Football players across the state have started preseason practice, with the season officially beginning on July 29.
Barring a COVID-19 setback, the first week of the eight-week regular season kicks off Aug. 12-15.
The statewide schedule was released in late-June. Here is a breakdown of Kodiak’s schedule.
In a weird scheduling quirk, Kodiak football will open the 2020 season against the same opponent that it finished the 2019 season with — North Pole.
Of course, that depends on the COVID-19 pandemic, but now the Bears are scheduled to open the season by hosting North Pole in Week 1.
Kodiak capped a 2-6 2019 season by traveling to Fairbanks for a 16-14 victory over the Patriots, a Division II Mid-Alaska Conference team. That marked Kodiak’s first road win since Week 1 of the 2017 season when the Bears topped Homer 21-8.
Kodiak is 2-1 all-time against North Pole, picking up a 51-20 win in 2018 and losing 52-48 in 2015.
The Bears will travel to the Interior twice this season, in Week 3 to play Eielson and in Week 5 to play West Valley.
Kodiak and Eielson have a history on the gridiron, having meet in the small-school playoffs in 2006, 2007 and 2009 — all Bear victories.
Eielson won the last meeting, 24-7 in 2017.
Kodiak has only played West Valley — a former Division I program — twice since becoming a varsity team in 2004. The Bears won 21-7 in 2017 and lost 46-28 in 2016.
A year after playing three Division I opponents, Kodiak only has to jump up a classification once in the upcoming season.
Kodiak hosts Cook Inlet Conference Bartlett in Week 2 at Joe Floyd Track and Field.
The Golden Bears are three seasons removed from capturing the Division I state title. They advanced to the semifinals in 2018 and the quarterfinals in 2019.
This will be the first meeting on the gridiron between Kodiak and Bartlett. The Bears have played every school in Alaska but Bartlett, Redington, East Anchorage, South Anchorage and Service.
Kodiak beat South Anchorage’s junior varsity team in 2013.
Kodiak doesn’t play its first Northern Lights Conference game until Week 4 when it hosts state power Soldotna.
The Stars have won the past eight Division II state titles and ride into the 2020 season with an 18-game winning streak.
Kodiak has had no luck against its Kenai Peninsula foe, dropping all 21 contests against Soldotna since becoming a varsity program in 2003.
The Bears wrap up conference play in Week 7 and 8 at Kenai and Eagle River.
Since 2015, Kodiak is 3-14 in the tough NLC.
Kodiak closes out its home campaign in Week 6 with a nonconference matchup against Palmer.
The Moose ran up 404 offensive yards in a 47-0 victory over the Bears in 2019. Palmer, a former member of the NLC, is 5-0 all-time against Kodiak.
AROUND THE NLC
Soldotna has four games against Division I opponents — Juneau, Chugiak, South Anchorage and Service.
Eagle River tangles with Division I schools Bartlett and Chugiak, while Kenai does not play a big school in 2020.
Week 1 — North Pole; Week 2 — Bartlett; Week 3 — at Eielson; Week 4 — Soldotna; Week 5 — at West Valley; Week 6 — Palmer; Week 7 — at Kenai; Week 8 — at Eagle River.
Week 1 — at Bartlett; Week 2 — West Valley; Week 3 — at Houston; Week 4 — Palmer; Week 5 — at Kenai; Week 6 — at Chugiak; Week 7 — Soldotna; Week 8 — Kodiak.
Week 1 — at Redington; Week 2 — Barrow; Week 3 — Out of state; Week 4 — at Homer; Week 5 — Eagle River; Week 6 — at North Pole; Week 7 — Kodiak; Week 8 — at Soldotna.
Week 1 — Juneau; Week 2 — at Chugiak; Week 3 — at South Anchorage; Week 4 — at Kodiak; Week 5 — Service; Week 6 — West Valley; Week 7 — at Eagle River; Week 8 — Kenai.