these squads have seen competitive action on the court this year.
For the Bears, it'll be a good tune-up for their regional season opener on Aug. 31 at Sitka.
Up in Fairbanks, the Crimson Bears (2-0, 1-0 Railbelt) will take on winless North Pole (0-2, 0-1).
Based on the Patriots' first two games, JDHS may be able to establish its running game early and often.
North Pole yields an average 291 rushing yards per game. The team also gave up more than 400 yards on the ground to Soldotna in Week 1.
Juneau's Silver Maake currently leads all large-school running backs with 364 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 27 carries.
North Pole running back Todd McCormick ranks third in the large school division with 300 yards on 46 carries.
Contact sports editor Tim Nichols at 523-2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.