Sports and Outdoors Highlights

Adult Sports

  • The annual ski and winter swap will be held in the Homer High School commons from 5:30-7 p.m. Jan 23. This is an opportunity to barter, trade, sell or give away winter-fun equipment, skis, snowboards, boots, clothing and other items for enoying winter. Remember to take home whatever items aren’t exchanged. No early bird and private business sales. For more information, call the Homer Community Recreation Program at 235-6090 or email communityrecreation@cityofhomer.ak.gov.

  • The second part of the Besh Cup’s three-weekend series of races happens at Homer’s Lookout Trails near Ohlson Mountain this Saturday and Sunday.

    The races attract hundreds of skiers from across the state, with the first of the series held in Anchorage in December and the final weekend of races in Fairbanks next month. A Besh Cup trophy is given to the male and female skiers earning the most Junior Olympic qualifying points. The event also helps determine the Arctic Winter Games cross country ski team. 

  • Rainy weather may have dampened the originally scheduled Friday Night Lights, a Friday and Saturday evening fundraiser for the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club, but it didn’t dampen local skiers enthusiasm when it finally happened.

    Initially set for Rogers Loop Trail on Jan. 3-4, it was rescheduled due to weather to Jan. 10-11, and moved to higher ground, the Sunset Trail, where there was a better covering of snow.

  • “Welcome to the Warrior dome,” the voice of Bea Klaich, head coach of the Nikolaevsk High School girls basketball team, boomed across Nikolaevsk School gym the evening of Jan. 2. 

    Full bleachers, thundering music and a strong current of excitement made it clear something big was about to happen. Indeed it was: the high school basketball teams’ battle against alumni teams.

  • Attracting hundreds of skiers and with a lengthy Homer history, the Besh Cup continues on Homer’s Lookout Mountain Trails Jan. 18-19.

    “It’s been around for a long time,” said Jan Spurkland, president of the Kachemak Bay Nordic Ski Club. “In the 1980s, it was called the Tang Cup and then in the 1990s, it got dedicated as the Besh Cup as a memorial to Tom Besh.”

    Growing up in Anchorage, Spurkland skied in the Besh Cup and participated in both the Junior Olympics and the Arctic Winter Games in the early and mid-1990s.

Youth Sports

  • Senior Ian Lowe gave Homer Mariners their one and only touchdown in Saturday’s 41-6 loss to the Kenai Kardinals, saving the Mariners from a complete shutout.
    “I wasn’t planning on playing him, but we had a bunch of people with injuries go down,” said Coach Josh Fraley of putting Lowe in the game. It was the senior’s first time back on the field since being injured earlier this season.
    The Mariners defense kept the Kardinals to one touchdown in the first quarter. After that, however, things started to fall apart for the Homer team.

  • Coach Bill Steyer knew the Mariner girls could do it, but was careful what he said before the cross-country regions competition in Kodiak on Saturday. He was right. The girls were crowned the Class 3A champions. In addition, athlete Megan Pitzman was named “girl athlete of the year” and Steyer received the “coach of the year” award.
    Boy athlete of the year went to Michael Todd of Anchorage Christian.

  • The Homer Mariners swim team hit the pool at SoHi last week for the 32nd annual SoHi Pentathlon, competing against athletes from Colony, Kenai, Kodiak, Palmer, Seward and Soldotna.

    Crowned champions of the event were the SoHi girls team and the Kodiak boys team.

    Kodiak’s Tahna Lindquist, a senior, was the top female swimmer with a total time of 2:57.51. Her brother, Talon, a freshman, was the top male finisher with 2:36.59.

  • Cast out a hook and you never know what’s going to bite. In the case of the Kachemak Swim Club’s search for a new coach, it appears they’ve found a keeper in Neil Romney.

    “We posted the job on the Alaska Swimming site and the USA Swimming site and got some interest from across the country,” said Paul Story, president of KSC’s board of directors. “They all had pretty good credentials, but (Romney) had really good credentials and amazing references.”

  • In a game where you have to count your blessings wherever you find them, Mariner Head Coach Josh Fraley and the Homer High football team have something to brag about in spite of Saturday’s 51-6 loss to the Soldotna Stars.

    “We’re only the second team to score on them all year,” said Fraley of the Mariners putting themselves on the board during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game.


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