The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé baseball and softball teams will travel to Anchorage this weekend to compete in their respective state tournaments. (Unsplash / Thomas Park)

The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé baseball and softball teams will travel to Anchorage this weekend to compete in their respective state tournaments. (Unsplash / Thomas Park)

Beginnings and ends: Teams head to state as others wind down

Young teams will make for lively seasons next year.

As the school year wraps up, it’s almost all over, but there’s still a few games to be played.

Following their performance in the Region V tournaments, the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé baseball and softball teams will head to their respective state tournaments in Anchorage this weekend.

“I think we’re really excited. We put in a lot of work in the offseason and during the season,” said Lexie Razor, coach of the JDHS softball team, in a phone interview. “The girls are ready to play.”

The JDHS boys team, who won the regional title, are ready to rock, said coach Chad Bentz.

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“I’m excited. I’m excited for the guys, for the team, that we get to represent our school and community up in Anchorage,” Bentz said. “We’re gonna get after it. This is what we’ve been working for.”

Bentz said that especially after last year, this year has been a gift.

Baseball State Championship bracket (Screenshot)

Baseball State Championship bracket (Screenshot)

“Last year was devastating,” Bentz said. “Even just playing in the regionals, I was super thankful that we had the chance to play.”

Razor said the softball team is in strong shape, even with a team of almost entirely underclassmen.

“The majority of our varsity is made up of underclassmen. All our pitchers are underclassmen,” Razor said. “These girls have played together and are pretty athletic. I know they’re ready.”

Softball State Championship bracket (Screenshot)

Softball State Championship bracket (Screenshot)

Bentz said the team is honed as sharp as it can be, and they’re just going to head north and play their best.

“We’ve been training, working hard, and we’re gonna go up there and have some fun and play our game and see where the dust settles,” Bentz said. “These guys have been working hard, and no matter the outcome up there, I’m proud of them as individuals and as a team. I’ve seen all of them grow.”

Thunder Mountain

For Thunder Mountain High School’s teams, the season ended with regions, as they look forward eagerly to next season.

“The season went pretty good,” said baseball coach Joe Tompkins in a phone interview. “Compared to no season, this season was wonderful.”

Softball coach Julie Herman said that this season was wonderful for watching the young softball team grow.

“We definitely had a young team out there on the field a lot. You could see the growth every time we practiced, every time we played,” Herman said. “Last week for us was difficult; to end our season without going to state. But even through that we saw a lot of growth and a lot of promise for the future.”

Tompkins said he’s proud of the team, two runs from going to the state championship. A strong group of upcoming players, including Peyton Lewis, Preston Williams, Isaiah Nelson and Noah Chambers will carry TMHS baseball into the future, Tompkins said.

“I think we have a strong program. It just didn’t turn out in our favor this year,” Herman said. “Thank you to our administration, our newspaper, our athletic director, our friends, our family, everyone who helped it go off.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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