The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé boys’ basketball team recently held our end of the season awards ceremony. The team worked extremely hard during the year and battled through several setbacks and some adversity. Every season we set our on court goals as winning the Region V championship and state championship. While we did win the Region V championship in a convincing manner, that would be the last game of our season due to COVID concerns at the community chosen for hosting the state tournament. Even though we did not have the opportunity to participate in the state tournament this year, we could not have been prouder of the character, integrity and sportsmanship displayed by this team.
These attributes were recognized by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame through their Directors’ Awards. Senior Cooper Kriegmont was one of three finalists for the Boys Pride of Alaska Award for “demonstrating integrity and sportsmanship, so as to be a positive role model for others.” The entire JDHS boys varsity team was selected as one of three finalists for the Trajan Langdon Leadership Award for “demonstrating leadership, integrity and sportsmanship during the past year and positively influencing and inspiring others to be better sportsmen or sportswomen.” Being nominated for these awards is an honor; being selected as a finalist among so many worthy nominees statewide is humbling.
The varsity team was also recognized for these very same qualities and, “… for their competitive spirit, teamwork, love of sport, and grace under the pressure of a very difficult year”, by the 32nd Alaska State Legislature through a citation sponsored by Rep. Sara Hannan and co-sponsored by Sen. Jesse Kiehl and Rep. Andi Story. The totality of these recognitions from individuals and groups across the state causes our hearts to swell with pride for the young men and women in our program.
We know that our basketball program does not exist in a vacuum and the coaching staff often noted how important the community was to our efforts this season. In light of that fact, we would like to acknowledge the following individuals and groups for their continued support. The coaching staff wants to extend our gratitude to our families for supporting the time and effort we put in to coaching. There are a lot of late nights and weekends away from home during the season and we are thankful for their support. We are also grateful for all the parents/guardians that supported our efforts to conduct our season during a global pandemic. Thank you for trusting us. The coaches also want to thank our student managers, Mackenzie Jackson and Tristan Oliva, who were integral to our daily operations. They were often seen hustling through the gym keeping us organized and completing numerous essential tasks.
We would also like to acknowledge the support of the JDHS Cheer/Stunt Team, Dance Team, student body, pep band, Crimson Club, and community this season. The energy and excitement these groups provide the team with is unparalleled. Also, thank you to all those that cheered us on in-person or through the live-stream, purchased raffle tickets, and joined the Fast Break Club.
The coaching staff greatly appreciates the efforts and continued support of the JDHS administration, activities office, teachers, and counselors. We’d like to specifically thank principal Paula Casperson, assistant principal Nate Creel, athletic director Chad Bentz, and activity assistants Jana Morrison, Laura Campos, Toni DeSanto, and counselors Jennifer Knaggs and Natalia Bucher. We would also like to thank our superintendent, Bridget Weiss for her support of Crimson Bear basketball and all the other JSD athletics and activities.
And lastly, we appreciate the media and their coverage of our season. They are vital to keeping our family, friends, and the community informed on our season. Thank you to KINY Radio and the Juneau Empire.
This year Cooper Kriegmont and Brock McCormick were selected to the Region V All-Conference team. Kriegmont was also selected as a member of the All-State First Team. In addition to these individual honors, to wrap-up the 2021 boys’ basketball season the team recently gathered for an awards ceremony. Some of the awards are statistical in nature and the players voted on the rest.
The winners for the JV’s special awards, as voted by team members, are as follows:
— Most Improved: Kai Hargrave
— Most Inspirational: Colter Martin
— Most Hustle: Gabe Williams
— Best Defense: Tias Carney
— Most Valuable Player: Alwen Carrillo
— Coaches Award: Chris Harris
The winners for the Varsity statistical awards are as follows:
— Best Passer (most assists): Cooper Kriegmont
— Best Rebounder (most rebounds): Cooper Kriegmont
— Toughness Award (most charges drawn): Tias Carney
— Marksman (highest 2pt shooting percentage): Cooper Kriegmont
— Deep Threat Marksman (highest 3pt shooting percentage): Brock McCormick • Mr. Clutch (highest free-throw percentage): Brock McCormick
The Varsity special awards, as voted by team members, are as follows:
— Most Improved: Garrett Bryant
— Most Inspirational: Brock McCormick
— Most Hustle: Ben Coutu
— Best Defense: Garrett Bryant
— Most Valuable Player: Cooper Kriegmont
The final special award we give was created decades ago and named for late Juneau resident, Zach Gordon, for his commitment to Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé athletics/activities and his longtime support of the youth of Juneau. This award is given to the player that best embodies the ideals and values of being a Crimson Bear basketball player on the court, in the classroom, and the community. For those reasons, it is considered the highest honor available in our program. This year, through team member voting, the Zach Gordon Award went to Jake Sleppy.
We also had a unique opportunity to recognize a member of our program that displayed characteristics that are highly valued in the Crimson Bears basketball program; setting goals and working to achieve them. Over the years, David Timothy has held several different titles in our program (manager, student-assistant, adviser, etc.), but he has always coveted being an official “Coach.” This Spring, he made that dream a reality by passing the basketball coaching class offered by the National Federation of High Schools. With that certification, we are pleased to announce Coach Timothy as the newest member of our coaching staff.
As a coaching staff we would be remiss not to mention the leadership and guidance provided by the senior class this season. It was truly our pleasure to work with seniors Brock McCormick, Raekwon Razor, Cooper Kriegmont, Malakai Nichols, Garrett Bryant, Ben Coutu, Gabe Williams, Mackenzie Jackson, Lope Elizarde, and Marcos Yadao. The graduating seniors have left the returning players a roadmap to success, which is paved with hard work and dedication in the off-season.
Again, thank you to our families and Juneau for all your help. Each season is truly a team effort that is supported by many. We know that without your support none of this would be possible. We look forward to our returning and incoming players working hard to improve this off-season so the JDHS boys basketball team can continue to proudly represent our community.
Juneau-Douglas High School: Yaada.at Kalé
Boys Basketball Coaching Staff: Robert Casperson, John Sleppy, Ben Kriegmont, Vince Yadao and David Timothy