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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Southeast Tournament
By Charles Edwardson


March 07, 2012
Wednesday AM

Ketchikan just had perhaps the last 3A\4A combined tournament ever. And what an event it was, hundreds if not thousands of people witnessed a few of the so called smaller school teams put Juneau to the test on the crossover tournament. Juneau prevailed but Sitka gave them a run for their money. As the powers that be decide this April to perhaps separate the kids into different divisions once and for all, so things are more equitable, to even out the competition, to make it better for the "smaller schools, to even out the competition -- what's next? Will we do away with all tourney team selection so as not to hurt anyone's feelings or don't keep score so as not to offend?

Ask the kids in the so called smaller schools if they feel better now that the adults have decided schools like Metlakatla High School cannot compete with Ketchikan High School ,even though they were victorious against the Kings in a game in Metlakatla this season. Ask the kids on the Sitka Wolfs if they feel better that they will not have to face the mighty Juneau Bears in a crossover game ever again, or ask the team if the Sitka Wolves would like another shot at the Bears? Ask the kids - not the adults- I'm pretty sure the kids would like another shot at the Bears. The kids believe they can beat the odds, strive practice work hard and compete. Why don't we foster that as well?

Ask the Craig, Alaska boys of several years ago if they believed they did not have a shot at competing with Juneau prior to beating them in the historic crossover defeat of Juneau in our own Kayhi gym. One of those guys on that 8 man roster I think is coaching the Craig team today. You think he's telling his boys, "Whew I'm sure glad we won't have to face Juneau or Ketchikan ever again in a crossover game. I'm telling you boys it was just too tough when me & my buddies buckled down, practiced every single day, beat the odds and worked our butts off to beat Juneau. I'm sure glad you guys will never have to go through anything like that. (doubt it)

I know there is some reasoning to putting smaller schools in competition with similar sized schools but a couple hundred students, and in some cases less than a hundred student difference, is not that big a difference. THE REGIONAL tournament in my opinion does not need to be fixed or restructured so things are more fair and equitable. I don't think the kids in smaller schools feel, "that they don't have a shot against bigger schools". Separating the tournaments may make things easier for the adults and even make some of us feel better that a school of 100 won't have to play against a school of 1000. But it also sends a message that even if the school of 100 happens to have 10 or 15 kids that can compete with the 10 or 15 from a school of 1000 we as adults feel that the smaller school should not have to go through the burden of playing a bigger school, it's just not fair.

I disagree with that message and I hope the kids in Metlakatla, Craig, Thorne Bay, Sitka, Wrangell, Petersburg, Hydaburg, Mt. Edgecomb, Haines, etc disagree as well. I hope my kids never get this message and believe it.

Again, I know there is probably some compelling logic to separating the divisions, I just don't happen to agree. I hope to see another small school someday beat the odds, and kick a bigger schools but that is part of the beauty of sports or just competition in general.

The pep bands from the smaller schools worked as hard as ours, as did the cheer and dance squads.

Charles Edwardson
Ketchikan, AK

Received March 06, 2012 - Published March 07, 2012



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