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High school hoops, youth hockey and indoor soccer all taking place this week

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Christmas holiday break may be a time for family, food and enjoying the company of friends and loved ones.

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For many of Juneau's athletes, however, this holiday season is a time to get in as many games as possible.

Instead of shopping and returning items, a variety of Juneau athletes will be taking the field in a diverse array of events this week

First, the annual Holiday Cup indoor soccer tournament will be going on through Dec. 31 at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School. The tournament features players of all ages as they compete for local bragging rights and just for fun.

After taking a two-day break, the games pick up again today starting at 8 a.m. and running until 10 p.m. Teams such as the Thundercats FC, the Hedgehogs and the Juneau Mafia - a middle school squad - will all be gunning for first-place glory this week.

Over in Douglas, Treadwell Arena will be hosting the annual Juneau Douglas Ice Association youth hockey Holiday 3 on 3 tournament.

This tournament will feature three three-team divisions battling it out.

The youth hockey tournament serves as a run-up to the annual old-timers tournament in Haines Junction, Yukon Territories. The men's tourney takes play up north on Jan. 30.

In Juneau, however, the Christmas break normally means one event is in the front of everyone's minds - the 17th annual Capital City Classic boys and girls high school basketball tournament.

With everyone home from college or visiting family on vacation, the Juneau-Douglas High School gym is routinely jammed back with loud, rowdy fans cheering on the Crimson Bears.

This year's tournament figures to be tough for both the Crimson Bears' boys and girls squads.

The JDHS boys (3-2) will take on defending Class 4A state champions Wasilla, Tahoma High School from Washington state and Club Kilsyth from just outside of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Juneau-Douglas won 11 straight until North Kitsap, Wash., knocked off the Bears in 2004. Hidden Valley, Ore., won in 2005 while A.B. Miller, Calif., took the 2006 title.

Coach Lesslie Knight's girls team (0-2) will be making its home debut at 6:15 p.m. Thursday against Kodiak. JDHS will then take on Alaska Class 3A opponent Wrangell on Friday and Redmond, Wash., at 8 p.m.

The girls opened the season against two difficult North Carolina opponents - Wakefield and Broughton - earlier this month.

Juneau-Douglas won the Capital City Classic in 2005 but fell to Troy, Calif., in the 2006 final.

Look for a full preview of the Capital City Classic in Thursday's edition.

• Contact sports editor Tim Nichols at 523-2228 or sports@juneauempire.com.



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