It's Spring break and that means the annual Gold Medal Basketball Tournament in Juneau. Klukwan is playing now, I think. The Haines Merchants have advanced in the Mighty B Bracket, and play again Thursday night. You can hear the game and watch it on the internet at the KINY Juneau radio website. Here's a link to the game schedule, too.
My husband's hunting partner John just called. He calls every morning at about seven. When I picked up the phone he said, "Nice stinking day. There's a hell of a lot of snow out there." He didn't wait for me to reply. I could see for myself that there was a good two feet, and it is still snowing. "I couldn't get out the front door," he said. "I had to go around the back. I just got plowed out yesterday, and now we have to do it again." He was laughing. "Where's the old man?" He asked, and I called my husband. Then John said he was spending a fortune on snow removal.
The good news keeps on coming. The Haines cheerleaders, in the person of Shelly Turner wearing the bear suit, won the state championship in the mascot division. I hope Shelly does her routine for us at the Athletic Banquet in May. Also, the Skagway girls won the 2A state championship. We listened to the game on KHNS. It was not a barn burner. It was more like an avalanche. They won by the most points ever, about forty, or something like that. And the team is all coming back next year.
If they ever make another movie in Haines (aside from a ski or snowboard film, that is.) It should have a scene like the one yesterday at the ferry terminal welcoming the team home. One where you can't see the mountains or even the inlet because of the heavy wet snow. Hundreds of people should be standing in the slushy parking lot, or waiting in cars and trucks with green balloons tied to the door handles. The high school band should be playing, no matter that the snow is falling on their music stands. The ferry should be late, so the wait is even longer. There should be a fire truck, too.
In case you haven't heard, there is a parade in from the ferry tomorrow morning (Friday) for the victorious team. (Check to be sure it's on time, but the plan is to gather about 11:15 out there.) Then there will be a pep rally in the gym, and everyone is encouraged to come. Wear Glacier Bear green. Make a banner or poster for your window if you are on Main St. (Or anywhere they might see it.) Heck, paint the town with them. The boys at Lutak Lumber out did themselves. They want it to be seen from the ferry.
Kyle Fossman is the Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year. (!) (I'm trying to control the exclamation points, but the Glacier Bears make that really hard.) His mother told me it is a big deal. I believe her. The team flies to Juneau tonight, and will be on the 7:00 am ferry home, so they should arrive around 11:30 tomorrow (Friday) morning. Be there with horns honking and wearing school colors. I hope the school band comes on a fire truck. I love it when that happens. Now I really do have to write that column for the Dispatch.
I am procrastinating on a column, (okay, actually I'm waiting until 9:00am to call Ann Marie Fossman and ask her about the game. I figure the assistant coach -and wife of head coach Steve Fossman and mother of star player Kyle Fossman-- will be my best source for the real scoop.) I also think everyone in Haines should make banners for the storefronts and have green streamers on our cars to welcome the team home tomorrow. Let's get on that folks. Chip says he doing something at Lutak Lumber. Do something at your place too. Something big.
The Haines Glacier Bear boys are the new 3A state champions! They beat the Nome Nanooks 46-45. It is too much. Amazing and wonderful! (And I never use exclamation points. Well, never except in sports stories. This one, as announcer Doug Olerud would say, and did--often, was a "barn burner." ) We need to have a parade when they get home Friday. I need a nap. I have a column due tomorrow, guess what I'll write about? The road really did rise up to meet us today and, for at least an evening, the wind is at our back.
Here is a preview from the Anchorage Daily News columnist Beth Bragg on tonight's state championship game between Haines and Nome. Read this and you'll know a lot more about Nome. She doesn't write much about Haines. (Actually, nothing. But it was filed before the game was over last night.)
The Haines Glacier Bears won again tonight. The boys beat the Barrow Whalers 57-45. Kyle Fossman was the player of the game with 31 points. Kyle Rush had 13 and Tyler Swinton 9. (I also have a soft spot for Jesse Piper who may not be a high scorer but who played great defense.) The boys play the Nome Nanooks- a great team-- tomorrow at 5:15 for the the state championship. Holy Mackerel. Or I should say Holy Hooligan?Tomorrow's game will be broadcast on KHNS and on statewide TV.