In the fall, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of football. Today may as well be the first day of fall for the young men of the Kodiak High School Bears, with their first practice scheduled for this afternoon. Jay Barrett spoke with head coach Todd Cook and previews the 2011 season.
The Kodiak High School Bears had a full slate of eight games in eight weeks when the schedule was first released, but week two is now open. As Coach Todd Cook explains, there will likely be a bye week after the team’s opening game:
— (Bears 1 25 sec "Our first game will be … I guess you can do that.")
Once the season gets going again in week three, the Bears will host their home opener against the Skyview Panthers:
— (Bears 2 32 sec "We’ve got an axe to grind … a difficult stretch.")
By the end of that stretch, the Bears’ playoff fate may well be sealed, as the last two weeks of the season are out-of-conference games against Monroe and then at Valdez.
Cook says the level of competition in the Northern Lights Conference really picked up last year, though a couple of powerhouses remain.
— (Bears 3 37 sec "Definitely Kenai and Soldotna … improved because of that.")
The Bears’ homecoming game will be against Monroe Catholic, a small Fairbanks school from the Great Land Conference, on September 24th. It’ll be the first time the two teams will met.
Cook says there are several players on the team to keep an eye on, some of whom were stand-outs at summer football camp:
— (Bears 4 44 sec "We had a great camp … defensive line during camp.")
Cook said the offence has also been streamlined and simplified this year. The starting quarterback will be Kevin Lapola. He says there are new additions to the coaching staff, with some Coast Guardsmen pitching in – two with college playing experience.
Cook is as excited as anyone that the Alaska State Legislature is largely funding new artificial surfaces for the Joe Floyd Track and Field. He said it will really make a difference for the players:
— (Bears 5 33 sec "It’s going to give the guys … going to be great.")
The first chance to watch the Bears in action is during the Blue-and-Gold Game scrimmage, which will be on Saturday at Baranof Park.
I’m Jay Barrett.