After a rare quiet prep sports weekend on the island, action resumes this weekend with a pair of teams — track and baseball — competing at home for the final time this season.
Kodiak returns to the mainland for a three-game, three-day trip that includes crucial Northern Lights Conference games.
The Bears get things started at 7 p.m. today with a nonconference match at Division I Wasilla.
Things heat up after that, with Kodiak playing at Palmer Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (noon).
The formula for Kodiak to earn the program’s second berth to the Division II state championships is simple: sweep Palmer and get in.
The top two teams in the four-team conference earn automatic bids to the state tournament that begins May 26 in Anchorage.
With a 5-0 record, Grace Christian has already sealed a spot. Redington is 0-5 and has already been eliminated. That leaves Kodiak (2-2 NLC, 2-2 overall) and Palmer (1-1, 6-3) left for the final spot.
A sweep guarantees Kodiak a spot at state for the first time since 2018. Anything less, and the Bears would need luck to advance. Palmer played Redington late Wednesday and will conclude play next week against Grace.
There are two at-large selections to state that Kodiak could grab.
The Bears sport a 3-1-3 all-time record against the Moose.
Kodiak closes out the regular season with games at Wasilla (5 p.m. today) and at Palmer (5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday).
The Bears are 0-6 in the NLC, 0-6 overall.
If it feels like the Bears have played a lot of games at Baranof Field this season, it is because they have.
The home-heavy season ends with a two-game series against Redington. Friday’s Southcenteral Conference affair starts at 6 p.m., while Saturday’s nonconference game begins at 10 a.m.
Saturday’s game will be Kodiak’s 13th at home and final appearance at Baranof Field for seniors Gage Lloring, Nick Carver, Christian Rockenbach, Ian Rocheleau and Nate Baker.
The Bears conclude the regular season at Homer (May 20) and at Kenai (May 21).
Kodiak’s third and final home meet of the season is Friday and Saturday against Bartlett at Joe Floyd Track and Field.
Friday’s meet begins with field events at 3:30 p.m., followed by running events at 4:30 p.m.
Saturday’s meet starts with field events at 9:30 a.m. and running events at 10:30 a.m.
The boys shot put will be the marquee event, with five of the top throwers in the state competing.
Bartlett’s Shaistin Naufahu Gaspar — last season’s Division I state runner-up — has the state’s top mark this season at 52 feet, 2.5 inches. His teammate Niko Alailefaleula is sixth at 45-0.
Kodiak has three athletes in the top 10: Defending state champion Orion Harper at fourth (50-1), Aron Bautista ninth (42-10) and Mycus Fernandez 10th (42-9.25).
Bartlett also has the top boys’ triple jumper, with A’lante Owens-Player leaping 44-4.25 at last week’s Anchorage Invite.
Other Kodiak athletes ranked in the top 10:
• Micah Fields eighth in the 1,600-meter run (4 minutes, 38.55 seconds) and in the 3,200 (9:59.75).
• Elias Litzow, Jacob Sarnowski, Miles Grimes and Bengt Anderson are 5th in the 3,200 relay (8:41.28).
• Avie Arevalo is 10th in the girls’ 100 (13.22).
• Jisselle Blanco is eighth in the girls’ 100 hurdles (17.37).