Sunday, October 21, 2007

Juneau-Douglas Wins 2nd Alaska High School Big Schools Championship

Both of Juneau-Douglas' Alaska High School Big Schools' Championships have come at the hands of the Palmer Moose. The Crimson Bears won Saturday's 2007 championship by defeating the Moose 23-13.

J-D, which beat Palmer 49-29 in the 2005 title game, used a strong defense to shutdown Palmer's strong rushing attack. Palmer entered the game averaging 268 yards per game rushing, but the Crimson Bears held the Moose to just 113 yards on 50 carries.

It was the 13th time in state history that a team has won the title while going undefeated. J-D finished 11-0 while Palmer ends the season 6-5. The game marked only the second time since the Alaska School Activities Association began it's championships in 2000 that a team with four losses played for a title.

To read more about the championship game from the Anchorage Daily News, click here.

Here's a look at Alaska's state champions. 1990 was the first season of the Alaska School Activities Association tournament.

Big Schools Champs

2007 Juneau-Douglas
2006 Anchorage South
2005 Juneau-Douglas
2004 North Pole
2003 Anchorage East
2002 Barlett
2001 Dimond
2000 Dimond
1999 Service
1998 Service
1997 Service
1996 Chugiak
1995 Palmer
1994 Service
1993 Dimond
1992 Eielson
1991 Bartlett
1990 Anchorage East
1989 Bartlett
1988 Chugiak
1987 Anchorage East
1986 Anchorage East
1985 Anchorage East
1984 Chugiak
1983 Dimond

Small Schools Champs

2007 Soldotna
2006 Soldotna
2005 Kenai
2004 Kenai
2003 Kenai
2002 Kenai
2001 Nikiski
2000 Nikiski

Friday, October 19, 2007

Alaska Big Schools Championship Game Preview

Palmer will play Juneau-Douglas (10-0) Saturday at Anchorage Football Stadium for the 2007 Alaska Big Schools High School Football Championship. It will be a rematch of the 2005 championship game won by Juneau-Douglas 49-29.

With a 6-4 record Palmer is a heavy underdog against the undefeated Crimson Bears. These two met in Week 4 this year with Juneau winning 28-7.

All eyes will be on Juneau-Douglas senior quarterback Ryan "Bubba" Larson, who had never played high school football until this year. To read about Larson's incredible run to a state championship game click here.

This will be the 13th meeting between the two schools with Juneau having won 11 of the first 12 match-ups. To read about Palmer and its players, who played in the 2005 championship game, click here.

The Cost Of Winning An Alaska High School Football Championship

Last week, Soldotna won the country's first high school football championship, Saturday Juneau-Douglas will travel to Anchorage to play Palmer for the Alaska Big Schools Championship.

Today there's a great story in the Anchorage Daily News about what high school football players above the Lower 48 have to go through in order to strap 'em up on Friday and Saturday's.

For example, Juneau-Douglas football team doesn't receive any money from the school district to run the program, so players, coaches and local youth leagues usually are constantly in fundraising mode to make sure the their teams are able to handle the heavy travel expenses associated with playing in a state that can routinely result in 500-600 mile flights across the spacious state.

For Juneau-Douglas it will cost nearly $25,000 earn the right to play in a state championship game.

To read about how different and costly it is to play football in Alaska, please click here for the entire article from the Anchorage Daily News.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Soldotna Claims Second Straight Small Schools' High School Football Championship

Behind a powerful running attack, Soldotna (10-0) claimed the country's first high school football championship Saturday beating Kenai (7-3) 47-27 for the Alaska Small Schools' Championship.

The Stars' Wing-T offense was working to perfection at Anchorage Football Stadium amassing 570 rushing, which averaged out to 11 yards per carry. Three Soldotna players rushed for over 100-yards led by quarterback Anthony Griglione, who picked up 271 yards and ran for four scores. Running back Bryce Gardner tallied 156 yards and one score, and Marvin Tate picked-up 128. Griglione and Gardner both surpassed the 1,000 yard mark for the season in the game, while Tate finished the year with more than 900 yards.

It was the second straight state championship for Soldotna, which averaged 55 points and game and beat opponents by an average margin of 43 points coming into the contest. The title game was also closer than the match-up between the two in Week 6 when Soldotna crushed Kenai 70-14.

To read a complete game wrap-up, please click here.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Alaska Ready To Crown First Champion

Alaska was the first state to kickoff the 2007 high school football season, so it stands to reason, that the Great White North would be the first to crown a state champ. That will happen tomorrow when Soldotna (9-0) plays Kodiak (7-2) for the Small Schools title.

The Big Schools bracket is down to its final four with Palmer (5-4) facing Service (7-2) tonight in one semifinal, while Juneau will play Anchorage South tomorrow at noon. In the Palmer-Service game, Palmer head coach Rod Christiansen will be going for his 100th career win.

With a win, Christiansen would become only the fourth coach in Alaska high school football history to pass the century mark. Buck Nystrom (Eielson and North Pole), who passed away a year ago, is the state's all-time winningest coach with 150. Nystrom is followed on the wins list by by Bruce Shearer (Kenai, Anchorage East and Chugiak) with 130 and Bob Boudreax (Service, Kenai and Soldotna) with 104.

To read a complete story about Christiansen's career, click here.

To read about defending state champ Soldotna's Small Schools' State Championship rematch with Kodiak, please click here.
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