Sunday, December 12, 2010

2010 Volleyball wrap up

We're back from Anchorage and the Mixed 6 State Volleyball championships. The kids ended up in fourth place which was an excellent placing but they felt like they didn't play as well as they were capable of playing. That was really disappointing to them. They learned a lot though, and for this being their first year playing as a team, frankly I think they did fantastic! They won over Golovin, a team who has been the State Champion runner up for the last two years. They were defeated by Tikigaq, a team that has won the State Championship five of the last six years. If you're going to get beat, you might as well get beaten by the best! They won the tournament sportsmanship award which I really do think is something to be proud of! They were one tenth or hundredth? of a point off the top academic team. Another thing to be proud of! :) All in all, they had an exceptional season and are hungry to work harder and try again next year! Results of games from each day of the tournament are posted at the following link: Bill, that link is for you so you can see that I'm not making up the team names. ;) The names of the schools are (no surprise) mostly native, though sometimes they will be referred to by the town names (town of Wainright, school name Alak, Town of Point Hope, school name Tikigaq).

There is an interesting story behind the history of volleyball in Alaska, especially the mixed 6 division. In many of the native villages, sports are the only motivation for the kids to complete high school. I talked to one of the moms from Tikigaq and she said they started their program in the 80s to try to keep kids from dropping out. They start teaching volleyball in the second grade and use it as motivation to keep kid's grades up. It works! Not only do they have more kids completing high school, they also have kids going to college now! The skill levels of these kids is impressive too. Carlen, one of our top players, stands about 6'2". At one point across the net from him was a kid that was almost a foot shorter. When the two of them went up together at the net, the native kid was almost a foot ABOVE Carlen! The vertical jump on some of these kids was just awesome! Our kids had certainly never faced that before! They also had a HUGE support group of parents, friends and relatives at the game. It was as impressive as our own HUGE, enthusiastic crowd! ;) The mixed 6 division was added to try to help some of these villages that were having difficulty putting together a full girls or boys team. It has now become very popular among the smaller native village schools. There was even a TV news story about the situation. The video footage is of the Glacier View vs Golovin game.

I spent most of the weekend in Anchorage and Rodney traveled back and forth. Mike Lucia used to work in the maintenance department at Victory, mostly working with boilers and furnaces. He and Rodney connected recently and Mike expressed an interest in helping out occasionally with some of that work as well as training Rodney and Ryan in the maintenance and repair work. He was here Friday and Saturday working on some of the boilers, especially the ones in Miracle Lodge that Rodney has been having trouble with lately. He was not able to get them up and running either which was a little consolation to Rodney that it wasn't just his inexperience. It was also such an encouragement to have someone available to help out from time to time in case Rodney does want to get away. Now we just need to figure out what to do with little Miss Neurotic Dog if we do want to go somewhere. Putting it mildly, Ellie did NOT handle my being gone well. She doesn't handle being at the kennel well either. Last time she went there she howled the entire time we were gone. The kennel owner called and asked us to come back and get her. If we try to leave her home without someone here full time it isn't pretty either. I think she needs some doggy downers.

We were able to connect with the Sherrers in Anchorage and get away one evening to see their three of their kids in concert at one of the local churches. The choir is semi-pro and they were EXCEPTIONAL! Wow! What a way to get into the holiday spirit! At one point the choir was spread out in a circle all around the sanctuary of the church (which had awesome acoustics) and they were singing around us. Talk about surround sound! It was fantastic! The costumes were top notch too - beautiful Renaissance style dresses for part of it, traditional Russian dress, and more. It was quite heavenly! Anyway, there's probably plenty more that I could write, but I'm still really tired from the weekend away so I'll let you all off easy this week.

Glacier View fans at the tourney this weekend:

Sergei dressed in drag for Ridonculous Day (Fashion Disaster) at school this past week. We're so proud of her, I mean, him! ;)

You can see more photos of the game at: In the photo collage on the main page you can click on "Find ASAA and Event Photos here." Then chose "2010 State 12A Mixed 6 Volleyball." Scroll down to "Thurs - Golovin vs Glacier View." I didn't take many photos, but I did take some. I'll try to get those uploaded and see if there is anything worth posting later.

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