By TOM HESSEReprinted with permission from the Daily Sitka Sentinel The Mt. Edgecumbe InvenTeam has prototypes and a pilot ready for their UAV search and rescue project, but the group still has some work to do before their invention makes its way into the equipment arsenal of Sitka Mountain Rescue. In the fall, the Mt. Edgecumbe InvenTeam got to work on a search and rescue invention funded by a $10,000 grant from MIT. Since then the team has been designing and building parts for a pair of remote control unmanned aerial vehicles that could benefit search and rescue operations in Southeast. The team has built two prototypes, a quadcopter and a hexcopter, the names indicating the number of rotors. The plan is to have the machines capable for a number of operations including carrying an infrared camera for searching, and also the ability to drop a first aid kit or radio to a stranded person. Trevor Creed, a senior from Kotzebue, is leading the design team. At the team’s mid-grant review this week he said the project is coming along nicely but it has not been without challenges. “I like where we are because we have two prototypes. They’re so close to running. We just have to get the programming done,” Creed said. The team has succeeded in getting one of their prototypes in the air but didn’t succeed in returning it safely to the ground. The first flight ended in a crash, but Creed is hoping to have the prototypes back in the air by the end of the week. In order to learn to fly the device, students have been practicing on a flight simulator, which Sitka Mountain Rescue will also use for practice when the Mt. Edgecumbe students finish the project. Thomas Ervin, a senior from Tok, has emerged as the team’s pilot, thanks to his penchant for digital simulations. “Originally, how I was picked to be the pilot is I was naturally good at it, which many attribute to all the time I spent playing video games,” Ervin quipped. Over the last several months the team has been switching components and trying to find the right combination of motors and battery life and propeller size that will give them the most amount of lift with the longest flight time. “We could probably carry a small baby,” Creed joked of the UAV’s carrying capacity. More likely the UAV will be carrying a $5,000 infrared camera donated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, which Creed said is sophisticated enough to see the heat left over from recent footprints. Sitka Mountain Rescue captain Don Kluting was at the presentation Monday night at Mt. Edgecumbe High School and asked about the possibility of using the UAV to carry a rope that can be used as an access line in case someone falls through the ice in a difficult-to-reach location. “There’s a number of possibilities for it. For instance, looking at remote locations like a cliff face and being able to visualize it before we send someone down,” Kluting said. Kluting also mentioned using the device to search avalanche fields or using the infrared camera to quickly search an area. “I don’t know that we totally know the full extent of the possibilities, and it might take a little bit to find out what the full range of possibilities of this could be,” Kluting said. “From my standpoint it’s really exciting to see the enthusiasm that these young folks have and the energy that they bring in trying to find new ways to help with search and rescue.” The UAV will also have a forward-mounted camera that will stream video back to the pilot. This tweak is part of what separates the Mt. Edgecumbe project from a standard DIY quadcopter. By attaching the camera, the pilot will be able to fly the UAV out of sight of the operator. And should the expensive equipment fly too far and not return, Creed said the team is working on a solution for that as well. “We’re going to put a GPS on it so that if it does crash then they can actually find it later,” Creed said. This summer, the Mt. Edgecumbe students will fly to Massachusetts to present their invention at MIT. The grant does not cover travel costs, so the team incorporated a business angle to their project to raise money for travel. Senior Anthony Lekanof, who is in charge of fundraising, said the group has raised enough money for six students and some project advisers to make the trip, but they are still looking for more funding. Creed said he’s confident the project will be finished in plenty of time for the presentation at MIT. “We’re definitely going to get these done but we wish we were more ahead of it,” he said. Still, he said it’s been rewarding to watch the project come together. “The best part has been watching everything come together and seeing everyone working on their part of it and then seeing those parts come together.”
By TOM HESSESentinel Staff Writer The Mt. Edgecumbe Lady Braves were held in check for 16 minutes Tuesday night at Sitka High School but a strong second half carried them to their 11th win of the season. The Lady Braves picked up their fourth conference win thanks to a solid third quarter where they outscored Sitka 19-11. Mt. Edgecumbe coach Dane Vincent said the success in the second half was exclusively an attitude change. “Just attitude between the kids. They came off to a slow start. They weren’t talking very much. They weren’t talking to each other and that’s what we talked about at halftime. If something’s not working, they just need to make little adjustments rather than force it,” Vincent said. Sitka started the game in an 8-2 hole. Mt. Edgecumbe’s JoAllyn Johnson hit a 3-pointer to open the game and Isa Ramil responded for Sitka with a layup, but then the Lady Wolves’ offense would go dormant for the rest of the quarter and the early minutes of the second period. It wasn’t until Megan Reid hit a layup with 5:30 left in the second quarter that Sitka was able to get their offense going, at which point they were down 10-4. Sitka kept Mt. Edgecumbe in check thanks to good defense including aggressive perimeter play by Ellie Cagle and Hailey Denkinger who shared duty guarding Mt. Edgecumbe’s outside shooter Payton Weisz. Mt. Edgecumbe was equally stingy holding Reid without a shot in the first quarter. Reid took to other means to score including a three-pointer she hit at the 4:50 mark of the second quarter to make it 12-7 in favor of Mt. Edgecumbe. Sitka junior Kyla Young followed with a layup to cut the lead to 3 points. By the end of the half the Lady Braves led 16-14. For the most part, The Lady Braves played Reid tough. Vincent said his team’s base zone defense is designed to keep slashing guards out of the paint and to prevent teams from getting the ball inside to their post players, which is especially useful when playing Sitka. “We try to cut off that person slashing to the middle and Renatta (Olson) plays really good defense out on the wings so that helps us accomplish what we want to,” Vincent said. Part of the second quarter struggles for Mt. Edgecumbe occurred at the free-throw line where the team shot 4-8. In the second half Mt. Edgecumbe’s Renatta Olson hit a 3-pointer to get the momentum rolling in the Lady Braves’ direction. Still, Sitka had the deficit as low as 5 points with less than a minute to go but Mt. Edgecumbe put together two strong possessions to close the third quarter. White scored on a give-and-go and then Olson hit her second 3-pointer of the quarter with 2 seconds left, swelling the Lady Braves’ lead from 5 to 10 points in less than 40 seconds of game time. Sitka never regained their flow in the fourth quarter as the Lady Braves outscored them 16-13 en route to a 51-38 win. Reid led Sitka with 17 points in the game. Ramil scored 9 points, Young scored 4 points, Zoe Krupa hit a 3-pointer and Kalene Koelling and Denkinger each had 2 points. White led all scorers with 26 points and Olson also cracked double figures with 11 points. Brittany Akaran scored 6 points, Johnson had 3 points, Weisz and Julie Amaktoolik each had 2 points and Tori Thomas went 1-2 from the free-throw line. Vincent said the scoring load shifts around on his team because his players are good at recognizing who is having a good scoring night. “They’re pretty much working it on themselves. If one has a bad night the other one usually steps up and takes over. I tell them, you know, if you got a shot you better take it. I’ll never get mad if you take a shot,” he said. Sitka drops to 0-4 in the conference following the loss and Mt. Edgecumbe improves to 4-0 having won twice against Petersburg and Sitka. The Lady Braves can lock up the top seed for the Region Tournament with one more win against both squads. The Lady Braves will play Kenai on Thursday and then head to Yakutat before hosting Petersburg next week for a double header. Sitka will play the Lady Vikings on the same visit next week. The next battle of the bridge is set for Feb. 28 at Sitka High School.
By TOM HESSE
Reprinted with permission from the Daily Sitka Sentinel
Despite a fourth-quarter rally by the Mt. Edgecumbe Braves, the Sitka boys basketball team was able to cruise to an 18-point victory in the second showdown between the cross-town rivals Tuesday night.
Sitka defeated the Braves 63-45 at Sitka High School thanks to a balanced scoring attack that saw four Wolves score in double digits. Sitka coach Andy Lee said last night’s offense looks the way he had envisioned it looking at this point in the season.
“Last night was the first step in coming together. Our big guys are all healthy and we have balance. Our big guys carried the scoring load for the first 10 games and now we’re getting some perimeter scoring that balances that out and stretches the floor,” Lee said.
AJ Inman had the hot hand early on a night where the Wolves took turns carrying the offense. AJ Inman scored the opening bucket of the game on a 3-pointer from two feet behind the three-point arc. He carried that rhythm to 8 first-quarter points. The Wolves jumped to a 12-5 lead 6 minutes into the quarter thanks to the points from AJ Inman as well as three straight steals by Joey Inman, Kendrick Payton and Jaren Sumauang.
Mt. Edgecumbe sophomore Jaloni Pepper cut the lead to 3 points near the end of the first quarter but AJ Inman scored his last bucket of the quarter as time was running out to give Sitka a 14-9 advantage heading into the second quarter.
The Wolves kept the defensive pressure on during the second quarter forcing a 10-second violation 90 seconds into the period. A 3-pointer from point guard Oscar Barragan following the turnover gave Sitka a 10-point lead.
Barragan hit two 3-pointers in the second quarter and five for the game.
The Wolves took a 10-point lead into halftime after Joey Inman played solid transition defense against the Braves leading to a bucket for Sitka. The Braves had a two-on-one following a takeaway and Joey Inman was able to cut off the fast-break layup, steal the ball and throw an outlet pass to Brian Way who then hit Tevin Bayne for a layup with 2 seconds left in the first half.
Lee said ending quarters strong is something the team has emphasized as a part of a greater commitment to team focus.
“We want to have a sense of discipline and we really work hard about not wasting opportunity and being very mindful of the clock and it helps generate opportunities that could easily be lost near the ends of quarters,” he said.
Mt. Edgecumbe went into the half down 10 but was able to cut it to 8 points before any time rolled off the clock in the third quarter as a result of a technical foul called on Sitka because a player grabbed the rim of the basket heading into halftime.
The Braves’ Donald Edenshaw hit the technical free throws and Mt. Edgecumbe played Sitka close the opening minutes of the second half but with 5 minutes to go Payton hit a layup followed by a Barragan 3-pointer to push the Wolves’ lead from 5 points to 10.
After the Wolves figuratively shot the lights out in the third quarter, a few of the lights literally went out at Sitka High School forcing a delay before the fourth quarter could start. After several minutes the coaches opted to play with the mood-lighting and Sitka jumped all over the Braves pushing the lead up to 20 points.
With just under 6 minutes to play, however, Mt. Edgecumbe began to chip away at the Sitka lead thanks largely to improved offensive production. After only scoring 6 points in the third quarter, the Braves put up 20 in the fourth quarter led by 7 points from Pepper. Five Mt. Edgecumbe players scored in the final period and in less than 2 minutes of game time the Braves had cut the lead to 9 points with over 4 minutes to play.
The Braves would get the deficit down as low as 8 before Sitka heated up again with a pair of 3 pointers from Barragan and 8 points from Bayne.
Sitka matched the 20-point output of the Braves with 20 points of their own and picked up their fourth conference win.
Lee said he’s optimistic about the team’s progress and is hoping the squad can peak in time for the post season.
“It’s a part of a progression for us. Our goal is to game-to-game get better ... and I think we’re ahead of we’re we were last year,” Lee said.
Edenshaw scored 16 points to lead the Braves followed by 15 from Pepper. Skye Shipton scored 7 points, Corby Kasayulie had 3 points and Tesfaye Herrmann and Jarred Olin-Duncan each hit a two-point bucket.
Bayne’s 16 points led the Wolves, followed by Barragan who scored all 15 of his points from behind the arc. AJ Inman scored 13 points, 12 of which came in the first half. Way was the fourth Sitka player to score over 10 points with his 11-point showing. Payton scored 6 points and Joey Inman scored 2 points.
The Braves will play Kenai Thursday on their home floor. The Braves will then head to Petersburg to finish up their regular season series with the Vikings.
Sitka will host Kenai for two games Friday and Saturday. The Braves’ next conference games will be Feb. 21 and 22 at Petersburg where the Wolves will have a shot to wrap up the top seed in Region V. The next battle of the bridge will be at Sitka High School on Feb. 28.
By TOM HESSE
Reprinted with Permission from the Daily Sitka Sentinel
The Mt. Edgecumbe Lady Braves basketball team rolled through Bethel this weekend beating the visiting Lady Warriors by an average of 26 points.
The Lady Braves are 10-2 on the season now and haven’t lost in 2014. Head coach Dane Vincent said the team is playing well but there are still improvements they have to make if they want their success to spill over into the post season.
“They’re pretty close in a lot of areas. We’ve got some wins under our belt but that doesn’t mean anything going forward. I don’t want them getting too confident so they stop working,” Vincent said.
Despite a 52-22 win on their home floor Saturday night, the Lady Braves did get off to something of a slow start in the first quarter. Taryn White scored 4 points but missed 2 free throws and an aggressive Bethel defense kept the Mt. Edgecumbe guards from getting into rhythm. In the second quarter, however, the Lady Braves got the offense going with a give-and-go between White and Brittany Akaran, which was one of the first offensive sets the Lady Braves were able to execute cleanly in the game.
In the second quarter the Lady Braves shook whatever rust they had to open the game and went into halftime with a 10-point lead.
Renatta Olson led Mt. Edgecumbe with 13 points including a trio of 3-pointers. White was second in scoring with 10 points. Payton Weisz hit two 3-pointers as a part of her 8 points. JoAllyn Johnson scored 6 points, Akaran scored 5 along with Julie Amaktoolik and Jessica Mute and Kathy Holly each scored 2 points in a game where all but two Lady Braves – Tori Thomas and Leigh Ripke – got into the score book.
In their first meeting Friday night, the Lady Braves beat Bethel by 22 points.
White led the way with 19 points followed by Weisz who had 13 points and sparked a Lady Braves run in the second quarter.
In the opening period Bethel clogged the paint and held Mt. Edgecumbe to 10 points. The Lady Braves went into the second quarter up by two but a pair of 3-pointers by Weisz in the second quarter opened up the defense allowing for Mt. Edgecumbe to balance out their offense.
Vincent said that offensive balance is part of the reason the Lady Braves have been successful.
“They’ve really picked up on offense and adjusted. They’re seeing the court really well and we’re getting a lot of great play out of Brittany and Taryn plus we’ve just been shooting the ball well,” Vincent said.
Akaran and Olson each had nine points followed and Ripke and Holly each had 2 points.
Vincent said he’s proud of his players for the success they’ve had but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a to-do list like any other coach. Press defense and managing the press of other teams are top priorities for Vincent.
“We want to sharpen up on our press a little bit. We’re not even close to where we want to be there, so that will be a place of emphasis for us in the next couple of weeks,” Vincent said.
The Lady Braves will have a lot of in-game opportunities to practice that. They play four games in the next week starting with a game at Sitka High School Tuesday night. Mt. Edgecumbe beat Sitka in the first matchup of the “battle of the bridge.” Kenai will be in town on Thursday and after that game the team will head north to Yakutat for games Friday and Saturday.
By TOM HESSE
Reprinted with permission from the Daily Sitka Sentinel
It took overtime but the Mt. Edgecumbe Braves were able to respond to an 11-point loss on Friday night to the visiting Bethel Warriors with a 59-57 win that took 36 minutes to settle.
The Braves led 27-13 at halftime in Saturday’s contest at Mt. Edgecumbe High School but in the third quarter the Bethel Warriors staged their comeback and shrunk the deficit to 3 points thanks to a full court press that took the Braves out of their offensive rhythm. At the end of the third quarter and into the fourth, Mt. Edgecumbe made a pair of adjustments to counter Bethel’s game plan.
In order to break the Bethel press, Mt. Edgecumbe had their bigs bring the ball up the floor rather than their guards. Paul Kewan, Skye Shipton and Donald Edenshaw – all 6-foot-2 and taller – brought the ball up the floor for the Braves. Mt. Edgecumbe head coach Archie Young said the idea came from one spot over, on the bench.
“That was Rich’s (Calkins) idea, actually. I got to give credit where credit is due and he came up with that. I don’t have an assistant coach; I think of him as just another coach and he throws ideas at me all the time and that one worked really well,” Young said.
The first two times Mt. Edgecumbe used the new strategy it resulted in quick baskets at the end of the third quarter. Shipton drew in the defense and had back-to-back assists to Edenshaw and Daniel Alexie for open layups.
Additionally, the Braves flipped the script in their offensive set and brought the 6-2 Edenshaw out to the top of the key and ran the offense through him rather than their traditional look that puts guards on the perimeter and Edenshaw in the post. Young said this look was about finding the biggest mismatch on the floor.
“Look, I’m not calling Donald (Edenshaw) a speed-demon by any means but he was faster than the guy guarding him and he could handle the ball well,” Young said.
The adjustments didn’t stop Bethel from scoring 18 points in the fourth quarter but it did allow the Braves offense to keep pace with 15 points – 12 of which came from the efforts of Edenshaw and Shipton.
Bethel hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, none of which were bigger than the last one.
Mt. Edgecumbe had a 50-47 lead but Bethel had the ball and 9 seconds on the clock. The Warriors’ Matt Hoffman got the ball off a screen and hit the game-tying shot with a hand in his face, leaving only four seconds on the clock.
When the teams went to overtime, Edenshaw continued to run the Braves’ offense and started the extra 4-minute period with two floaters in the lane to give the Braves a 4-point lead.
Bethel kept pace with a 3-pointer by Brett Smith but Mt. Edgecumbe held off the Warriors with the free throw shooting of Jaloni Pepper. Pepper went 3 of 4 from the line in overtime after shooting 50 percent through the first four quarters.
Still, Bethel had a shot in the final seconds. Mt. Edgecumbe led 59-57 after Pepper went 1-2 from the line. Bethel passed the ball in to Hoffman, who was responsible for sending the game into overtime. Hoffman then passed to Warrior guard Steven Glasheen who couldn’t connect on a layup to tie the game as time expired.
Young said Bethel played a strong second half and he was pleased his team was able to hang on for the win.
“Basically for us, I didn’t feel like the second half was very good. But I was also very impressed to see how Bethel came back in the second half and how they kept battling,” Young said. “And our guys didn’t fold when they pushed us so that was encouraging to see.”
Edenshaw and Shipton led the Braves with 22 points each. Pepper finished with 5 points, Paul Kewan scored 4 points and Alexie and Corby Kasayulie each had three points.
In the first meeting between the two teams, Mt. Edgecumbe kept the game close through the first half but in the third quarter the Braves offense went dormant scoring only 6 points to Bethel’s 11. The Braves went into the fourth quarter down 31-27 and their offense got going behind 6 points from Edenshaw but Bethel poured in 22 points, including 9 points from behind the arc by Hoffman.
Shipton led the Braves with 19 points in Friday night’s game including 8 in the second quarter. Edenshaw had 14 points and Kasayulie had 7 points. Paul Kewan scored 2 points.
This was the first time since the season opener that Mt. Edgecumbe has had their full roster. Young said the next two weeks are going to be important for getting the team familiar with each other in game-scenarios.
“It’s one thing to practice together but getting that game experience is different and we haven’t really had that opportunity,” Young said.
The Braves will play Sitka High Tuesday night at Sitka High School. The Wolves won the first matchup between the two teams back in January.
By TOM HESSEReprinted with the permission of the Daily Sitka Sentinel The Mt. Edgecumbe Braves boys basketball team closed out the first weekend of conference play with an 11-point loss to the Petersburg Vikings Saturday night at Mt. Edgecumbe High School. Petersburg took both games of last week’s series with Edgecumbe, winning 60-49 Saturday after their 8-point win on Thursday. The Braves opened Saturday’s contest with tighter defense in the low post, allowing only one bucket to Petersburg’s 6’6” center Colby Bell, who had 6 points in the first quarter of Thursday’s game. The Braves were able to jump out to a 13-11 lead behind the scoring of Jaloni Pepper who had 8 of Mt. Edgecumbe’s 13 first-quarter points. The sophomore went 2-3 from behind the arc in that quarter after going 3-3 in the first quarter of game one. In the second quarter the fouls piled up for the Braves, who had 9 first-half team fouls. Those fouls led to four trips to the free-throw line for the Vikings, three by Tristan Welton who made all 6 of his free throws. The last foul shot came as the punctuation mark on a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Petersburg’s Michael Brock. Brock was fouled on a three-ball with three seconds left and completed the 4-point play to give Petersburg a 29-18 lead going into half time. The Braves hit a scoring drought in the second quarter. They answered an 18-point quarter from Petersburg with 5 points of their own, all of which were scored by junior Skye Shipton. In the third quarter Pepper got the hot hand and scored 7 points. The Braves nearly went into the fourth quarter facing a single-digit deficit after a give-and-go between Shipton and Pepper closed the gap to 9 with seconds remaining in the third quarter. Petersburg was able to answer at the buzzer, however, with a layup from Welton to keep the gap 11-points wide.
In the final period the Braves were able to cut the lead down as far as 7 points with four minutes to go but the comeback never got any closer as Petersburg was able to push the lead back to 11 and finish the game with the same 11-point lead they’d finished the second and third quarters with. Mt. Edgecumbe coach Archie Young said his team’s youth was apparent over the weekend. “I think our inexperience showed this weekend. Right now we’re playing with a completely new team. For me it’s kind of like starting over,” Young said. “Even though we’ve been together for five weeks now, we still have a lot of work to do for them to know what my expectations of them are and what I’m asking them to do.” Pepper and Shipton combined for 40 points on the night. Corby Kasayulie hit two 3-pointers for his 6 points while Paul Kewan scored on a baseline jump shot and Jarred Olin-Duncan hit a free throw to round out the Braves’ total. Welton led Petersburg with 19 points on 13-14 shooting from the free throw line. Petersburg, whose lineup includes two 6’6” players, shot twice as many free throws (30) as Mt. Edgecumbe (15). Young said his team showed flashes of what they’re capable of and that they will look a lot different at the end of the season than they do now. “A big thing is understanding our roles and also – and this will come from just playing together and generally getting more time together on the court – is an understanding of where people can be most successful with the ball,” he said. Young added that he’s optimistic about a number of things that he saw from his team this weekend including their work at the ends of games. “Over the weekend I was pleased with how we finished the last five minutes as far as effort goes. If nothing else I hope we can build on that effort,” Young said. The Braves host Sitka Tuesday night. Both the girls and boys teams will play in the opening round of the battle of the bridge. Sitka, who also played Petersburg twice last week, is 2-0 in the conference.
By TOM HESSESentinel Staff Writer The Mt. Edgecumbe High wrestling team continued its run of success in Southeast with a third straight Region title behind four individual weight-class champions and 16 state qualifiers. The Braves finished 56 points ahead of Petersburg at the Regional tournament this weekend at Mt. Edgecumbe High School. Sitka High finished in fifth place, qualifying four wrestlers for the state tournament including Jaren Sumauang who won his third-straight individual title and was voted the most outstanding wrestler of the tournament by the coaches. Mt. Edgecumbe coach Mike Kimber said an injury-plagued season had him nervous about winning another Region title but when the teams were neck-and-neck early on Saturday, his wrestlers took over. “It was close. It was under 10 points going into the consolation semis,” Kimber said. “The last three rounds of the tournament our kids wrestled really tough.” “We had a great consolation semis, a great consolation finals and then just an amazing finals performance,” he added. “I was expecting to come away with two (champions) and we came away with four.” Moses Jackson was Edgecumbe’s first champion at 113 pounds. Jackson, who had battled injuries for the first half of the season, won his championship match over Kake High School’s Sterling Moore with a 7-1 decision. In the first round Jackson got Moore on a single-leg pick for a takedown and controlled Moore for the rest of the first round but couldn’t flip Moore for a pin. After a restart with only 1 second left on the clock, Jackson let up giving Moore a chance at an escape point to make it 2-1. In the second round, Jackson came close to a win by fall but lost out to the clock. Between the near fall and a second takedown in the third round Jackson racked up another five points for his 7-1 win. At 120 pounds, Trevor Creed won his second Regional title but Sitka freshman Caleb Suarez made him work for it. Suarez got back-to-back single-leg picks on Creed early in the first round, but Creed was able to fight off the takedown on both occasions. The senior Creed said Suarez was making it tough for him early in the match. “I was a little nervous ‘cause he has some good hand-fighting and it’s hard for me to control,” Creed said. “I was nervous at first but I got more confident as it went along.” At the end of the first round neither grappler had managed to score a point and it wasn’t until the second round that Creed broke the deadlock with an escape point 29 seconds in. Suarez responded with a takedown and Creed evened it up again with another escape. All told, Creed had three escape points but was still trailing late in round two because Suarez had taken a 4-3 lead thanks to a double-leg takedown. Creed tried to respond with a takedown of his own but he ran out of real estate in the process, prompting a restart. Immediately out of the restart Creed caught Suarez squarely on a takedown and took him right to his shoulders to win by fall with 7 seconds left in the second round. “I heard everyone scream (and) go really loud, I looked down at him and I saw that his shoulders were on the mat and I knew that it’s done right here,” Creed said. Sitka coach William Patrick said Suarez came out aggressive and was setting the tempo before he got caught shooting for a leg pick at the wrong time. “Suarez’s match was a good match, he was controlling it for most of the match. Then they both shot at the same time and he just got caught,” Patrick said. “That kid, he’s only a freshman and he’s going to be a really good wrestler,” Creed added of his opponent. Kimber said it is Creed’s nature to grind out wins. “Trevor has an amazing ability to rise to the occasion at Regionals. He’s never been a number one seed and he’s a two-time region champ,” Kimber said Sitka and Edgecumbe would square off again at 145 when Sumauang defeated Franklin Hoogendorn 16-7. Sumauang led much of the way and racked up two takedowns and a reversal in the first round. At the end of two rounds Sumauang had pushed his lead to 11-3 before Hoogendorn grabbed a shred of momentum when he scored on a takedown and made Sumauang work to retake control of the match. Sumauang said he wasn’t concerned by Hoogendorn’s third round flurry – which closed the score to 11-6. “I wasn’t too worried. I felt like I could get in better position pretty quick and easy,” he said. Sumauang has yet to lose this season. Last year he finished runner-up at the state tournament in the 138 pound bracket. This year Sumauang is wrestling at 145 and he said it hasn’t been an issue. “I haven’t really cut that much weight. It feels good to be at 145 and not cutting too much,” he said. The senior will be the number one seed heading into the state tournament and Sumauang said there is pressure associated with that distinction but not enough to bother him. “Always a little bit of pressure but I feel really good going in.” Patrick said he still thinks that wrestlers in the state have seen the best that Sumauang has to offer. “He’ll be unleashed at state,” he said. Sitka’s third wrestler to compete in the finals on Saturday night was another freshman. Josh Goeden squared off against Wrangell’s Devon Miller and secured a 3-2 lead behind a takedown and an escape before he lost by fall at 1:53. Patrick said that Goeden, Suarez and Curt Bartlett all wrestled well as freshmen and were more aggressive than most freshmen are. “For freshmen they did excellent. Freshmen are timid, they don’t come out and dictate the tempo of the matches, typically,” Patrick said. “The hard thing to get is a mind set where guys will go after guys at a young age ... and for freshmen I think they did pretty darn good.” Bartlett finished fourth at 98 pounds and he will join Goeden, Suarez and Sumauang at state in Anchorage. For the Braves, the last two champions came at the heavy end of the bracket. At 220 pounds Daniel Alexie traded points with Hydaburg’s Robert King before winning by fall late in the third round. Alexie went into the last round up 10-6 but King got a takedown to narrow the lead by two before a reversal and a pin with 26 seconds left in round three secured the Region title for Alexie. Paul Johanson followed up with a 7-1 win at 285 over Metlakatla’s Tristan Alexander. Johanson went 3-0 for the tournament continuing his undefeated run this season. Mt. Edgecumbe and Sitka will head to the state tournament in Anchorage this weekend. Kimber said his team had to win Regionals in order to fund all of the qualifiers to travel to state and between that and the duties of hosting the tournament, he’s happy that he can just look forward to state this weekend. “It’s a relief in some sense because now we can just wrestle,” Kimber said. “We had a lot of great help with the tournament and all the volunteers who helped out really made it possible. It was a blessing to win.” Of the 16 wrestlers who qualified 15 will make the trip. Jason Young was injured during the tournament where he finished fourth at 152 pounds. “I will say that these kids at the very, very end really pulled it together. This was a very weird year. We couldn’t get our kids to pull it together on the same weekend all season and then finally on Saturday they got it all together,” Kimber said. Team Scores: 1. Mt. Edgecumbe: 2562. Petersburg: 2003. Craig: 1704. Wrangell: 1265. Sitka: 94.56. Metlakatla: 767. Thorne Bay: 63.58. Haines: 559. Hoonah: 549. Kake: 5411. Skagway: 3312. Hydaburg: 2913. Klawock: 1814. Pelican: 1615. Yakutat: 7
Mt. Edgecumbe Results
3. Deirdre Creed: 3-1
5. Kendrick Hoblet: 3-2
6. Josephine Amatoolik: 1-3
Elizabeth Castillo: 0-2
4. Alphonsus Pete: 2-2
Daren Warnke: 0-2
1. Moses Jackson: 2-0
3. Miranda Johnson: 3-1
4. Kaitlin Konahok: 2-2
6. Regina Pingayak-Simon: 0-3
1. Trevor Creed: 3-0
4. Jeffery Slwooko: 1-2
5. Antonio DeAsis: 1-2
6. Mikenna Pingayak-Simon: 0-3
3. Jeremy Roberts: 4-1
6. Patrick Nick: 2-3
Pamela Beans: 0-2
Claudia Castillo: 0-2
6. Timothy Mack: 1-3
Brittany Woods-Orrison: 0-2
Katrina Orsborn: 0-2
James Simeonoff: 2-2
3. Joseph Friday: 4-1
Marcus Redfox: 0-2
Julian Andrew: 1-2
Nathan Brown: 1-2
2. Franklin Hoogendorn: 3-1
Nathan Johnson: 0-2
Annie James: 0-2
Thomas Chikigak: 0-2
4. Jason Young: 3-2
Kayleen Ward-Peter: 0-2
Jason Creasey: 0-2
Caden Peterson: 0-2
6. Shawn Williams: 2-3
Nickolai Nichols-Hall: 0-2
Jarred Olin Duncan: 1-2
3. Anthony Peter: 3-1
Brenton Byayuk: 0-2
5. Thomas Ervin: 1-2
3. Kole Lliaban: 1-1
4. Armando DeAsis: 0-2
1. Daniel Alexie: 2-0
1. Paul Johanson: 3-0
By TOM HESSESentinel Staff Writer The Mt. Edgecumbe High School Invent Club has a long to-do list that includes managing a $10,000 grant, organizing a public relations effort, raising funds for travel and designing and building three unmanned aerial vehicles to be used for search and rescue in Alaska. Last month, Mt. Edgecumbe was one of 15 schools to be awarded a $10,000 grant by a national foundation that encourages development of useful inventions by high school students. The Lemelson-MIT program challenges students to invent a technological solution to a real-world problem. The Edgecumbe students have until June to finish their project and present it on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. Mark Nance, one of the academic advisers, said the group started working on the grant last spring and decided to look at ways to improve a common problem in Southeast. “We were trying to figure out something that was innovative with search and rescue,” Nance said. The concept of the Edgecumbe project is to use the UAV to set up two-way communication between rescuers and the person being rescued. “So we can land this next to somebody that’s injured or on the beach, that’s trapped, and we can communicate with them,” Nance explained. He added that part of the reason they want two-way communication is to help rescuers know what the person needs and to let those stranded know that help is coming. Nance cited the 2010 rescue of Chilean miners trapped underground as an example. “You think of people that were trapped down there in that mine, and what’s the first thing (the rescuers) do? They drill that hole and they run communications down there,” Nance said. Trevor Creed, a senior from Kotzebue, is leading the tech side of the project. He said the first thing the club did was meet with Sitka Mountain Rescue to get first-hand knowledge of the challenges of rescue in Southeast. “Right in the beginning we had a meeting with the search and rescue people who we’re going to be working with,” Creed said. “We decided (the UAV) was going to be able to withstand 45-mile-per-hour winds. It has to be waterproof. It has an infrared camera for finding people in the dark.” And it’s also modular, which means any of the components can be swapped out depending on the need. The students are getting help with their camera and technical development through consultation with the University of Alaska Fairbanks and engineering Ph.D. candidate Steven Kibler. “We got $5,000 toward the infrared camera from UAF to put onto it,” Nance said. The club has been meeting one or two times a week, and after being solely committed to grant writing for the first week of school, they’re ready to spend the money they’ve received. That means new parts for the kids to work with and another ball for them to juggle: budgeting. That’s where Mt. Edgecumbe High teacher Bill Winslow and the school business club come in. Helping Creed and his fellow builders stay on the $10,000 budget is their job, as well as raising money to fill the funding gaps that may be left. For all the benefits of the grant, Nance said, there is one problem that’s particularly challenging for an Alaskan school. “The only drawback that we have with the grant is that we have to go to MIT in June and they don’t pay for airfare,” Nance said. “We have like $20,000 to raise,” said Jessica Mute, a junior helping with the fundraising. “It’s a lot,” Alyssa Berlin added. “Right now we’ve been writing letters to people letting them know what we’re doing and asking for donations.” The group already received $1,500 from CHARR and they will be appealing to major corporations doing business in Alaska for additional donations. Between the engineering side and the finance side of the project there is a lot of overlap, says Felisha Orsborn, a senior from Anchorage who manages the budget, the deadlines, the collaboration and, when the time calls for it, the yelling. “The organizer is kind of in charge of making sure the business side and the tech side do their jobs,” Orsborn said. “Making sure that stuff is done on the dates they’re supposed to be done on so we don’t fall behind and then to yell when we’re not getting things done.” Orsborn said her role in the project can be as rewarding as it is frustrating, depending on the progress. “When I saw everyone together and doing their job that was the best part for me because I like to see people cooperating,” Orsborn said. One hurdle the group has cleared is getting parts on the way. The students started ordering parts for their UAV this week after the money came through. Plans call for the flying machines to be small, and driven by up to four propellers. Creed is currently developing a test to find out what the most efficient parts will be for the project. He is using his welding-classes at UAS-Sitka campus to build a thrust-tester for battery-powered motors. “We’re going to find out what motor has the most thrust using the least amount of amperage through the battery,” Creed said. Creed said he’s been trying to fix things in his house for as long as he can remember, so it was natural for him to jump into the engineering side of the project with both feet. But he said he’s also enjoyed the added variables of budgeting and fundraising. “We don’t want the business side to just be all business ... and we don’t want the tech side to not know what the business side is doing,” Creed said. However, Thomas Ervin, a senior from Tok and Creed’s right-hand man, said he prefers to focus on the numbers. “The only aspect I really tie myself into is the cost,” he said. “You can’t be spending so-and-so amount of money, but then again I’ve never had $10,000 to just blow and make a quad-copter.” The project even includes a public relations component. Fredrick Coolidge, a junior from Aleknagik, will make a video to document the students’ work. Creed and Ervin expect the parts to begin arriving in the next couple of weeks and are hoping to have a prototype developed in the next five weeks.
INVENTEAM – Mt. Edgecumbe High School students in the Invent Club stand with instructors and sponsors after their invention was selected for funding of up to $10,000 through the Lemelson-Mass. Institute of Technology program. Their invention, an unmanned areal vehicle with a two-way radio, a forward infrared camera and a GPS would be used by search and rescue crews. As one of only 15 nationwide to receive the Lemelson–MIT grant, students will showcase a prototype of their invention at EurkekaFest at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. Stan Filler, a president of CHARR, second from left, gave the club $1,000 from his organization to help fund the project. Justin Lai, front left, of the MIT school of Engineering flew to Sitka to present the award and talk with the student inventors. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)
By KRISTIN SCOTCHMER
MEHS Recreation Coordinator
“As I looked outside the jet's window my first time flying to Sitka, I saw Mt. Edgecumbe and knew I wanted to climb it someday. After four years at Mt. Edgecumbe High School, I finally got to conquer the mountain with my friends. I am thankful of our school's Rec Staff for making this trip happen.” ~Deirdre Creed, a senior from Kotzebue
Creed was among the 35 Mt. Edgecumbe High School students who woke up early on Sunday, September 15, for the chance to climb Mt. Edgecumbe volcano. It is unknown when the last successful MEHS hike up the volcano took place. Weather often forces the trip to be cancelled; but this year, thanks to a sunny day and a group of energetic students, the trip finally happened.
Since many students dream of climbing Mt. Edgecumbe, but have never had the chance, recreation staff made this a “senior priority” trip. Seniors were allowed to sign up first before the list was opened to juniors and then underclassmen. The list filled up quickly as students ran from their classes in hopes of getting a spot. Students knew that this was more than just a hike.
"To be able to climb the mountain that not only represents our school but is also a landmark of Sitka, was something truly special,” said Cole Johnson, a senior from Tok.
Although the goal for many was to reach the top, students also said they enjoyed the entire hike.
“The scenery was beautiful,” said senior Francine Tikiun. “I liked taking my time taking photos.”
At the mandatory meeting before the trip, students were warned that the hike would be very difficult, but there would be three different groups based on hiking experience. This allowed students to go at their own pace.
“I remember that it was really challenging,” said Kayleen Teeluk, a senior from Kotlik. “I thought I wouldn’t reach the top, but then I tried my hardest and I made it. It was a really great experience.”
From the beach to the summit, the trail is 6.7 miles long. The trail climbs gradually for the first four miles on boardwalks through muskegs until it reaches a three-sided shelter. After the shelter, the trail steepens as it approaches the cone. At just over 6 miles into the hike and at an elevation of 2,000 feet, the trail emerges above the treeline. From here, the steepest part remains as hikers climb straight up the side of the volcano. In just over half a mile, the trail gains over 1,000 feet.
“It felt pretty amazing to reach the top because I didn’t think I would make it,” said senior Mahlet Herrman from Dillingham.
When the students and staff reached the summit, they ate lunch, took photos and some ventured down into the crater with Matt Hunter, a math teacher at MEHS. After taking a group photo, they descended down the mountain. The students were in awe of how long it took to get up, but how quickly they got down.
At one point, a student looked back at the volcano and said, “Now, every time I look at Mt. Edgecumbe, I’ll know that I stood on top of it.”
Recreation staff members hope that they can make this trip happen every year, but as in previous years, weather is always an issue. The beginning of the school year is the best time to hike Mt. Edgecumbe because there is enough daylight and snow becomes hazardous during the winter and spring with the risk of avalanches. For now, we can only hope that the trip will become a yearly tradition and we can all imagine ourselves standing on the top one day.
By TOM HESSESentinel Staff Writer The top two finishers in the boys 3A Regional cross country meet this weekend were two of the runners who knew the course best. Sitka’s David Wilcox and Mt. Edgecumbe’s Cole Johnson finished first and second, respectively, in the Region V championship race Saturday morning. After navigating the twists and turns of the Sitka National Historical Park trails, Wilcox broke the tape at the 17:37 mark and Johnson came in six seconds later. “I was really nervous about Cole. He was in front of me for almost the whole race and I just managed to catch him at the bridge and pass him,” the freshman Wilcox said. Wilcox and Johnson finished the same way their teams did. Both Mt. Edgecumbe and Sitka will take their boys teams to the state meet at Bartlett High School in Anchorage this weekend. Sitka finished in the top spot with 58 points compared to Mt. Edgecumbe’s 91. “David Wilcox winning the regional meet as a freshman was definitely one of the highlights of the day. I was very proud of the boys’ team. They have worked so hard this whole season and to see it all come together when it needed to was wonderful,” Sitka coach Shasta Smith said. Sitka’s Colin Baciocco (18:08) finished in sixth place and Alec Duncan (18:38) came in at the number 12 spot. The Braves got their second runner over the line at the 18:44 mark when Jason Young finished in 14th place. Mt. Edgecumbe’s James Simeonoff (19:21) and Trevor Creed (19:36) came in at 23 and 27. The rest of the Braves runners finished in the mid 30s. Andy Karmun came in 33rd and Nick Bouker and Jared Olin-Duncan came in 34th and 36th. The first-place Wolves squeezed in all their runners before the 20-minute mark. Jorge Bautista finished in 17th place at 19:02 and Jordan Zellhuber (19:24) and Trevor Schoening (19:27) finished back-to-back at 25 and 26. Joey Inman rounded out the Wolves with a 31st place finish. In the girls’ race it was Thorne Bay’s Taylee Nyquest and then everybody else. Nyquest finished the race in 18:40 and had to wait two full minutes to see her closest competition cross the line in front of the Sitka Sound Science Center. Sid Riggs finished in fourth place for Sitka at 21:10. Jo Zaczkowski finished in seventh for the Lady Braves at 21:23, and around then the battle for second place in team scoring was on. Petersburg won the girls race handily with 39 team points but the competition for second place, and therefore a team bid to the state meet, was much tighter. After 24 minutes of racing, Craig, Sitka and Mt. Edgecumbe had all crossed four runners and Mt. Edgecumbe coach Josh Arnold was standing at the finish line hoping the next jersey to cross would be Cardinal and Gold. “That girls race; I was standing there, I watched the first four Sitka runners, I watched the first four Craig runner and I watched all four of our runners cross and, of course at this point the Petersburg girls had already finished their top five,” Arnold said. “I just stood there at the finish line praying for my fifth runner ... and then I saw Brittany Woods-Orrison and I saw she had a Sitka girl behind her and I just started screaming for her to go faster.” Woods-Orrison crossed the line just five seconds ahead of Sitka’s Kelcie VonSheershmidt in 27th place. Shandel Pingayak (22:10) and Ashlyn Luckhurst (22:12) finished back-to-back in 11th and 12th place. Their efforts, along with Jasmine Jemewouk’s (22:45) 17th place finish helped carry the Lady Braves to the second-place finish. Sitka and Craig just missed second place in a competitive girls’ race. “We’re talking about a couple of teams separated by a handful of points,” Arnold said. Deirdre Creed (24:35) and Gabby Grady (24:57) rounded out the Mt. Edgecumbe runners with 29th and 33rd place finishes. “We knew the girl’s race was going to be tight for second place. It was extremely close, six points is heartbreaking,” Smith said. For the Lady Wolves, Crystal Widmier finished five spots behind her teammate Riggs with a ninth place finish in 21:41. Freshman Zoe Krupa came in at 23:10 for a 21st place finish and teammate Ava Parrish (23:18) crossed a spot later in 23rd place for the Lady Wolves. Smith said that Parrish’s run was more than a minute better than anything she’s done all season. Kaycie Coleman (25:50) and Ellie Cagle (26:10) finished within a spot of each other for 39th and 41st place, respectively. Arnold said he’s pleased with his team’s performance in a tough field and he’s hoping he can get just a little bit more out of his teams for the state meets. “I’m excited to take two teams up to Anchorage. We’re still getting faster. I’ve got seven girls and seven boys and I’m going to push them hard this week,” Arnold said. Wilcox said he’s looking forward to pushing up his time this weekend at state, and he already has an eye on the competition. “I looked at some of the times for the top people in the state and right now I’d be like 10 or 15 or in that area,” Wilcox said. “I feel like I could go faster at the beginning because what I normally do is start out slow and then speed up a bunch and then I just start passing people left and right.” Arnold said Johnson and Wilcox have pushed each other all season long and he’s expecting one more week of that. “Competition makes us faster so knowing that David was there makes Cole that much faster and Cole makes David that much faster,” Arnold said.
Girls’ team scores
1. Petersburg – 39
2. Mt. Edgecumbe – 63
3. Craig – 69
4. Sitka – 69
5. Haines – 115
Boys’ team scores
1. Sitka – 58
2. Mt. Edgecumbe – 91
3. Wrangell – 105
4. Skagway – 125
5. Petersburg – 127
6. Craig – 131
7. Haines – 152
8. Yakutat – 153
9. Klawock – 183
10. Hydaburg – 291
Mt. Edgecumbe girls
7. Jo Zaczkowski – 21:23
11. Shandel Pingayak – 22:10
12. Ashlyn Luckhurst – 22:12
17. Jasmine Jemewouk – 22:45
27. Brittany Woods-Orrison – 24:17
29. Deirdre Creed – 24:35
33. Gabby Grady – 24:57
Mt. Edgecumbe boys
2. Cole Johnson – 17:43
14. Jason Young – 18:44
23. James Simeonoff – 19:21
27. Trevor Creed – 19:36
33. Andy Karmun – 19:58
34. Nick Bouker – 20:02
36. Jared Olin-Duncan – 20:10