JDHS socks it to cancer, bests Ketchikan

It was an emotion-filled night.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé held a Sock It To Cancer fundraiser Friday night in memory of Kevin Guimmayen. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé held a Sock It To Cancer fundraiser Friday night in memory of Kevin Guimmayen. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Emotions filled the gym even before the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé boys basketball team secured one of its wildest wins of the season.

The Friday night home game against Ketchikan, which the Crimson Bears won in a 55-54 nail-biter, was also Sock It To Cancer night, which raised funds for Cancer Connection in memory of the late Kevin Guimmayen, a former JDHS athlete, who lost his battle with leukemia Aug. 28, 2017, at the age of 21.

“I still get emotional about it,” said JDHS coach Robert Casperson in a post-game interview. “I didn’t realize I would. We were talking about it this week at practice and in practice. I was telling the guys about Kevin. I felt myself getting choked up. I love that kid. He played his butt off for us. He was 5-foot-nothing, and he just battled. He always smiled. Win, lose or draw.”

[Thank you for honoring Kevin Guimmayen]

The student section was filled with students wearing orange, which is the color of leukemia awareness. A video tribute to Guimmayen was played on the scoreboard before the game, and special socks adorned with Guimmayen’s No. 10 were sold for a suggested donation of $20. All proceeds went to Cancer Connection, a nonprofit that helped support Guimmayen’s family when he was battling cancer.

Before tip-off the donation jar already included several $100 bills.

“He was a special kid,” said school counselor Jennifer Knaggs, who helped take donations. “He was always nice. He always had a smile.”

A wild one

The Crimson Bears jumped out to an early lead Friday and needed every last point to hold off Ketchikan.

JDHS led 12-8 at the end of the first quarter, 26-19 at the half and at one point in the third quarter the Crimson Bears were up by 14. However, Ketchikan standout Chris Lee poured in most of his game-leading 30 points in the final two frames, which led to a dramatic finish.

Brock McCormick, who paced JDHS with 19 points, put on a clutch performance, too.

He had a pivotal three-point play in the fourth quarter, and he sank two free throws with only seconds remaining to put the Crimson Bears up for good.

“Brock’s been one of our best free-throw shooters all season,” Casperson said. “He wasn’t worried. None of us were worried. What we talked about in our huddle was how we were going to play defense after he made it.”

Cooper Kriegmont added 12 points for JDHS, and Austin McCurley’s timely and smooth three-point shooting accounted for nine Crimson Bear points.

“I’m really proud of the guys,” Casperson said. “Part of the story for us this year is that we’ve had leads and lost them and just kind of accepted it. What I like in that situation is seeing that they’re starting to believe in each other, and they’re going to stick with it and keep working.”


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at 907-523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt


More in Sports

Thomas Waerner, of Norway, celebrates in Nome his win in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Waerner is still waiting to return to his home in Norway. Waerner and his 16 dogs have been stranded in Alaska by travel restrictions and flight cancellations caused by the coronavirus pandemic. (Marc Lester | Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)
Virus strands Norway racer in Alaska after Iditarod win

Man and 16 dogs been stranded in Alaska by travel restrictions and flight cancellations.

JDHS baseball coaches bid farewell to seniors

We will never know how good we would have been. I do know that we would have worked hard all year

Sosan Monsef hands off the baton to teammate Sadie Tuckwood during the 2018 Alaska Track and Field State Championships. (Courtesy Photo | For JDHS Track & Field)
JDHS track and field coaches bid farewell to seniors

The 2020 Track & Field season was looking to be one for the record books.

TMHS baseball coaches bid farewell to seniors

Unfortunately, these fine young men will never get to know what it… Continue reading

JDHS boys soccer coaches bid farewell to seniors

These seniors had a great run during their years playing soccer at JDHS.

TMHS softball coaches bid farewell to seniors

The Falcon softball team and coaching staff wishes the best to our five graduating seniors

JDHS softball coaches bid farewell to seniors

We were looking forward to having a successful season with our four seniors leading our team.

Eva Goering signs her committement to play college soccer for North Idaho College. (Courtesy photo | Heidi Johnson)
Double trouble: Two JDHS soccer players headed to Idaho together

They’ve been playing together for a decade.

Braden Jenkins has committed to playing college basketball at Luther College. (Courtesy photo | John Blasco)
Thunder Mountain trio signs to play college basketball

The last time three players signed in one year was 2014.

Courtesy Photo | Eldred Rock Lighthouse Preservation Association
                                A fundraiser run benefiting a nonprofit focused on preserving and protecting Eldred Rock Lighthouse, seen in this photo, will be a virtual event this year. Runners can complete a course located on Pioneer Road on Douglas at any time April 12-18 and submit their results electronically.
Lighthouse-protecting nonprofit isn’t running out of fundraising ideas

With virtually every other event canceled or postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic,… Continue reading