A 10-pound halibut currently sits atop the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby leaders’ board, thanks to the angling aptitude of Janet Baldauf. And, while she’s not exactly expecting her fledgling fish to remain in the top spot, it certainly doesn’t hurt that the little guy was also wearing a tag!
The Homer Derby started May 15, and already, two other tagged fish have been landed.
“We had one tagged fish caught prior to the derby’s start, and one that didn’t want to buy a derby ticket,” said derby organizer Paula Frisinger.
Baldauf will have to wait until Sept. 15 to find out whether her tagged fish is worth $50,000, or $10,000 or even a truck.
After weeks of complaining about winter’s tenacious grip on Alaska’s spring season, perhaps another reference to the unorthodox and unneighborly May snows of 2013 would be redundant.
Still … blowing snow and 18 degrees at a track meet? That’s just wrong.
“It certainly was freezing cold, but we’ve been competing in conditions like that all year,” said Homer Track Coach Bill Steyer of a freezing Fairbanks. “We worked to find a way to reframe the frigidness as a positive thing.”
The Homer Lady Mariners kept fairly busy last week, cramming six games of softball into four days in an effort to getting some playing time in before the regular season ends.
The Lady M’s started with a 8-0 Northern Lights Conference win over the Soldotna Stars last Wednesday. The victory extended Homer’s winning streak to eight games.
Hannah LaRue pitched the entire game for Homer, striking out six SoHi players. McKi Needham went 2-for-2 to lead Homer, while teammate Maggie LaRue picked up two runs and a triple. Senior shortstop Miranda Beach added a triple of her own.
Homer moved on to host Kenai on Thursday, and dominated the Kardinals with consistent hitting throughout the game. The M’s opened with two first-inning runs, and then added seven more in the top of the second. For Kenai, it was all downhill from there.
The Mariner baseball team held their 2013 home opener against the Soldotna Stars last Wednesday. They played their last home game against Kenai the very next day.
Some might call it a short season.
Homer gave up three runs to SoHi in the first inning of the conference game, but those would be the only runs pitcher Zach Haning and the Mariner defense were willing to give up.
The M’s answered with four runs to take the lead in the bottom of the first, thanks to hits from Zac Bynum, Lucas Schneider, JJ Sonnen, Derek Johnson and Tommy Bowe. Johnson picked up two hits, while Bowe nailed a double that skirted under the outfield fence.
Defensively, outfielder Brian Rowe gunned down a runner trying to score on a base hit to center field. Senior catcher Willy Deaver made the tag at home plate. Sonnen contributed a diving catch at second to shut down the Stars’ scoring threat.
The Homer Mariner baseball team finally got a chance to dig their cleats in the soil with an official season-opening game against the Kenai Kardinals last Wednesday. Playing in Kenai, the M’s got their offense going early, as junior Brian Rowe went 4 for 4 at the plate to help in the Mariners’ 4-1 conference win. Tommy Bowe went 2-for-2 and Lucas Schneider, 2-for-3 in the winning effort.
Heading further up the road on Friday, the Mariners fell to the Kodiak Bears by a score of 12 to 5. Zac Bynum was the starting pitcher, while Schneider came in for relief. Kodiak picked up 15 hits, while Homer’s Bowe had two hits, and Rowe and Zach Haning each had one.
Any doubts about the power and performance of Homer’s high school softball team were quickly erased last week as the Lady M squad dominated opponents in five regular-season wins.
Certainly outscoring your opponents by 88 runs makes for a pretty strong argument that Homer bats are hot and hitters hearty. Back that up with a 71-15 hit ratio, and there’s very little doubt about their offensive prowess.
Now, let’s talk defense.
Obviously, any time your pitching crew can hold opponents to an average of three hits per game, your odds of winning increase dramatically. Lady Mariner fielders logged only two errors in their five games, while opponents were hampered with 33.
Homer athletes took another step toward State with strong performances at the Region III Track and Field Championships at Nikiski High School last Friday and Saturday.
Homer girls took the top spot in the 1600-meter relay, finishing in 4 minutes, 22.58 seconds. The team, comprising Azizza Shemet-Pitcher, Tayla Cabana, Cassidy Soistman and Aurora Waclawski will head to Fairbanks on Friday to compete in the State meet.
Waclawski also turned in strong performances individually, finishing second in the 800m and third in the 400. In a very tight 400m race, the freshman was less than half a second behind first place, and 17-hundreths of a second behind second.
The sun was out, temperatures were above freezing and the field was snow-free as the Homer Lady Mariner soccer team welcomed the Palmer Lady Moose to Senior Night for some Northern Lights Conference soccer action on Friday.
Homer opened the scoring early, as Mady Gerard punched in a goal off a Maggie Koplin assist just three minutes into the game to take a 1-0 lead. Luckily, Homer’s defense held strong, as that would be the only goal the Lady M’s could muster for the day.
“We started off strong and scored quickly,” Gerard said. “I’m really happy with how we played, because we went out on the field feeling confident that we could win.”
Thanks to a couple of amazing saves by Mariner goalie Drew Brown, the Homer soccer team limped away with a 0-0 tie against the Kenai Kardinals on Monday.
The M’s got off to a good start, out-hustling Kenai and keeping possession of the ball through much of the first half. Unfortunately, Homer’s good conditioning, strong passing and deft ball-handling didn’t amount to many shots on goal.
“We played a good, fast-paced game, but just didn’t get enough shots off,” said team captain Konstantin Reutov. “We are playing well together, but we really need to score.”
Senior Connor McCarron agreed.
Popeye Wrestling Club endured three long days of wrestling with more than 1,000 competitors vying for a State title at the Menard Sports Complex this past weekend.
The club, which took 35 wrestlers to the tournament, finished their season on a high note, bringing home nine State titles.
Calvin Johnson, who wrestles at 113 pounds, beat out Aaron Drake from North Star all three days of competition.
“Beating that formidable of an opponent is no simple task,” said Popeye spokesman Chris Perk. “Each day, you have to make adjustments to your opponents adjustments.”
Eighth-grader Jared Brant came up just a bit short in the 100-pound category, placing second in Folkstyle and Greco wrestling competitions. Then he turned up the heat, and won the championship in the Freestyle competition.