The gym was rocking at Nikolaevsk Saturday as the second day of action in the 2012 Southwest Conference Mixed 6 Volleyball Tournament narrowed down to a championship battle between defending champs Glacier View Wolverines and the Nikolaevsk Warriors.
Last year's state wrestling finalist Mark McGregor has wrestled all season at 170 pounds but decided to drop to 160 in time for last weekend's Kachemak Conference Championship hosted by Grace Christian School. McGregor pinned all four of his opponents in the first period, earning himself a No. 3 rank heading into the State Championships. Mariner Coach Chris Perk says that he now has a solid front headlock to go along with some leg riding technique that he will use to try and earn himself a state championship title.
Lack of snow on the trails didn't deter the Mariner Nordic ski team from competing in the first meet of the season at Headquarters Lake in Soldotna. The Flat-Out Flight Races was an unofficial meet attended by SoHi, Skyview, Kenai and Homer.
Skiers were split into three different flights based on their experience and skill level.
Mariner freshman Barae Hirsch dusted the competition and came in second place in Flight 1.
Nikolaevsk High School student Blake Klaich has been named one of two students in the state to be awarded the Wendy’s High School Heisman.
Begun in 1994, the Wendy’s High School Heisman Program, in partnership with the Heisman Memorial Trophy Committee, has recognized more than 250,000 of the country’s “most esteemed high school seniors,” according to information provided on the program website. The award winners are well-rounded young men and women who excel in learning performing and leading in the classroom, on the field and in their communities.
The Mariners took on three Kenai Peninsula opponents last week in Soldotna, Kenai and Skyview. The Mariners went to Kenai Nov. 20 to dual both Kenai and Soldotna.
Due to eligibility check and preparation for regions, the Mariners were down a few wrestlers in matchups where they had been victorious the prior week. The Mariners forfeited seven weight classes for a total of 42 points.
The Homer Mariners traveled to Wasilla last weekend where they took fourth place in the Curtis C. Menard II Memorial Tournament. The Mariners started the tourney with another win against the Houston Hawks, 4-1, but ran into some trouble on the bench as Alex, Dennis and Karil Sonarov were absent from the team due to vacation.
Coach Buck Laukitis noted that depth is key for the Mariners, especially in tough tournaments like these. Senior Connor McCarron served up three assists while Konstantin Reutov, Carson Duggar and Clem Tillion provided the offense.
By INGRID HARRALD
It was a busy weekend at the Kevin Bell ice rink. With the high cchool hockey team up the road for a tournament, the Homer Adult League took advantage of the ice.
Homer High joined 36 other wrestling teams last weekend at the Palmer Invitational. The Mariners placed 18th overall with fifth place showings by junior Calvin Johnson and senior Mark McGregor.
Johnson, who was ranked No. 3 in small schools, defeated No. 2 ranked Gabe Hoffman from Bethel 12-10.
“Both wrestlers were being aggressive and wrestling without fear,” said Mariner Coach Chris Perk.
As the Mariners’ cross country ski team waits for snowflakes, the team begins their season practice on dry land with high hopes for big snow and big wins.
“The team is relatively young and welcomes skiers of all skill levels. Some students have never skied before and some have been skiing since middle school or earlier,” said Head Coach Eric Groth.
Thirty-three skiers strong, the team is quickly gearing up for their first race, the Flight Races at Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna on Dec. 1.
The Homer wrestling team had the upper hand in a dual meet against Soldotna on Tuesday evening, beating the Stars 48-30 at Soldotna.
The Mariner mat men wrestled seven duals last weekend, taking eigth place in the 2012 Peninsula Duals at Nikiski.
This 16-team tournament showed Homer defeating Kenai, Houston and Colony, while losing to Dillingham twice, Colony JV and Skyview.
The Mariners hosted Kenai, Hutchison, Glennallen, Bartlett, Delta and Houston in the 2012 End of the Road Shootout last Thursday through Saturday.
Homer proved to be the dominant team, coming away with an uncontested 4-0 record and the Shootout’s first place trophy. The Mariners’ offensive dominance was the answer for every team that they faced, outscoring all opponents 28-5 for the weekend.
The Best Western Bidarka Inn sponsored the Round Robin Rumble last Saturday. The Mariners hosted this tourney, featuring schools from all over the state.
Juniors Calvin Johnson (103) and Harley Wells (145) both took first place in their respective weight classes.
A small group of the Mariners Swim and Dive Team returned from State Championships last weekend with personal victories to carry them into next season. Swimmer James Nagle and divers Brian Rowe, Jasmine Lewis and Katherine Dolma are looking to return to state next year with greater accomplishments.
James Nagle as the sole Mariner swimmer at State, swam in the 200M IM and 100 butterfly events.
The Lady Mariners began travel last Thursday up to Whittier, where they then caught a ferry across Prince William Sound to Cordova where the Wolverines hosted the 2012 Southcentral Volleyball Regional Tournament. Homer began tournament play on Friday, losing to Grace Christian School in four sets: 16-25, 25-23, 15-25 and 18-25. Grace was the top seed coming into Regions and the Mariners were happy to get one win in there.
By Norm Anderson
For the Homer News
The Mariner wrestlers were on the road again last weekend competing in the ACS Invitational, the largest wrestling tournament in the state. Homer placed 30th out of the 44 schools.
The Mariners came away with 27 points total, all coming from juniors Calvin Johnson and Pedro Ochoa.
Johnson took fourth place in his new 106-pound weight class and Coach Chris Perk’s aspirations remain high.
“Johnson has a solid chance of placing in the top six this season, his technical match skills look good so far,” said Perk
The Lady Mariners finished their last two games of the regular season last week. They traveled to Skyview to play the Panthers last Thursday and the Seward Seahawks came to town for Homer’s senior night on Saturday.
Thursday, the Panthers swept the Lady Ms with scores of 9-25, 20-25 and 15-25. Homer totaled only 28 digs, seven of which came from Maggie Koplin. Kristie Mastre had a team high four aces while Caroline Decreft pitched in 12 assists. Zoia Basargin led offensively with five kills in what was a quiet game for Homer.
School buses lined Homer High School’s parking lot last week, trucking 274 athletes in and out for the Region III Swim and Dive Championships. The heat was on in the Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center, and each school represented had school pride dripping in all corners of the pool, locker rooms and hallways.
Though colors other than blue and gold lined the pool walls, it was still the Mariners’ home turf, and they made sure they screamed the loudest for their teammates.
Mariner volleyball alumni, as well as a community member, took on the current Lady Mariners last Saturday for the 2012 Alice Witte Challenge Game.
The Mariners won in three sets, wearing new pink jerseys supporting breast cancer awareness month and in honor of the Homer High School volleyball program founder, Alice Witte. Homer High’s gym is named after Witte, who passed away 18 years ago from breast cancer.