Sports

The author’s wife fights a steelhead while the author contemplates fly selection. (Photo by Jeff Lund)

I Went to the Woods: The fear of missing fish

Student: “You know, FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out” Me: “I know exactly what you mean. It’s a lot like FOMF.” “FOMF?” “Yeah, the Fear… Continue reading

 

Astrophysicists Lindsay Glesener, left, and Sabrina Savage enjoy the sunshine on an observation deck at the Neil Davis Science Center on a hilltop at Poker Flat Research Range north of Fairbanks. (Photo by Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: Waiting for the sun at Poker Flat

POKER FLAT RESEARCH RANGE — Under a bluebird sky and perched above a resilient winter snowpack, two sounding rockets point upward, ready to blast through… Continue reading

 

Elias Lowell, 15, balances his way to the end of the pond during the annual Slush Cup at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Sunday, the last day of what officials called and up-and-down season. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Up-and-down season at Eaglecrest ends on splashy note with Slush Cup

Ski area’s annual beach party features ice-filled water, snowy shores and showboating skimmers.

 

Maddy Fortunato, a Chickaloon middle school student, sets to attempt the one-hand reach by touching a suspended ball while remaining balanced on the other hand during the Traditional Games on Sunday at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Striving for the perfect balance of competition, camaraderie at seventh annual Traditional Games

More than 250 participants pursue personal goals while helping others during Indigenous events.

Maddy Fortunato, a Chickaloon middle school student, sets to attempt the one-hand reach by touching a suspended ball while remaining balanced on the other hand during the Traditional Games on Sunday at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Purple mountain saxifrage blooms on cliffs along Perseverance Trail in early April. (Photo by Pam Bergeson)

On the Trails: Flowers and their visitors

Flowers influence their visitors in several ways. Visitors may be attracted by floral color, shape, or scents. Flowers offer rewards — nectar and pollen. But… Continue reading

Purple mountain saxifrage blooms on cliffs along Perseverance Trail in early April. (Photo by Pam Bergeson)
Aren Gunderson of the UA Museum of the North inspects the back paw of a Siberian tiger donated recently by officials of the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage after the tiger died at age 19. (Photo by Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: Siberian tiger takes final rest at museum

It’s a safe bet that Aren Gunderson’s Toyota Tundra is the only one in Fairbanks that has had its bed filled with a Siberian tiger.… Continue reading

Aren Gunderson of the UA Museum of the North inspects the back paw of a Siberian tiger donated recently by officials of the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage after the tiger died at age 19. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
A rainbow connects with Kajson Cunningham (30) as he connects with the ball for Thunder Mountain High School during Tuesday’s game against Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé at JDHS, the opening match of the season for both teams. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

High school soccer season starts with a spectrum of goals and milestones

JDHS boys begin state title defense with 4-0 victory over TMHS, which is playing its final season.

A rainbow connects with Kajson Cunningham (30) as he connects with the ball for Thunder Mountain High School during Tuesday’s game against Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé at JDHS, the opening match of the season for both teams. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Donovan Jackson, 12, of Juneau competes in the one-foot high kick during the 2022 Traditional Games on April 2, 2022. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file photo)

Record number of participants expected for seventh annual Traditional Games

Teams from Alaska, Canada and Lower 48 to compete in 12 Indigenous skills events starting Friday.

Donovan Jackson, 12, of Juneau competes in the one-foot high kick during the 2022 Traditional Games on April 2, 2022. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file photo)
Alwen Carrillo, a senior at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé, signs a letter of intent on Monday to play college basketball at Edmond College in Lynnwood, Washington. (Photo courtesy of Annie Lazo-Chappell)

Alwen Carrillo signs letter of intent to play basketball for Edmond College

All-state JDHS guard averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 assists during senior season.

Alwen Carrillo, a senior at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé, signs a letter of intent on Monday to play college basketball at Edmond College in Lynnwood, Washington. (Photo courtesy of Annie Lazo-Chappell)
Juneau’s PJ Foy, shown winning the 2023 100 yard butterfly in 48.27 for Thunder Mountain High School during the ASAA state championships at the Dimond Park Aquatics Center on Nov. 4, 2023, qualified for the 2024 June Olympic Team Trials by swimming a 100 long course meters butterfly in a personal best 53.44 on March 16, 2024, at the Speedo Sectionals in Federal Way, Washington. (Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

Foy ‘flies’ through 100 meters to qualify for Olympic Swim Trials

“To do what nobody else can do, I need to do what nobody else will do”

Juneau’s PJ Foy, shown winning the 2023 100 yard butterfly in 48.27 for Thunder Mountain High School during the ASAA state championships at the Dimond Park Aquatics Center on Nov. 4, 2023, qualified for the 2024 June Olympic Team Trials by swimming a 100 long course meters butterfly in a personal best 53.44 on March 16, 2024, at the Speedo Sectionals in Federal Way, Washington. (Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)
A male rusty blackbird in breeding dress. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: A hungry goshawk and some early spring observations

Every late afternoon, a bunch of mallards is in the habit of coming to snack on fallen birdseed that accumulates on my ice-covered pond. And… Continue reading

A male rusty blackbird in breeding dress. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
Peter Delamere poses in front of a sign in Rainy Pass in the Alaska Range during the 2024 Iditarod Trail Invitational race. On his face is a “nose-hat” invented by Fairbanks athlete Shalane Frost. (Photo by Peter Delamere)

Alaska Science Forum: Long winter bike ride aided by naps

If you could have read that frost-covered fat-biker’s mind as he rolled toward McGrath, Alaska, “as if Velcroed to the snow,” you might have suspected… Continue reading

Peter Delamere poses in front of a sign in Rainy Pass in the Alaska Range during the 2024 Iditarod Trail Invitational race. On his face is a “nose-hat” invented by Fairbanks athlete Shalane Frost. (Photo by Peter Delamere)
Compromise isn’t always possible, but when it is Alaskans benefit greatly when posturing is replaced with good-faith negotiations that yield results that help Alaskans. (Photo by Jeff Lund)

I Went to the Woods: The future of fish

The Forest Service cabin was a sauna so I went outside, stood at the edge of the lake and listened. We had hauled in some… Continue reading

Compromise isn’t always possible, but when it is Alaskans benefit greatly when posturing is replaced with good-faith negotiations that yield results that help Alaskans. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
Thunder Mountain High School coach John Blasco, shown in action at the state tournament opening game against West Valley last week, was selected the 2024 4A Boys Coach of the Year by the Alaska Basketball Coaches Association. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Blasco, Young and Brock selected respective divisional state coaches of the year

Thunder Mountain, Mt. Edgecumbe, Petersburg coaches note the award is about the kids, communities.

Thunder Mountain High School coach John Blasco, shown in action at the state tournament opening game against West Valley last week, was selected the 2024 4A Boys Coach of the Year by the Alaska Basketball Coaches Association. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)
Angoon’s Levi Johnson Jr. takes a shot under the basket against Hydaburg during the B Bracket championship of the 75th Gold Medal Basketball Tournament on Saturday at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Hoonah takes two titles, Angoon and POW one each in 75th Gold Medal Basketball Tournament

Longtime participants say little has changed over decades as huge crowds from communities show up.

Angoon’s Levi Johnson Jr. takes a shot under the basket against Hydaburg during the B Bracket championship of the 75th Gold Medal Basketball Tournament on Saturday at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A robin feeds on insects along the shore of Mendenhall Lake. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: Robins come, and it’s springtime

Spring comes, quite reliably, but sometimes reluctantly, by fits and starts. Every year we go through a process of counting the increasing hours of daylight,… Continue reading

A robin feeds on insects along the shore of Mendenhall Lake. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
The Thunder Mountain Falcons boys basketball team poses with their runner-up trophy after falling to East Anchorage 60-34 in the title game of the 2024 ASAA March Madness Alaska 4A Boys Basketball State Championship game on Saturday at Anchorage’s Alaska Airlines Center. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain boys fall to East 60-34 in state title game

Falcons’ historic final season ends after surprising run at championship, but journey will continue.

The Thunder Mountain Falcons boys basketball team poses with their runner-up trophy after falling to East Anchorage 60-34 in the title game of the 2024 ASAA March Madness Alaska 4A Boys Basketball State Championship game on Saturday at Anchorage’s Alaska Airlines Center. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)
Thunder Mountain High School senior Jenna Dobson (5) defends Mountain City senior Morgan Maldonado during the Falcons’ 52-37 loss to the Lions in the 3rd/5th-place game of the 2024 ASAA March Madness Alaska 4A Girls Basketball State Championships on Saturday at Anchorage’s Alaska Airlines Center. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain High School girls end historic final season at state tournament

Falcons battle, but fall 52-37 in third-place game loss to Mountain City.

Thunder Mountain High School senior Jenna Dobson (5) defends Mountain City senior Morgan Maldonado during the Falcons’ 52-37 loss to the Lions in the 3rd/5th-place game of the 2024 ASAA March Madness Alaska 4A Girls Basketball State Championships on Saturday at Anchorage’s Alaska Airlines Center. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)
Thunder Mountain High School junior Cailynn Baxter (23) powers a shot against Colony junior Tonya Karpow, freshman Jericho Wuestenberg and junior Alycia Shelley during the Falcons 69-35 semifinal loss to the Knights at the 2024 ASAA March Madness Alaska 4A Girls Basketball State Championships on Friday at Anchorage’s Alaska Airlines Center. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Fourth-ranked Thunder Mountain girls fall to top-ranked Colony in state semifinals

Coach Lee says Falcons “built for competition, have earned the right to play tomorrow.”

Thunder Mountain High School junior Cailynn Baxter (23) powers a shot against Colony junior Tonya Karpow, freshman Jericho Wuestenberg and junior Alycia Shelley during the Falcons 69-35 semifinal loss to the Knights at the 2024 ASAA March Madness Alaska 4A Girls Basketball State Championships on Friday at Anchorage’s Alaska Airlines Center. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)
Thunder Mountain celebrates their 48-45 overtime win against the Service Cougars in a semifinal at the 2024 ASAA March Madness Alaska 4A Boys Basketball State Championships on Friday at Anchorage’s Alaska Airlines Center. The Falcons will play East Anchorage for the state championship Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain boys defeat Service, will play top-ranked East Anchorage for state title Saturday

Sixth-ranked Falcons score second upset of tournament, defeating second-ranked Cougars 48-45 in OT.

Thunder Mountain celebrates their 48-45 overtime win against the Service Cougars in a semifinal at the 2024 ASAA March Madness Alaska 4A Boys Basketball State Championships on Friday at Anchorage’s Alaska Airlines Center. The Falcons will play East Anchorage for the state championship Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)