Baseball Tournament Honors Memory of Young Player Gone Too Soon

Jay Barrett/KMXT

The Kodiak High School Baseball season started Wednesday afternoon with the first tournament dedicated to a talented young local teen who didn’t live to make the high school team.

“We’re very excited and we’re very thankful to the Matautia familey for allowing us to honor Rex in the naming of this tournament,” said Kodiak head coach James Arnold.

It is the Rex Edward Matautia Invitational Tournament, named for an all-star Little League player who drowned in Lake Gertrude at Fort Abercrombie two summers ago at the age of 13.

“We’re just very humble and excited for it. We’re going to have Dimond coming into town, South Anchorage and Chugiak in a four game tournament,” Arnold said. “Championship game on Saturday. Those times are to be announced. We’re just going to navigate around what teams end up in the championship game with the travel back off island. Yeah, we’re very, very excited about it. And Kodiak playing all the late evening games, so come on out – it should be a heck of a good time.”

While the visiting teams are state powerhouses, Arnold says Kodiak might have two significant advantages – our weather and our field turf ball park.

“I think what’s going to help us have an advantage over teams not in our conference is the fact that we’ve been outside, heck, over two months now. A lot of people don’t realize, you know, we start late January, and we get out there and get lots of ground balls, lots of pop ups and lots of practices.”

In yesterday’s early game, Chugiak blanked South Anchorage 9-0, while in the nightcap, the host Bears fell to the Dimond Lynx 8-6 in a game shortened by rain, wind and icy cold temperatures.

Action at Baranof Park resumed today at noon with South Ancorage and Dimond, and then Kodiak faces Chugiak at 4 p.m.

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