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 volleyball@reynoldshardwood.com 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 sports@frontiersman.com and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/matsu_sports.
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