SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Ketchikan Hot Shots League Officially Open For Battles On New Field


May 25, 2006

Ketchikan, Alaska - "The Grand Opening of Ketchikan Hot Shots Paintball League paintball field was an outstanding success!," said Ty Rettke, President of the Ketchikan Hot Shots Paintball League and Ketchikan Youth Initiatives.

Rettke said of the 24 teams that entered the three-person team tournament held Sunday, Team F.E.A.R came out on top, winning 100 dollars cash From Cellular One, a $50 Gift Certificate from Ward Creek Industrial, and a $24 Gift Certificate from Movie Gallery for each team member. The A-Team walked away in Second Place, with $50 cash each, from Cellular One. And in Third Place was True Karma, with each team member getting $25 in cash, again from Cellular One.

jpg Hot Shots play-offs

Trevor Eubanks in position in play-offs.
Photograph by Ty Rettke

Nearly 100 people participated in the tournament and free play games. Another 200 people from toddlers to grandparents where there to watch and enjoy music by the local band, Parable, and other individual artists, and a delicious fund-raising Barbeque was provided by the high school's Academic Decathlon (ac/dc) team. Free water and Red Bull energy drink rounded it off.

Rettke said, "The mood was playful, the diverse crowd mingled freely and a grand time was had by all." As one of the hard-working youth managers said, "We did it, everyone had a good time and no one got hurt!" Rettke said it was a pleasure to watch the entire event staged and delivered by a team of youth and young adults with only a few minor glitches. "As we move forward, the League will be known for its integrity and commitment to providing a healthy and safe alternative sport for our community," said Rettke.

jpg team members

Team members get ready for the tournament.
Photograph courtesy Ketchikan Hot Shots Paintball League

The paintball field is constructed along a 450 foot stretch of road netted off by special paintball netting which prevents paintballs from striking any person or object outside the field of play, but allows spectators to gather along the outside and watch the action.

There were many games of free play on the second field during the Grand Opening held May 21st. "Again with the support of Cellular One, people gained free access to the field and the Hot Shots made their rental equipment available at no charge for this opening event," said Rettke. "To give you an idea of the scope of activity, the League had thirty cases of paint (each case containing 2000 paintballs) for a grand total of 60,000 paintballs fired!," said Rettke. This is not counting the paint that private individuals brought to this "free to play festival of paint" Rettke said. One participant said he played 13 games.

jpg Minshall crouching on the tower.

Jeremy Minshall crouching on the tower.
Photograph courtesy Ketchikan Hot Shots Paintball League

Rettke said speedball games are quick, maybe lasting 5 to 10 minutes each. Speedball is the name applied to this type of field that has barriers out in an open field, as contrasted with Woodsball where paintballers are sneaking around trees and undergrowth. Rettke said sometimes, in other parts of the country, teams have fields with tall grass to maneuver. "Speedball is a great answer for Ketchikan where the field can be maintained to eliminate unsafe hazards and games can be played under strict safety rules that teach accountability and appropriate behavior," said Rettke.

According to Rettke, the program sponsor, Ketchikan Youth Initiatives, acted as the non-profit oversight organization to facilitate the development of this program. Their mission is "to empower the community by fostering and funding youth and young adult initiatives to create a constructive social environment." The intent of Ketchikan Youth Initiatives is for sponsored activities to be alcohol and drug free always and for these activities to reach out to include youth with little to no family resources and troubled youth seeking to find community.

"Captain Casey"

Devon "Captain Casey", the Master of Ceremonies from KTKN
Photograph courtesy Ketchikan Hot Shots Paintball League

At mid-day, there was a brief ceremony at which Devon "Captain Casey", the Master of Ceremonies from KTKN, introduced Gina Haylor, Marketing Manager from Cellular One in Anchorage, the team from Red Bull who provided product for the event, Mike Dewitt, Chairman of Cape Fox Corporation, who granted the permit for the land that field is on, Bobbie McCreary of the Revilla Island Prevention Coalition who mentored our group through our first year, Ketchikan Youth Initiatives, the non profit organization sponsor and Ty Rettke, President of Ketchikan Youth Initiatives and the Paintball League.

Ty Rettke presented two awards for excellence to League members Jared Oien and Spencer Round from Ketchikan High School. Rettke said, "Without these two, we would not be here today. All the phone calls, meetings, following up, and yes, camping out here to protect equipment, while the park was under developmentthese two deserve these plaques."

jpg Mayor Weinstein, Hicks, DeWitt

Ketchikan City Mayor Bob Weinstein, Yeda Hicks and
Mike DeWitt, Chairman of Cape Fox Corporation
Photograph courtesy Ketchikan Hot Shots Paintball League

The League extended its sincerest thanks to those who made this Grand Opening event possible, especially the local contracting companies and everyone who helped prepare the site for this day. (54 donors were listed in the program.) Many hours of labor, equipment rentals, over 200 yards of D-1 and other donations equaled more than $25,000 of in-kind services in addition to the $10,000 granted by the founding sponsors. Thank you all for supporting the youth of your community said Rettke on behalf of the Paintball League.

The League holds meetings every Wednesday at 6:00 pm at 640 Park Ave. (Across the street from the American Legion Hall. Parking is available in spaces 4 ,5, 6 or at the Library).

For more information about the League, contact the League Secretary at 617-0102 - this phone service donated by Cellular One.

League President Ty Rettke said, "We encourage new membership, of any age, to maintain a strong volunteer organization going forward. Please join us."


Related Article:

Dream Of Establishing Paintball Club Comes True By Marie L. Monyak
May 04, 2006

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