Friday, July 12, 2013

50 States in 50 Days - 2013 Alaska High School Football

by Jeff Fisher
Follow @HSFBamerica

Alaska is always the first state to play games and the first to stop playing games and that's why our 50 States in 50 Days series is making an early stop up north.  For those of you around the nation that are reading this story, Alaska plays an eight game regular season schedule and hands-out football championships in three classificiations - Big, Medium and Small.

First Day of Practice - August 5th
First Week of Games - August 16th
Playoffs Begin - October 11th
Championship Weekends - Small Schools, October 19th and Medium & Big Schools, October 26th

Unlike the last two years when the first games of the season in America were played during the Fire and Ice Bowl in Hawaii, there won't be any match-ups between Alaska and Hawaii schools this season.

The 2013 season sees the number of varsity 11-man teams in the state increase by one as Voznesenka moves-up from 8-man football, joining the Greatland Conference.

In the Big Schools classification, South is the defending champ after beating Service last October.  Service has played in the last three Big Schools' championship, winning in 2011.

Look for Palmer, which had a perfect reglar season in 2012, to make some noise this year. Potential Player of the Year, running back James Nisbett is back for his senior season.

Five time state champ Soldotna will again be in the mix in 2013 thanks to plenty of returning talent, including sophmore running back Drew Gibbs, who rushed for over 150 yards and two TDs in last year's title game as a freshman.  You can check-out the Soldotna championship game highlights above.

North Pole, thanks to Rice-recuit Lance Wright, is expected to be in the mix in the Medium Division this year.  Wright was the top receiver in the state last year. The 6-3, 190-pounder was an all-state and all-Railbelt Conference selection in 2012 after 45 catches for 1,017 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Eielson is the Small School defending champ.

While Alaska doesn't keep track of all-time wins for its programs, earlier this year, MaxPreps took a look at the state's Top 15 dynasties since 2003.  Juneau-Douglas was ranked #1, followed by South, Soldotna, Service and West.  Since 2003, Juneau-Douglas has amassed an overall record of 72-30 with two state titles.

Click here to go to download the 2013 high school football schedule from the Alaska School Activities Association.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Latest Alaska High School Football Rankings

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

Palmer Moose remain #1 in lastest rankings
Courtesy of
We're coming down the home stretch of the regular season with two weeks to go before the playoffs.

This past weekend saw several teams play in playoff-quality games with the post-season looming in the distance.

Top-ranked Palmer proved it was ready for the postseason with its 49-42 win over previously unbeaten and #3 North Pole.Service, ranked #4 last week, improved to 5-1 with a 21-14 win over South, which entered the game ranked #2, in a rematch of last year's Big Schools' championship game.

Here are the latest statewide rankings from the Alaska Sports Broadcasting Network:

Big Schools

1. Palmer 6-0
2. Service 5-1
3. West 5-1
4. North Pole 5-1
5. South 4-2

Mid-Small Schools

1. Eielson 5-0
2. Soldotna 5-1
3. Nikiski 4-1
4. Thunder Mountain 4-2
5. Barrow 4-1

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Alaska High School Football Scores - Week 2

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

Alaska's reigning offensive player of the year, proved he's not one dimensional on Saturday.

The Anchorage Daily News reports that Service High's Amu Aukusitino did play his usual position of quarterback on Saturday due to an injured shoulder.  However, he was able to "bug" his coach enough to put him in at running back.

According to, Aukusitino went into the game at running back and scored four touchdowns to lead the defending Big School state champs to a 42-0 victory over Bartlett.

Service is now 1-1 on the season, while Bartlett falls to 0-2

Here are the rest of the scores from this weekend.

Alaska High School Football Scores
Saturday, August 18, 2012

Juneau-Douglas 69, Wasilla  30
Kodiak  32, Houston 12
Monroe Catholic  42,  Valdez  12
North Pole  34, West Valley  25
Service  42,  Bartlett  0
Soldotna  70,  Ketchikan  0
Thunder Mountain  35, Sitka  6
West  49,  Eagle River  6

Alaska High School Football Scores
Friday, August 17, 2012

Colony  44, Kenai  20
Dimond  14, Chugiak  7 - Dimond defense only allowed 65 yds. in total offense
Eielson  69,  Seward  0 - Eielson's JJ Friske 3 FGs
Nikiski  34,  Skyview  7 - Nikiski's Stephen Hartley 187 yds. 3 TDs, Christian Riddall 166 yds.
Palmer  50, Lathrop  16 - Palmer's Vincent Aumavae 5 TDs
South  41,  East  0 - South's Dante Williams 187 yds. rushing on 11 carries

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Alaska Goes 0-2 in 2012 High School Football Kickoff in Hawaii

by Jeff Fisher

The Fire and Ice Bowl is now a tradition when it comes to the start of high school football in America.

For the second straight year, the high school football season kicked-off off the mainland with Alaska taking on Hawaii.

Last year it was one game, this year it was two on Friday night in Hawaii.

Punahou, which finished runner-up in Hawaii's Division I, won the first game of the year with a 48-0 shutout of West High School from Anchorage.  Hawaii made it a clean sweep of the Fire and Ice Bowl with a 23-15 victory by Leilehua over defending Alaska Big Schools champ Service.  Last year, Service and Leilehua battled to a 34-34 tie in the inaugural Alaska vs. Hawaii game.

The Alaska Daily News reported that Punahou was led by sophomore wide receiver Kanawai Noa, who caught four touchdown passes in the first half to lead the Buff and Blue to a 34-0 halftime lead.

In the Leilehua/Service match-up, the Mules jumped-out to a 23-7 halftime lead on their Alaskan opponents.  According to the Anchorage Daily News, Service drove to the Leilehua 30-yard line with 10 seconds left, but fumbled on the last play of the game.

Click here to read the Punahou/West game story.

Click here to read the Leilehua/Service game story.

However, I should point-out those weren't the only games this weekend as many other Alaska and Hawaii schools also began their regular seasons.

Below are all of the first week's scores:

Friday Scores -Alaska

East  42  Kenai  7
Lathrop  44  Nikiski  41
Lathrop JV  60  Seward  8
Leilehua (HI)  23  Service 15
North Pole 32  Dimond  14  Click here to read game story
Punahou (HI)  48  West  0

Saturday's Scores - Alaska

Colony  56  Skyview  7
Eielson  26  Valdez  0
Juneau-Douglas  45  Thunder Mountain  7
Monroe Catholic  16  Barrow  0
Palmer  27  Soldotna  7
Sitka  30  Ketchikan  8
South  68  Eagle River  6
Wasilla  21  Bartlett  14
West Valley  35  Chugiak  12

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Two Alaska Teams to Open Season in Hawaii

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

The 2011 high school football season kicked-off in Hawaii with Service and Leilehua battling to a 34-34 tie.  That tie was the only blemish on Service's record as the Cougars went undefeated from that point forward to capture the Alaska Big Schools championship.

This year, Service will kickoff the 2012 in the same fashion as it will travel to Hawaii for a rematch of the 2011 Fire and Ice Bowl against Leilehua on August 10th.  That game will be part of a doubleheader as Anchorage West High School will also make the long trek to Hawaii to take on Punahou, which finished runner-up in Hawaii's Division I last season.

Punahou, which was ranked the best sports program in America by Sports Illustrated in 2008 and 2009, is the alma mater of President Barack Obama.

After last year's Fire and Ice Bowl, I spoke with then Service head coach Jason Caldarera about the trip and the game.  Click here to listen to that interview.
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