I have grown up in Homer, graduating from Homer High in 2010. I have recently heard talk about a recreation center to be built in Homer.
I have dreamed of this day since I fell in love with basketball years ago, shooting hoops in my driveway in the frigid cold, trying to perfect my shooting stroke whilst wearing insulated gloves to keep myself from freezing, hoping that someday I would just be able to play ball in a real gym whenever I wanted.
Two weeks ago, Homer High School’s Lady Mariners secured first place in the Northern Lights Conference for the third consecutive year. They also took the conference’s academic award for the fourth time since 2005.
Unfortunately, the Mariners’ state championship hopes came to an end Saturday at Cartee Fields in Anchorage with a 9-0 loss to Ketchikan, leaving the Mariners in third place in the 2013 Small School State Softball Tournament.
Since May 22, the Homer Lady Mariners have defeated the Skyview Panthers, split a senior night double header against the Kodiak Bears, and then finished their regular season by shutting out the Kenai Kardinals on the road.
Hannah LaRue stole the show on both sides of the ball against the Panthers on May 22, batting in four runners on two hits as well as pitching the lights out on the defensive end, allowing no earned runs, eight strikeouts, and only one hit in her six innings of magic.
The Homer Lady Mariner softball team hosted six games this last week, finishing 3-3 with wins against league opponents Soldotna and Kenai before losing two games to East High, and then one against Service. They finished the action on Saturday by avenging their loss to the Service Cougars.
The Mariners stole 12 bases in their first game against the Soldotna Stars while they took a two-run lead in the first inning. Seniors Maggie Larue, Miranda Beach and Katie Kirsis each knocked home a run to secure the lead as LaRue pitched a shutout at the defensive end.
Put a Mariner on dry land and what do you get? A track and field team to be proud of, as the Homer High School boys and girls teams proved at the ASAA 3A State High School Track and Field Championships held last weekend at Lathrop High School in Fairbanks.
With 20 boys and girls squads facing off in one of the coldest track meets of the season, the Homer girls team, with 74 points, took second to Grace Christian, with 117 points. The Homer boys, with 31 points, claimed eighth place, and Anchorage Christian took first with 99 points.
The Homer Lady Mariners dominated on the road last weekend, shutting out the Houston Hawks twice by scores of 27-0 in a Friday doubleheader, and picking up a 10-2 win on Saturday against the Wasilla Warriors.
Friday’s inaugural Valley game showed the Mariner bat speed early as they tallied 15 runs in the first inning alone. Senior Hannah LaRue led the offense with a single, double and a triple, which brought four runs across the plate in an offensive performance that was just a home-run shy of hitting for the cycle.
After a successful Region III Championship meet held at Nikiski High School, the Homer Mariners are sending 14 athletes to compete in 25 events this weekend at the Alaska State Track and Field Championships at Lathrop High School in Fairbanks.
During last weekend’s Regional Championships, Anchorage Christian School boys claimed first place with a team total of 133 points. The Mariner men followed in sixth place with 44 points.
More than 1,000 wrestlers packed into Wasilla’s Menard Sports Complex last weekend for three days of state tournament action. Homer’s Popeye Wrestling Club finished their season earning 43 medals throughout the ranks of their 35 competitors.
Junior Calvin Johnson led the pack, becoming Homer’s only Triple Crown Winner, defeating North Star’s Aaron Drake three times in the three days of competition. Drake placed third in the high school wrestling season in the same weight class (113 pounds) as Johnson.
The Lady Mariners wasted little time on Tuesday, rallying for 10 runs in a single inning to defeat the Soldotna Stars 14-1 at Homer’s Jack Gist field.
The game ended after four innings due to the 90-minute time limit. The final score was Homer 14, Skyview 1.
Hannah Larue pitched for Homer and only allowed four hits and one run, and getting four strikeouts.
Homer’s Kayla Hutt and Addie Davis both hit 2-for-2, while McKi Needham went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI, and Becky Graham was 2-for-3.
The Homer Mariners and Huskies collectively hosted the 2013 Kenai Peninsula Borough Finals on Friday and Saturday at the Homer High School track. The track drew12 other schools from the peninsula’s middle and high school’s track and field talent.
The girls team of the Homer Middle School Huskies showed their young talent, finishing Saturday’s finals action with a first place team score of 167, more than 20 points above second place Kenai Middle School.
Although Homer’s debut track and field meet was canceled April 19-20 due to icy conditions, the Mariners were able to show off their brand new track last Saturday by hosting the Skyview Invite. Originally scheduled for Skyview High School, the Mariners hosted 10 other teams from around Alaska on short notice because some midweek snow melt settled on the Skyview track, forcing the meet to be moved.
A group of Popeye wrestlers traveled north to Palmer last Friday to take part in the Matsu-Matmen Tournament.
Popeye Wrestling’s William Roth won both of his matches in the Greco Roman Style event, earning a first place finish in the Junior 125-pound bracket. Roth hasn’t wrestled competitively in a few years but Coach Chris Perk called him “fearless” as he threw his opponents to the mat last weekend.
The Homer Mariner Track and Field team took to the Dome in Anchorage last Friday and Saturday for The Big C Relays.
In the midst of many great individual and team performances, Junior Tayla Cabana took second place out of six athletes in the girl’s pentathlon as the only Mariner to compete in the event.
A new track. A new element to the training program. And more than 25 student athletes trying out for various events in track and field.
Homer High School Head Track Coach Bill Steyer, now in his fifth season with the program, is reaping the benefits of building the track and field program from the ground up — including what is his largest team to date.
Although the track is still covered in snow, the team has already been getting practice time outdoors — which means better conditioning early in the season, says Steyer.
The Popeye Wrestling Club sent 12 wrestlers to Wasilla last Saturday to compete in the Arctic Warriors Ultimate Challenge. The grapplers brought home six medals including two first place finishes by Austin Shafford and Wayne Newman at Novice 80-84 pounds and 85-91 pounds respectively.
Last Saturday, the Popeye Wrestling Club hosted its annual Freestyle Tournament in the Alice Witte Gymnasium at Homer High School. Sixteen teams from as far north as Houston made the sunny commute for the one-day tournament. Homer’s grapplers took fifth place among the 16 teams competing and won 32 medals.
At 36 pounds, 5-year-old Saoirse Cook took first place, pinning her four opponents in less than a minute each in what Coach Chris Perk described as one of the best performances of the tourney.
The Lady Mariners made it into the consolation bracket last weekend after winning one game during the South Central Conference Regional Tournament in Seward.
The Mariner Men started the Region tournament with a tough matchup against the top-ranked and eventual South Central Region 3A Champion ACS Lions March 7. The Lions, led by five first team all-regional players Augustus Simmers, Nate Simmers Jalen Terry, Calvin Hoffman and Colton Arnes defeated the Mariners 69-32 in a tale of two halves.
Young wrestlers from Homer and Anchor Point took part in two tournaments last weekend: the Tanana Middle School Tournament held in Fairbanks and the United States Girls Wrestling Association Tournament at Service High School.
Tanana Middle School hosted nearly 500 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders during the two-day unofficial Middle School State Tournament. Homer and Chapman brought up nine wrestlers.
The Homer Huskies placed 11th overall in the tourney with 70.5 points. The Chapman Eagles combined for 21.5 points, earning them 23rd place.
The Homer Mariners hosted the Seward Seahawks last Friday at the Alice Witte gymnasium for the last home game of the basketball season. Both varsity squads lost during the Mariners' senior appreciation night.
Seahawks 46, Lady Mariners 22
The Lady Mariners started off the night losing to the Seahawks 46-22. Seniors Alicia Isenhour, Miranda Beach, Tiyana Hill and Hailey Oliver received much playing time during their last home game as Mariners, while Oliver was the only senior to score with 6 points, all coming in the paint.