The Homer Lady Mariners dropped another match on Friday, this time to the visiting Nikiski Lady Bulldogs. Despite putting together several good plays, and keeping up with the Bulldogs in a number of long volleys, the M’s fell in three games: 25-11, 25-23 and 25-17.
“It was a rough day of games on Friday,” said Homer coach Kriste Mastre. “But Nikiski is an incredibly strong team this year.”
For as long as I can remember, Homer has always played ironman football. Fielding a team from a smaller school is always a challenge, and players are just expected to play both offense and defense — in every game.
But that sustained effort at such a high level of intensity takes its toll on even the mightiest of Mariner men. And when your opponent has enough depth on their team to keep sending fresh players in — well, you do the math.
“We just ran out of steam once we got tired in the second half,” said junior quarterback Teddy Croft of the Mariners’ 32-56 loss in Kodiak on Friday. “I let the tiredness affect my play on offense in the second half — and that can’t happen.”
The Homer Lady Mariner volleyball team continued its struggle through the 2016 season with a Southcentral Conference home loss to Seward last Thursday.
The Seahawks beat the Mariners 3 games to 1, opening with a 25-20 defeat that seemed to act as decent motivation for the Lady M’s in game 2.
With just two weeks left in the 2016 Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, Austin Nelson of North Pole still sits atop the leaderboard with the 252.2-pound flatfish he caught on Aug. 17. Nelson was fishing with Homer Ocean Charters and Captain Travis Blount aboard the F/V Diamond Cape.
Tyler Dullum of Reno, N.V. landed the season’s first left-handed halibut while fishing with Captain B’s Alaskan C’s Adventures and Captain Bryan Bondoli aboard tyne F/V Ashtikan.
The Port Graham Killer Whales sent their first-ever cross-country team to the Bartlett meet on Saturday.
Under the guidance of Coach Colby Way — who put on a cross-country running clinic with his wife, Devin, at the beginning of last year — Port Graham sent runners Suzanne LaBelle and Malachi Joseph to compete at Bartlett.
It’s still unclear whether Homer cross-country athletes are just being polite to each other, or if some race strategy is afoot when Mariner runners take turns crossing the finish line first.
Homer junior Jacob Davis outpaced his teammates to finish 11th in Saturday’s Cross-Country State preview at Bartlett. Davis — always a strong runner — generally placed somewhere right in the middle of the Homer boys’ team in other races.
First-year head coach and former Homer High School player Kristie Mastre knew this season would be a challenge for her Lady Mariner volleyball team.
After long-time coach Beth Trowbridge handed over her coaching reins to Pam Newton last year, the M’s were able to squeeze one more state appearance out of last year’s season.
But if Saturday’s Homer Jamboree is any indication of the road ahead, Mastre has her work cut out for her.
The varsity Lady M’s kicked off their annual jamboree with round-robin play Saturday morning, but had some trouble getting started as they fell 6-21 and 11-21 against the Kenai Kardinals. The Homer squad responded with a decent opening game against Nikiski in the next round of play, but still fell 16-21 to the Lady Bulldogs. A shaky Homer second game left the M’s on the short side of the 5-21 score.
Homer’s cross-country consistency continued over the weekend with both Mariner boys and girls running teams dominating Class 1-2-3A action in Soldotna on Saturday.
The M’s joined runners from all over the state in early season competition at the Tsalteshi Invitational. Homer boys placed fourth in a field of 20 teams, led by senior Jared Brant’s 13th-place finish. Brant, a senior, completed the Tsalteshi Trails 5k course in 16 minutes, 57 seconds; teammate Jacob Davis crossed the line just four seconds later.
The Lady M’s also finished fourth, almost 20 ahead of closest 1-2-3A competition — Grace Christian.
Back in the old days of Homer High School football, Mariner miscues in a difficult game could often be blamed on mud slicks, sod moguls or an occasional loose critter on the field.
Times have changed.
And while there are definitely many things the shiny, new Homer turf can provide its players, being the scapegoat for stumbles and slip-ups is no longer one of them.
While the weather for the Mariners’ first home game of the season on Saturday was really quite lovely, the Barrow Whalers were not. After grabbing a 19-0 first-quarter lead, Barrow scored another 16 points in the second quarter to head into halftime with a 35-0 nonconference lead.
Homer found the end zone in the third quarter, but lost the game by a final score of 47-6.
Rams play Cougars in Fairbanks The Voznesenka Cougars struggled to hold onto the football as they opened their season in Fairbanks against the Monroe Catholic Rams on Saturday. Voz fumbled the ball four times, and Cougar quarterback Azure Reutov threw four interceptions in the 0-48 non conference loss. The Cougars brought only 13 players to […]