Kevin Bell Arena filled up with 83 women from Healy, Anchorage, Kenai, Homer, Wasilla and Soldotna, ready to play hockey. This year’s winter jamboree tournament theme, Villains and Heroes, saw team names such as “Wrap-A-Round Witches” while players warmed up in superhero capes.
The Goal Scoring Goodfellas won the jamboree.
Saturday, the Soldotna hockey team defeated Colony 6-2 to knock the Knights out of a first-place tie in the North Star Conference.
Tuesday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex, the Stars lost 3-2 in overtime to Homer, which entered the game 0-8 in NSC play.
It could be a doozy of a conference hockey tournament at the sports complex from Feb. 4 to 6.
“We’re going to line up against somebody in the region tournament and play our hearts out,” Homer Coach John Carlin said. “Tonight was just what we needed.
Mariners hockey travelled to play Chugiak and Eagle River in non-conference games on Jan. 8 and 9. Though both games were losses, Coach John Carlin and the players agreed both games were growing experiences for the team.
“We got everybody off the beach because I wanted every kid to be hot and sweaty and the end of it,” Carlin said.
The Homer High School wrestling team closed the season with a banquet at the Best Western Bidarka Inn on Jan. 9, celebrating their players and the team’s state championship win. Head wrestling coach and athletic director Chris Perk congratulated his players on sticking to their team motto of “embrace the grind,” which he attributed to their success.
This weekend’s weather brought the Homer Nordic Ski Invitational to an abrupt finish when the rain forced coaches to cancel the second day. Though Friday went smoothly, Saturday’s conditions could not be salvaged for a day of racing.
Friday’s weather was unexpectedly excellent, wrote assistant coach Alison O’Hara in an email.
The Mariner girls varsity basketball came out victorious over Mt. Edgecumbe’s Lady Braves during games on Jan. 7 and Jan. 8.
The Mariners and Lady Braves were locked in a tight struggle for the win on Jan. 7. Mariners led with a one point difference at the end of the third quarter and ended with a score of 43-40, thanks to three points by Kayla Stafford.
The Mariners girls basketball team scored a nonconference win over the Kenai Kardinals Tuesday evening, led by the 19 points by senior Madison Akers.
Kenai junior Lara Creighton matched that with 19 points of her own in the Kardinals loss, which dropped them to 1-7 overall for the season. Homer moved to 3-1 overall.
The final score was Homer girls 45, Kenai 35.
On the boys side, the Kardinals tallied 26 points in the second quarter to pull away for a 71-33 nonconference victory over the Mariners.
The rainy weather has not beaten Homer High School’s Nordic ski teams’ plans. As of Tuesday, Coach Alan Parks says he expects the Homer Invitational to go on as scheduled Friday and Saturday.
There is enough snow on the Ohlson Mountain Lookout Trails to ski on, Parks said. Though Homer saw only rain in the last week, it snowed at higher elevations. The main consideration for Parks now is the safety of the course, which became icy after Monday’s rain.
The Mariner hockey team’s face-off against rivals Soldotna High on Tuesday night ended with a 4-to-1 loss, despite an impressive offense and power plays from the Mariners. The closing minutes of the game saw an especially powerful Mariners effort.
“We turned it on at the end how we wanted to play the whole game and, maybe some kids ate too much Christmas cookies or something, but that’s how we normally come out and play,” said Mariner Assistant Coach Asa Stage.
At the Class 2A, 3A and 4A levels — or those schools 61 students and above — even the best basketball programs will have rebuilding seasons.
At the Class 1A level — or those schools with 60 students or less — even the best programs will have seasons where they can’t even field a team.
The Cook Inlet Academy boys squad, which won state titles in 1999, 2002 and 2005 and reached another state final in 2003, will be dormant this year.
With such close parity in competition in the Class 3A Southcentral Conference, basketball teams on the Kenai Peninsula will be facing a long road full of challenges en route to the region tournament in early March.
Add one more to the mix.
Saturday night inside the packed Bartlett High gym, the Homer wrestling team celebrated an occasion almost 30 years in the making.
The Mariners captured the Class 1-2-3A state team championship to win their fourth state title in school history and first since 1986, piling up 212 points to capture the team championship. Perennial contender Bethel finished second with 168 points, while defending champions Kotzebue were third with 138.5 points.
Registration has started for MicroBells, the learn-to-skate-through-hockey class at the Kevin Bell Ice Arena.
MicroBells is for ages 4-8 and is free for brand new participants. Gear is provided.
Classes run from Jan. 10-March 20. Space is limited.
For registration details and instructions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mariners had only 15 skaters because of the Christmas holiday while the Alumni had an excessive bench of 22 during Tuesday night’s Alumni game — but it was a feisty game nonetheless.
The Homer Mariners brought home the hardware Saturday at the Kachemak Conference wrestling championships, although they did not have to go very far to put it in the school display case.
Riding on the strength of seven individual champions (including girls), the Mariners were crowned region champs for the first time since 1986, rolling up a total of 239 points. Houston finished second with 197 and Nikiski was third with 193.5.
The Homer Mariners ski team raced on a fast course of artificial snow over the weekend at the annual Lynx Loppet tournament at Kincaid Park in Anchorage. Friday they had a classic race and Saturday was skate skiing. Both days were 2 two-kilometer loops for a total of 4 kilometers of racing. It took 800,000 gallons of water to produce enough snow for the race. Senior Rachel Ellert had an outstanding skate race, coming in 23rd out of 204 competitors.
At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 22, the Mariner co-op hockey team meets alumni on the ice at Kevin Bell Arena for their annual match-up.
But it’s not just your average game.
This year, Mariners past and present will join hockey teams around the country in a hockey Christmas tradition: the Teddy Bear Toss. When the game’s first goal is scored, spectators are invited to throw stuffed animals onto the ice. The players then gather up the toys to deliver to children in need.
Post-Christmas and pre-New Year’s, a “Meet the Mariners” event hosted by the Homer High basketball teams gives alumni a chance to celebrate their days in letterman jackets — and the kids who wear the Mariner uniform today. Starting in the high school gym at 5 p.m. on Dec. 26, the season-opening event promises food, basketball, and fun for all.
The night kicks off with an alumni basketball game in honor of former Homer coaches Rob Gribble and Alice Witte.
Nikolaevsk took fourth place on Saturday at the Mixed 6 Volleyball State Championship on Saturday at Dimond High School in Anchorage.
The Warriors topped Golovin 3-0 in the fourth-place match.
Friday, both Nikolaevsk and Seldovia fell into the fourth-place bracket with losses — Seldovia lost to Tanalian 3-2 and Nikolaevsk to Unalakleet 3-2.
Saturday, Seldovia was eliminated from the tourney with a 3-0 loss to Golovin, while Nikolaevsk moved to the fourth-place match with a 3-1 victory over Nunamiut.
Homer fought hard against Soldotna in the third-place duals at this weekend’s North-South Duals wrestling tournament, held Friday and Saturday at Soldotna Prep, only to be defeated 46-36.
Colony cruised to the North-South championship Saturday with a 52-28 dual win over Valley rival Wasilla.