Juneau’s Noah Chambers scrambles against Antelope Union in the third quarter at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. Juneau won 56-18. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Juneau’s Noah Chambers scrambles against Antelope Union in the third quarter at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. Juneau won 56-18. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Breaking: Huskies football hosts wildfire-stifled Kenai Saturday

Air quality jumbles Juneau football.

Instead of traveling to Anchorage, the Juneau Huskies football team will play at 7 p.m. Saturday night at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park against the Kenai Kardinals.

The Huskies pulled out of their scheduled game against Dimond High School in Anchorage Friday because of air quality concerns.

Juneau Huskies coach Rich Sjoroos, Thunder Mountain High School athletic director Luke Adams, Juneau-Douglas High School athletic director Chad Bentz and Dimond High School officials spoke on Friday morning, and together decided to cancel the Dimond game.

“The air quality last night got so bad,” and it didn’t get any better by the morning, Sjoroos said.

Numerous football games in the Southcentral region were canceled or rescheduled last weekend because of smoke generated from the wildfires, including the Swan Lake Fire, which has consumed over 160,000 acres as of Thursday morning. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation issued an air quality advisory for Southcentral region through Friday, stating some areas could experience hazardous air quality conditions.

Last Wednesday, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District restricted all outdoor athletics and activity-related travel on a stretch of the Sterling Highway, causing the Kardinals football team to miss playing Eielson last week. Their home game this Saturday against Lathrop was also called off.

“Kenai was the first team that we reached out to, and they were all in,” Adams said.

The Kardinals defeated the Homer Mariners 28-14 in Week 1. The Huskies lost their season-opener 58-42, but rebounded at home last week and defeated Antelope Union 56-18.

Sjoroos said season passes will be not be honored at the game, but the admission cost will be reduced to $5.


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com.


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