November 11, 2011

November 10, 2011

AVA Tryouts 2011

Tryout dates for AVA:

-Tues 15 Nov 6-8th gr 6-730pm, C team exp 730-9pm Wasilla AT&T sports Ctr
-Thur 17 Nov JV/Var exp 7-9pm @ Palmer Jr

Other dates if you cant make the first 2:

-Sun 6 Nov C team experience @ Eagle River HS 230-5pm COMPLETED
-Sun 13 Nov JV/Var exp @ Eagle River HS 230-5pm also HS makeup
-Sat 19 Nov Elem & 6th-8th gr @ Mirror Lake Middle 230-5pm

Tryout fee is $10

November 8, 2011

Sports : Palmer senior named NLC MVP - Frontiersman

Sports : Palmer senior named NLC MVP - Frontiersman
Palmer senior named NLC MVP
Published on Monday, November 7, 2011 8:05 PM AKST

PALMER — Palmer head coach Steve Reynolds admits he sometimes overlooks Palmer senior setter Jenna Arlow.

It’s nothing against Arlow, a three-year varsity player and two-year starter. Reynolds simply knows he doesn’t have to worry about the senior, who was named the Northern Lights Conference North Division Player of the Year Saturday night.

“As a coach you tend to focus on the glaring weaknesses, or the players who need the most help,” Reynolds said. “Sometimes we don’t spend enough time on the ones who are doing a nice job.”

Arlow is a primary reason why the Moose have been the top team in the NLC for the last three years. Saturday, she helped lead Palmer to its third straight NLC title.

Arlow is a leader, and among the top setters Reynolds has coached, he said.

“She’s just the quiet, confident type,” Reynolds said. “She has wonderful hands. She’s a great setter, and has been since she was in junior high.”

Reynolds said Arlow’s serve is also a strength.

“She’s had a tough serve for years. She gives people troubles,” Reynolds said. “One thing that goes unnoticed a lot is if you serve tough, even if you’re not getting aces, you’re keeping the other team back on their heels. That’s huge.”

Arlow is one of a pair of Valley players and five Mat-Su athletes to be named first-team All-Northern Lights Conference.

Palmer senior Morgan Morfe, Colony junior Mary Klapperich and Wasilla seniors Haley Taylor and Jolee Fife were also named on the first team.

Wasilla senior Kayla Bell, Colony junior Allison Leigh and Palmer junior Lily Cullers were also named to the second team.

Reynolds was named the NLC Coach of the Year for the third time in his 12 years as the Moose mentor.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman sports editor Jeremiah Bartz at

All-Northern Lights Conference

North Division Player of Year:

Jenna Arlow, Palmer

South Division Player of Year:

Amanda McDowell, Skyview

Coach of the Year:

Steve Reynolds, Palmer.

First-team All-NLC:

Carole Lampl, Kodiak; Jenna Arlow, Palmer; Haley Taylor, Wasilla; Amanda McDowell, Skyview; Kallee Skjold, Soldotna; Jolee Fife, Wasilla; Kylee Woodford, Soldotna; Mary Klapperich, Colony; Hannah Wandersee, Kodiak; Morgan Morfe, Palmer.

Second-team All-NLC:

Marlee Cunningham, Skyview; Lauren Cashman, Homer; Kayla Bell, Wasilla; Britanie Whipple, Skyview; Brooke DeVaney, Homer; Mary Hauptman, Skyview; Heidi Westernman, Soldotna; Allison Leigh, Colony; Monya Wandersee, Kodiak; Lily Cullers, Palmer.

November 6, 2011

Sports : Inspired Moose rally to beat rival to move into final - Frontiersman

Sports : Inspired Moose rally to beat rival to move into final - Frontiersman

Inspired Moose rally to beat rival to move into final
Published on Sunday, November 6, 2011 12:15 AM AKDT

PALMER — Before hitting the hardwood for its semifinal date with rival Wasilla, the Palmer volleyball team watched the film “Glory Road,” as a team.

It’s a basketball movie — a true story about Texas Western College’s bumpy road to a 1966 NCAA championship —but when the Moose faced their own adversity, the Palmer players looked to the sports flick for inspiration.

Palmer, sitting in a two-game hole, battled back to score a 3-2 (23-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-21, 16-14) win over the Warriors during the Northern Lights Conference Volleyball Championships semifinals at Colony High on Friday.

“Before the game we watched ‘Glory Road’, the basketball movie, to pump up ourselves,” Palmer senior Morgan Morfe said. “We were like ‘Glory Road’, we can do it, we can push through.”

Palmer used wins during the final three sets to pave its own glory road to the conference championship match, where the Moose scored a 3-0 win over Kodiak to win its third straight conference title.

The Moose played their way down that road, thanks in part to the flawless hitting of senior Kalene Smith and back row play of Morfe and libero Lily Cullers.

But during the first two games of the match, the Moose were teetering on disaster as the Warriors were stellar.

Wasilla hitters Sariah Tuisaula, Haley Taylor and Jolee Fife powered the Warriors through Game 1, and Leah Taylor served three aces to help the Warriors launch to a seemingly crippling 13-1 lead in Game 2.

But as the Warriors smelled sweep and the Moose feared the worst, Palmer chipped away at the advantage and the momentum.

“I think initially everyone was terrified it was going to be some score like 25-3 and we were going to have to live with it,” Palmer head coach Steve Reynolds said. “It was just a matter of chipping away at it.”

Palmer used a 7-1 run to narrow the gap to 14-8, and after a Haley Taylor kill gave Wasilla the 21-14 advantage, the Moose scored seven straight points to tie the score at 21.

Wasilla capped the game with a four-point run to win the set 25-21, but the Moose felt that rally was key to their victory.

“We would have been done, period,” Reynolds said, if the Moose didn’t come back in the second game. “I think if we would never have gotten that game respectable, we would have been done.”

Morfe said Reynolds also gave the Moose an added sense of confidence after that game.

“After the game our coach said whenever someone looks at the scorebook it will always say 25-21. Nobody will ever know you came back from 13-1,” Morfe said.

Morfe also said the Moose were confident in their ability to rally.

“One of our strengths is comebacks,” Morfe said. “After we lost those two games, it was like, hmmm, this is what we do best.”

Both teams used terrific defensive efforts to extend the match to five games.

Warrior stalwarts — such as Haley Taylor, Kayla Bell and Kayla Binggeli — helped Wasilla keep play alive on the back line. Morfe and Cullers helped the Moose combat Wasilla’s talented strikers.

“I thought their defense was good throughout the night,” Reynolds said. “Our defense, I felt, got better as the night went on.”

Cullers, a first-year varsity libero, led the Moose with 16 digs.

“I really commend Lily. She’s the best libero I’ve ever played with,” Morfe said. “She scraps for every single ball. I’m so proud of her. She owned the court.”

Smith enjoyed a career night on the front line for Palmer, finishing with 14 kills and no hitting errors.

“She’s a senior. She’s smart and she sees things,” Reynolds said. “Without checking stats, that’s probably her best night ever.”

Smith scored the final kill of the night, placing a ball in a hole of the middle of the Wasilla defense. Smith used similar plays to score a handful of points throughout the night.

“She’s the queen of tipping,” Morfe said.

Tuisaula led the Warriors with 20 kills in the loss. Haley Tayler added 19 kills and a match-high 31 digs. Leah Taylor had 21 digs, and Taylor Steiner added 13 digs.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman sports editor Jeremiah Bartz at

Sports : SWEET 3-PEAT - Frontiersman

Sports : SWEET 3-PEAT - Frontiersman

Published on Sunday, November 6, 2011 12:15 AM AKDT

PALMER — The Palmer Moose needed only three games to net the three-peat.

The Moose swept Kodiak 3-0 (25-23, 25-11, 25-19) to win their third straight conference crown during the final match of the Northern Lights Conference Championships at Colony High School Saturday evening.

Senior setter Jenna Arlow, who was named the NLC North Division Most Valuable Player after the match, collected 23 assists to help Palmer notch the three-peat and win its fourth conference championship in five seasons.

“The past three years, winning three in a row is something to enjoy,” Arlow said as she held her MVP plaque after the match. “I’m so proud of my team. Everybody was working really hard.”

Palmer scored the quick three-set win in a match many thought could see five games. The Moose rallied to edge rival Wasilla in a five-game semifinal match on Friday. Kodiak also needed five games to get past Colony in the other semi.

Palmer and Kodiak also played a pair of tough matches during the final weekend of the regular season.

“I definitely was expecting to go long again,” said Palmer head coach Steve Reynolds, who was named the NLC Coach of the Year for the third time in his 12 years as the Moose mentor. “We had a four-game match against them on our senior night and a five-game match the next day.”

The Moose and Bears played a tight first game. Kodiak was able to take a six-point lead on a Manya Wandersee kill midway through the first. But after Wandersee gave Kodiak the 12-6 lead, Palmer used a 10-4 run to tie the game at 16.

“We definitely expected Kodiak to be a big threat,” Arlow said. “We had to go out there and work hard right away.”

The Moose were able to grab momentum late the Game 1, and hold it throughout the match. Reynolds, who was doused with bottles of water during a post-match celebration, credited his team’s serving.

“We served tough, kept them off-balance,” Reynolds said. “We had leads, not big leads. But when you’re serving tough and getting a little bit of a lead, you can play more relaxed.”

Arlow finished with three aces in the match. But more than the aces, the overall quality of his players’ serves impressed Reynolds.

Arlow recorded two of her aces during an eight-point run that capped Palmer’s 25-11 win in Game 2. Sophomore Macey Buresh served seven straight points midway through the second game.

That stretch was key for Palmer. The Moose were locked in a 5-5 tie with Kodiak before Buresh hit the service line.

In the third, Buresh served another six straight points to push a one-point Palmer advantage to a 21-14 lead.

“Macey had big strings of points,” Reynolds said of the sophomore. “She looked like a veteran tonight.”

Buresh is one of three sophomores who see ample playing time for the Moose. Sophomores Brecken Riekena and Elliot Perkins have also been key to the success.

“Every time they go out there, they’re giving 100 percent,” Arlow said of the underclassmen. “They never act scared.”

Reynolds was also proud of a pair of seniors, Kalene Smith and Kasara Brandenburg, who help lead the Moose attack.

Smith had a match-high nine kills and finished with 23 kills and just two errors during the final two matches of the tournament.

“She had a great tournament,” Reynolds said.

Brandenburg also stood out, getting many of her eight kills as the Moose tried to seal the sweep.

“I was super excited about her especially,” Reynolds said of the senior hitter. “I enjoyed that with the seniors in there, taking care of business.”

Both Palmer and Kodiak earned state tournament berths by advancing to the finals, and will start state tourney play Thursday at the Menard Memorial Sports Center in Wasilla. The Wasilla Warriors also advanced to the state tourney by finishing third in the NLC event.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman sports editor Jeremiah Bartz at

All-Northern Lights Conference

North Division Player of Year: Jenna Arlow, Palmer

South Division Player of Year: Amanda McDowell, Skyview

Coach of the Year: Steve Reynolds, Palmer.

First-team All-NLC:

Carole Lampl, Kodiak; Jenna Arlow, Palmer; Haley Taylor, Wasilla; Amanda McDowell, Skyview; Kallee Skjold, Soldotna; Jolee Fife, Wasilla; Kylee Woodford, Soldotna; Mary Klapperich, Colony; Hannah Wandersee, Kodiak; Morgan Morfe, Palmer.

Second-team All-NLC:

Marlee Cunningham, Skyview; Lauren Cashman, Homer; Kayla Bell, Wasilla; Britanie Whipple, Skyview; Brooke DeVaney, Homer; Mary Hauptman, Skyview; Heidi Westernman, Soldotna; Allison Leigh, Colony; Tonya Wandersee, Kodiak; Lily Cullers, Palmer.

November 5, 2011


Congratulations to the varsity team for winning regions this year!

November 4, 2011

Tonight Palmer plays Wasilla @ 5:00 for the semi final round of regions at Colony High School.

See you there!

November 1, 2011

Regions @ Colony

Make sure to head over to Colony to watch varsity at their regional tournament!

First game is Thursday @ 5:00 vs Kenai.

September 17, 2011

MatSuSports on Facebook

If you haven't already, check out MatSuSports on facebook.  You'll find some pictures of our Houston game and hopefully more will come later! :)

September 1, 2011

August 16, 2011

Have fun at school!!

Practice Times:
Cteam & JV


Varsity Jamboree is Friday and Saturday,

Cteam & JV jamboree will only be Saturday.

August 11, 2011

MANDATORY parent meeting tomorrow (Friday) at 6pm for all teams.

August 10, 2011

Practice Times for Thursday and Friday

Cteam 1-3:30
JV 2:30-4:30
Varsity 4:30-6:45

Make sure your paperwork is turned in. :)

August 3, 2011

CHANGE!! Open gym will be at PHS tonight. Yes, Palmer High.

July 30, 2011

Tryouts- More Info

The office is open from 11-3 so you can pick up your paperwork there. Or click on the links at the bottom of this post and print them out.

You will need to fill out and sign the activities form. Make sure you fill out the policy number and sign it or the form will be given back.

Also, watch the TAD video and you and your parents need to sign the form saying you saw it.

Get your physical from a doctor.

Here are the links so you can print out the forms if you want.

Activities Form
TAD Video
TAD Acknowledgement Form . I realize this link isn't working right now, we will get you the form to fill out if the link isn't available by the time tryouts come around. But watch the video! :)

July 24, 2011

Open Gym & Tryouts

Open Gym
We have two open gyms scheduled before the season starts.

Aug 3rd- 6:30-8:30 at PJMS. This is open to anyone at any school. We have all 4 courts at the middle school so there is room for all!

Aug 5th- 6:30-8:30 at PHS. We have less room so this is going to be open for palmer players.

Spread the word! We will have lots of fun :)

Tryouts are August 8th, 9th and 10th.
1:00-3:30 Freshman
3:30-6:00 Soph/Junior/Senior

Please bring your paperwork, physical and money. Plan on getting there early enough to change your shoes and be ready to go right on time.

July 7, 2011

No Vball camp 7-13-11

We forgot to mention it last night, but next week we will not have camp. The gym floor is being re-done so enjoy the week!(Pass along this info to anyone who doesnt check the blog very often)

July 4, 2011

My Apologies!!

My Apologies!!

I completely forgot that we had originally said we were going to have the second group get out of the gym at 8:45, so I've been keeping them until 9:00. For the rest of the summer we will be quitting at 8:45 on the dot! The girls should file out of the building around 8:50- 8:55.
I'm sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.


May 31, 2011

Sand Volleyball League

The sand volleyball league starts tonight at Wonderland Park. Bring a team of 4 or go on your own and find a team. Tonight will be like an outdoor open gym I think. Then next week will be the first scheduled games. Its only a few bucks per team, so go spend some time playing outdoor vball! (Plus it will help your vertical to jump in the sand all summer!)

May 18, 2011

Camp Info

Thanks for your interest in this years summer camp. The deadline was May 15, and we are pretty full now so if you sign up you will be put on a waiting list. There is usually a spot or two that becomes available and we will call you and let you know if one does.

Next week is our first week in the gym, so here are the times:

Group 1, which includes everyone entering 9th grade or younger, 5:30-7:15. Please be ready to go by 5:30. (shoes on, hair up, smile on your face)

Group 2, which includes everyone entering 10, 11, and 12th grade, 7:00-8:45. Please be ready to go by 7:00. (shoes on, hair up, smile on your face)

We are at Palmer High School, and you will need to enter the school through the downstairs door. (go back by the football field)

See you next week!

May 15, 2011

Alright, the summer camp is only a week and a half away. If you're not signed up yet, and want to be, make sure you get your paperwork turned in.

For those of you who have signed up, check back on the blog for specific times. We are really looking forward to seeing all of you!

Summer Time!

This summer will be the first year that there is a beach volleyball league in the valley. (I use the term "beach" fairly loosely, I should say "sand" volleyball.) So here is the deal, go to wonderland park on May 31 to join all the other interested teams. You can sign up and pick up extra players if you need them. Games will be once a week all summer, I think it is all coed, but there might be a league for just girls if there is enough interest... I'm not sure. Show up and look for Hondo. He is putting it together, so you will need to sign up with him and I know he is up for suggestions also.

There are doubles tournaments in anchorage this year too. For dates and times, look for the Beach posts. Also- I'm considering putting together a beach tournament out here at the end of July, if I end up doing that, I'll put info on the blog.

Enjoy your last few weeks of school!

May 12, 2011

Northern Lights Volleyball Camp

Here is the link for info on the Northern Lights Volleyball camp. It's a pretty darn fun camp with good coaching, instead of laying around on your couch this summer, why not play some extra volleyball. June 14-17 at Teeland. $200
Click Here

May 6, 2011

Open gym was lots of fun the other night, I hope you enjoyed it too. Next up is the summer camp so be sure to get your paperwork filled out and check mailed. See you soon!

April 23, 2011

***Open Gym Date Change***

Palmer High School athletes and alumni open gym on Wednesday, May 4th. 6:00-8:00 at PHS. Spread the word. Hope to see you!

April 7, 2011

Summer Volleyball Camp

Here are the scheduled dates and times for the 2011 summer camp at Palmer High School. Slight changes may occur due to gym maintenance, or other unforeseen circumstances, but this schedule should be accurate. Last summer we met 9 times, and that is our goal again this year. Hopefully this will enable players who will be out of town at some point to still make it to a good number of sessions.

There will be two groups, both meeting on Wednesday nights.

Group 1 will meet from 5:30-7:15 it is typically filled with incoming freshmen, and sophomores.
Group 2 will meet from 7:15-9:00 this group is for the more experienced players, typically juniors, and seniors.

Both groups meet on the following dates:
May 25 June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 July 6, 13, 20, 27
There are 10 dates listed, but we expect to lose one while the gym floor is being refinished.

It is early in the sign-up process so we still have room in both groups for more players. If you have a friend or know of someone else who might be interested in attending please have them email for more information.

We are offering a sibling discount this summer as well, so if you have multiple daughters participating it is $125 for the first one, but only $100 for each additional daughter. Sorry no discounts for cousins or bff's.

Payment of $125 is due by May 15, 2010
Please make checks payable to "Palmer High School"
Mail to: Steve Reynolds PO Box 1851 Palmer, AK. 99645

Print, complete, and include the following form with payment.

Click Here

April 6, 2011

Beach Volleyball Schedule

Beach Volleyball Alaska 2011

Beach Volleyball Alaska tournaments for 2011 will again be held at Springer Park in mid-town Anchorage. Event dates are as follows:

June 11 - Men, Women & Coed
July 9 - Men, Women & Coed
July 23 - Men, Women & Coed
July 30 - Alaska State Beach Volleyball Juniors Championships – Boys & Girls
August 6 - Alaska State Beach Volleyball Open Championships - Men, Women & Coed

April 3, 2011

Sports : Time for change - Frontiersman

Sports : Time for change - Frontiersman

Published on Saturday, December 18, 2010 11:34 PM AKST

MAT-SU — Local prep programs will see tremendous change in the coming years with the adoption of a major reclassification plan by the Alaska Schools Activities Association last week.

The ASAA board of directors voted to approve the move, which affects local athletes in a variety of schools and sports. With the changes — which will be put into effect for the 2012-13 school year — Houston and Susitna Valley will drop classes, two programs will leave the Northern Lights Conference and Palmer could potentially compete in a new-formed medium-schools football class.

The board also voted to change the prep wrestling season and the way 4A teams are selected for the state basketball tournament.

Wasilla assistant principal and Region III representative Dan Michael calls the state’s activities association’s moves the most significant in the last 30 years.

Michael said school officials have long talked of reclassification, but little has been done since ASAA adopted a four-class system in the early 1980s. Recently, the state had reached a point where action had to be taken. Michael said five schools — Homer, Skyview, Houston, Susitna Valley and Nenana — were at the forefront for the need to change and sparked the debate.

“The reason we needed to change was for five schools,” said Michael, who is serving his second year on the ASAA board. “They were placed in a place where they couldn’t be competitive.”

Houston, Homer and Skyview are currently 4A programs, but will drop to 3A in 2012-13. Su Valley and Nenana are 3A, but will drop to 2A.

Houston back

to 3A, Su Valley 2A

Houston, which was forced to make the jump to 4A for the 2007-08 school year, will return to the 3A Southcentral Conference for basketball, volleyball and wrestling in 2012-13.

“We’re excited about it,” Houston head boys basketball coach Dave Porter said. “To be competitive, have a legitimate shot at state titles, going to state, winning region championships, we really need to be with other like-size schools.”

ASAA used enrollment numbers from October 2009, the most recent available, to gauge the need to change and reclassify. Houston sits at 405 students and currently competes in the 4A Mid-Alaska Conference in boys and girls basketball, wrestling, volleyball and hockey. The MAC includes Lathrop (1,209 students), West Valley (1,087) and North Pole (820). Juneau-Douglas (941) was recently added to the MAC for hockey.

Since the move up, no Houston team has advanced to the state tournament in basketball, volleyball or hockey.

The Hawks have become more competitive in certain sports. Last season, Houston beat Lathrop, which later went on to win the MAC. But it’s tough to expect the Hawks to be competitive all the time, Porter said, considering the enrollment of the other MAC schools.

With the move to the Southcentral, Houston would join a seven-team conference with a range of 182-422 students, according to the October 2009 numbers.

With the change, the Houston hockey team would also be able to return to the Greatland Conference. In the Greatland, the Hawks were a hockey power, winning five state titles. But since the move to the MAC, Houston has struggled to win games.

The Houston baseball and track and field teams are not affected by the changes.

Porter said the Houston teams accepted the challenge of going 4A and facing schools with much bigger enrollments.

“We said, if we’ve got to go 4A, hey we’ll do it, we’ll go wholeheartedly,” Porter said. “It’s been a great thing for our school. It’s tested us, pushed us to really excel to the best of our ability.”

The move to the Southcentral will also reunite the Hawks with natural rivals such as Anchorage Christian, Grace Christian, Seward and Nikiski. Skyview and Homer, which now play in the 4A Northern Lights Conference, would also be in the Southcentral.

“It’s huge, it puts fans in the seats, really gives fans something to look forward to,” Porter said of the chance to play opponents from schools closer in proximity.

While the Hawks have enjoyed playing in the MAC, Porter said, facing teams from the Interior simply does not have the same feel for players or fans as facing a squad from Southcentral Alaska.

“It’s that school spirit we’ve been missing,” Porter said.

Su Valley currently competes in the Southcentral Conference. Like Houston, Su Valley — a school with just more than 100 students — struggles to compete against schools two and sometimes three times its size. With the change, the Rams would be moved into the 2A Interior Conference with schools such as Cordova (126), Glennallen (94), Monroe Catholic (127) and Nenana (121).

Porter said his one issue with the reclassification is waiting until 2012-13. Porter said Houston will petition ASAA to allow the Hawks to fly into the Southcentral next season.

“We’re going to see if we can speed up the process,” Porter said.

Palmer faces a choice

The ASAA board voted to add a third football class starting in 2012-13. Currently there are just large- and small-schools classes. But ASAA opted to include a medium-schools class, created to accommodate schools with 401-800 students. Houston and Palmer (798) both fall into that range for football.

The large-schools class would feature teams from schools with 801 or more students. All eight Cook Inlet Conference programs currently fall into that category, as do the Railbelt’s Wasilla (1,287), Colony (1,245), Lathrop (1,209), West Valley (1,087), North Pole (820) and Juneau-Douglas (941).

Palmer could be lumped in with Kodiak (783), Soldotna (568), Kenai (539), Ketchikan (578), Thunder Mountain (564), Homer (422), Houston (405) and Skyview (403).

Schools such as Skyview, Houston, Palmer and North Pole lie near the borders of either the new maximum or minimum number of students for the new plan. That could change things in 2012-13. ASAA will take the most recent enrollment figures into account for the 2012-13 season.

Assuming Palmer stays in that middle pack, it doesn’t necessarily mean the Moose will have to play in the middle-schools pack. Teams can still opt up to play in a higher conference. Teams just can’t opt down to a lower class.

“It’s interesting,” Palmer head coach Rod Christiansen said of the addition of the middle-schools class. “It’s always been a challenge for us to go against the big guys. It’s such a numbers game.”

Palmer has been one of the more successful large-schools football teams in the last two decades. The Moose have missed the playoffs just once since 1994 and have played in four state championship games. Palmer won it all in 1995.

But despite their success, the Moose often have fewer players on the roster than many of their opponents.

“In the playoffs last year, we probably had four sophomores starting or making significant contribution for the varsity by the end of the year,” Christiansen said.

With that said, Palmer said the Moose are happy where they are, and happy to have the chance to compete against the state’s best each year.

The change for football was brought upon by the imbalance at the small-schools level. Powers Soldotna and Kenai have ruled the class and only three programs (Nikiski, Soldotna and Kenai) have won a small-schools state title since the class was added for the 2000 season. Nikiski won the first two small-schools titles. Kenai and Soldotna have combined to win the last nine.

“The small schools have been trying to do this for a long time,” Michael said. “They’re tired of getting beat by those giant scores.”

Schools with 400 students and fewer would be in the small-schools class for football. This would include teams such as Eielson (309), Nikiski (255), Seward (183), Valdez (226) and Delta (227).

ASAA also adopted a change for next season. A third state title will be handed out in 2010. The champion of the Greatland and the champion of the Northern Lights Conference will each earn a separate title, rather than teams from both conferences playing for one small-schools title.

Softball would be the only other sport at Palmer to be potentially effected. The Moose softball team could play in the small-schools class. All other Moose sports remain 4A with the new classification.

Opting up

In the past, if a school wanted to opt up to the next class, all of the school’s programs would have to opt up. But now, with ASAA’s approval, schools can opt up in single sports. For example, if the Houston wrestling team wanted to stay 4A, it could without impacting any other sport. If a school does opt up in a sport, it has to for a minimum of two years. Also, if a school opts up in basketball, both the boys and girls programs have to opt up.

Change in

tourney format

Starting next year, two at-large berths will be included in the 4A state basketball tournaments. Currently, the Cook Inlet and Northern Lights conferences each receive three automatic berths, and the Mid-Alaska and Southeast conference each get one. Under the new plan, the CIC and NLC would each lose their third automatic berth to make room for the at-large berths.

The at-large berths for the boys and girls would be decided by ASAA’s Win Percentage Index, the formula used to seed teams in the tournament.

Reclassification will also change the format of the NLC tournament. With the move of Homer and Skyview to 3A, the NLC will be left with six teams.

Region III has not addressed this issue yet.

Wrestling season changed

The Alaska prep wrestling calendar has been the subject of a longtime debate, and ASAA approved a change for the 4A season. The 4A grapplers will now start their season in October and end the first weekend of February, beginning next year.

The 1A-2A-3A wrestling season remains the same — September through December.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman sports editor Jeremiah Bartz at and follow him on Twitter at

March 13, 2011

Sign Up For The Summer Camp

Alright, Get signed up for the summer camp before it is full! Reserve your spot by
emailing Steve right away.

Basic info:
This is a skills camp that takes place one day a week all summer.
Two age groups, older (girls entering 11th and 12th grade) and younger, (girls entering 9th and 10th grade.)
Takes place at PHS
See below for more info.
"Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game."
Michael Jordan

Volleyball Gifts