Youth Sports

Mariners XC team on starting line for state competition

It was another big weekend for the Homer Mariner cross country team, competing in Regions held in Seward on Sept. 28.

“It was an excellent meet,” said Head Coach Bill Steyer. “Highlights included a very strong performance by the boys varsity team to capture third place and qualify for state; a very close race for girls Region III 3A title against Grace Christian with Homer coming in second place and also qualifying for state; and Megan Pitzman winning the Girls 3A competition by a substantial margin of 40 seconds.”

Swimmers work hard at having a ‘good time’

Mariner swimmers traveled to Soldotna Sept. 27 for the annual Pentathlon, an event unlike any other in the season. While the event didn’t officially “count towards anything”, Head Coach Rebecca Hardy said Homer wouldn’t miss the opportunity to join in the fun.

“Everyone had a good time and we are definitely looking forward to next year’s Pentathlon. We would never miss it,” she said.

Mariners get mauled by Malemutes, Cougars get ‘rammed’ by Monroe

There’s a lot to be said for a football team that never quits, in spite of the battle. Just ask Mariner Head Coach Josh Fraley, in the aftermath of the Sept. 28 49-0 loss to the Lathrop Malemutes. And ask Justin Zank, head coach of the Voznesenka Cougars, who just returned from a game against the Monroe Rams. The Rams won with a 54-0 score in a game played in Fairbanks Sept. 25.


Homer Mariners

Homer Mariners, Cougars fall to Soldotna, Nikiski

Last week’s football games were brutal for southern peninsula teams. The SoHi Stars shut out the Homer Mariners 59-0, while the Nikiski Bulldogs cinched a 46-6 victory over the Voznesenka Cougars.


Homer Mariners

The Sept. 21 game between the Homer Mariners and the SoHi Stars, played in Soldotna, was a rematch of the 2012 medium-schools state championship game. The strength of the Stars, winner of that 2012 game, wasn’t a surprise to Homer Head Coach Josh Fraley.

Mariners take to the water at two weekend meets

Homer Mariners swam with a stronger stroke than ever during the competitive Kenai Invite against Palmer, Soldotna, Kenai, Seward, Wasilla and Colony on Sept. 21. Several times others were left behind in the wake of new records and the team celebrated several individual and team victories.

“The meet was very successful,” said Head Coach Rebecca Hardy.

“There were a lot of best times for our swimmers. ... We got faster times than we were expecting.” 

Weather, course test XC runners

From snow to rain to snow to rain…and so it went at Saturday’s XC relay on the Lookout Mountain ski trails above Homer. In spite of an early brush with winter, however, two four-runner teams of Homer Mariner girls took first and second place in the varsity competition. In the boys’ varsity race, Skyview took first, one Homer team took second place. In the junior varsity race, Nikolaevsk secured first place.

“The trail was slippery in places,” said Homer High Head Coach Bill Steyer. “It was tough for the kids to stay warm.”

Mariners battle, but suffer ‘disappointing’ loss to Bulldogs

It was a nail-biter match in the Alice Witte Gymnasium between Homer and Nikiski during the four back-to-back games on Friday. According to Head Coach Beth Trowbridge Homer’s offense was strong, but the team lost ground due to inconsistent defense. The Mariners sank to the Nikiski Bulldogs with an end score of 22-25, 25-22, 19-25, and 24-26.

“We put up a strong blocking front row forcing Nikiski to tip around our blockers which would typically lead to an easy transition, but our back row had trouble adjusting and continually got burned by the tips.” explained Trowbridge.  

Moose stomp Mariners; Homer to see Stars next

Head Coach Josh Fraley and the Homer High School varsity football team knew Friday’s game against the Palmer Moose was going put the Mariners to the test.

“Even though we lost, everyone knew it was going to be a tough game and I’m really happy with the effort they gave in that game,” said Fraley. 

“They played well together as a team. That, as a coach, makes you feel good if they can do that. … These guys took the challenge, didn’t let that be their identity, but came out, fought hard and played the entire game fighting hard.”

Mariner girls run to first place at Seward cross country meet

The girls on the Homer High School Mariners varsity cross country team conquered the Frank Dieckgraeff Invitational meet in Seward on Friday, charging into first place in a competition against nine other schools. 

In a field of 13 boys teams, the Mariner boys claimed eighth place.

“It was a pretty awesome performance, awesome across the board,” said Head Coach Bill Steyer. “I hope they can keep the momentum going. They’re doing really well.”

Voz celebrates homecoming with big win

With the Voznesenka Cougars fielding an 11-man football team for the team’s first official season, Head Coach Justin Zank has repeatedly said his goal was to make the team competitive. Saturday’s homecoming game showed that Zank and the Cougars have hit the mark with a 28-point shutout that left the Seward Seahawks empty-handed.

“It was very exciting for all of us, being Cougar football’s first homecoming,” said Zank. 

Kenai Kards name Homer resident honorary captain

Richard Creary — a resident at South Peninsula Hospital Long Term Care unit, 1963 Kenai High School graduate and a retired U.S. Air Force technical sergeant — was interrupted while watching a western on television the morning of Saturday, Aug. 31. 

It was an interruption he didn’t mind, however. His grandson, Kyle Foree, a running back for the Kenai Kardinals, and the entire team of players and coaches surprised Creary with a visit before Kenai’s afternoon game against the Homer Mariners. 

HMS Huskies on the road

The Homer Middle School Huskies compete in the Seward XC Invitational at 3 p.m. Friday. Also in Seward on Friday, Homer takes on Seward in a soccer game at 3 p.m. 

The following weekend, the Huskies run in the Kenai XC Invitational at 3 p.m. Sept. 20. The soccer teams plays the Soldotna Middle School at 3 p.m. in Homer on the same day.    

Cougar homecoming game

The Voznesenka Cougars take on the Seward Seahawks Saturday on the Homer High School football field at 4 p.m.

This will be the Cougars’ third conference game and follows an Aug. 30 win over the Valdez Buccaneers,  42-28, also played in Homer.

Saturday will be Voznesenka’s homecoming game.

Swim-dive competition floods Homer with teams

There aren’t many bleachers in the Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center, but what’s there was full on Friday and Saturday for the 2013 Homer Invite. Those that couldn’t find seats cheered from the sidelines as divers and swimmers from Colony, Homer, Kenai, Kodiak, Palmer, Seward, Soldotna, Valdez and WW high schools competed.

The dive competition kicked off the two-day event on Friday, with Coach Harmon Hall’s team, including freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors, looking promising.

“We stand a real good chance,” said Hall of taking a team to state. “I think we’ll do fantastic.”

Lady Mariners place second at Seward tourney

Houston, Seward, Grace Christian and Homer volleyball teams faced off in Seward during the annual North vs. South Tournament Sept. 6-7, with Homer securing second place.  

After an excellent performance in the beginning of the tournament, the Lady Mariners struggled under the wear of consecutive games, according to Coach Beth Trowbridge.

“The girls played well initially in the round robin, executing their defense better than they had the weekend before and being more aggressive on their offense,” said Trowbridge. 

Mariners run strong in Palmer

Getting one step closer to state, Homer Mariner varsity girls cross country team raced into second place at the Palmer Invite on Saturday, with a total 100 points. Soldotna claimed first place, with 78 points, and Grace Christian trailed Homer with 102.

The invite was an opportunity for Homer and Grace Christian, both 3A schools, to test themselves against the larger 4A schools, said Bill Steyer, Homer’s head coach.

Mariners shut down Skyview

The Homer Mariners got their season back on track with a 30-0 win over the host Skyview Panthers on Saturday afternoon at Skyview High School.

For Skyview (1-2 overall, 0-2 league), the loss came in the school’s final homecoming game — amid procession and celebration — before it shuts down next year.

But for the Mariners, who surpassed Skyview in the Northern Lights Conference standings with a 1-2 NLC record, the first win of the year sure felt good.

Mariner volleyball team places third in Cordova tournament

Homer High’s volleyball team played a fast-paced tournament in Cordova on Aug. 30-31, after maneuvering through some unexpected travel complications. Two players were recognized with tournament awards and the Mariners placed third, which Coach Beth Trowbridge said served as a valuable warm up to the tournament-intensive season.

“I am so impressed by the level of play that these girls achieved this weekend,” said Trowbridge. “They showed their potential and they gained respect from the other teams.  Homer can expect some exciting volleyball this season.”

Mariners swim into top spot

The Homer Mariners captured top team honors at the Skyview Invitational swim meet on Friday at Skyview High, topping Seward and Skyview with a total of 202 points. The Seahawks earned 94 points for second place, while the Panthers had 22 for third.


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