Kodiak has a chance to clinch its first Northern Lights Conference title since 2009 this weekend on its home field.
The Bears host defending NLC champion Homer in a big four-game series beginning today at East Addition Park.
Today starts with a conference game at 1 p.m., which is followed by a nonconference game at 5 p.m.
Saturday’s conference game is at noon, while the nonconference game is at 4 p.m.
Kodiak is 5-1 in the conference, while Homer is 3-1.
Two conference victories against the Mariners would give the Bears the NLC title and a trip to the small-school state tournament.
Anything less and Kodiak will have to wait to see if it makes postseason play for the second consecutive season.
“We have to focus on Homer and we have to win,” Kodiak coach Sam Catt said.
Only the top two teams in the five-team conference qualifies for the state tournament. Soldotna — a team Kodiak split two games with — is 3-2 in conference with three conference games remaining, which includes a battle against Homer.
Skyview (2-3) and Kenai (0-6) round out the conference.
If Kodiak sweeps Homer, the Bears would finish 7-1 and no one in the conference could catch them.
“I don’t think a sweep is out of the question,” Catt said. “Homer is down a little bit this year, but they are always tough.”
Kodiak split a pair of conference games with Homer last season — Catt’s first conference win over the Mariners in three seasons.
That win assured the Bears their first trip to state under Catt.
Kodiak (6-7) went 1-2 last week against large-school Service, but has won its last four conference games. The games last week were played on the artificial turf at Baranof Field. This week the team is back to playing on a natural surface.
Kodiak will honor its seniors before the start of Saturday’s first varsity game.
Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at firstname.lastname@example.org.