The state’s high school basketball teams can begin playing games on Friday. Thanks to the City of Kodiak, Kodiak High’s hoopsters will not be left out.
Both the high school’s boys’ and girls’ teams have been added to the City League Basketball schedule, a recreational league organized by the City of Kodiak Parks and Recreation Department. The boys’ varsity, junior varsity and C squad, and the girls’ varsity teams will play one to two games a week as members of the league, according to director Corey Gronn.
With Kodiak teams not allowed to travel through at least January and other school districts limited to district-only play to begin the high school season, Gronn approached the school district and coaches about joining his league. He said all the coaches were receptive and thought it was an excellent way to get their players’ game experience.
“This might be their only competition they get, maybe through March or so,” Gronn said.
The Kodiak high boys team announced the news via its Facebook group and acknowledged that putting a season together during a pandemic is “very complex.”
“Right now, Kodiak basketball players are at a HUGE disadvantage compared to every other team in the state due to the current mandates in all school districts, which allow teams to play other schools in their specific school districts. While Anchorage, MATSU and Kenai school districts each encompass several schools/teams to play, Kodiak does not have that luxury,” the statement on the Facebook page read.
Gronn said Kodiak high teams will be featured in Friday night games, either in the high school or middle school gyms. This Friday, the junior varsity boys play Island Freeze at 6:30 p.m., followed by the varsity team’s matchup against Asian Groceries at 8 p.m.
The varsity girls play F/V Sitkinak at 6:30 p.m. today, while the C team boys tangle with the Imposters at 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Both games will be in the middle school gym.
The boys’ varsity was placed in the four-team Open Division, junior varsity in the three-team B Division and the girls’ varsity and boys C team in the four-team C Division.
City league basketball resumed on Jan. 11 after being shut down in late November because of rising COVID-19 cases on the island. The decrease in active case counts allowed play to resume. Everybody who enters the gym must have a face shield on, be health screened and sign in. There is a cap of 30 spectators.
“Because of the limitations, there were four or five people who we had to turn away on Sunday,” Gronn said.
The league, which usually runs with 21 teams, is down to 15 this year because of COVID. Gronn said the league would end sometime in March.