The high school football season will continue Saturday in Anchorage, where two semifinal games will be played in a makeshift Anchorage School District tournament put together after the cancellation of the state championship event.
The ASD tournament will involve six of the city’s eight teams and will run on two straight weekends.
It will crown a region champion but not an official state champion — on Tuesday, the Alaska School Activities Association voted to cancel state championship events in all fall sports because of rising COVID-19 numbers in the state.
The ASD event begins Saturday with a pair of 2 p.m. games. The undefeated East Thunderbirds will host the West Eagles and the reigning state champion South Wolverines will host the Bartlett Golden Bears.
The winners of those games will meet the following weekend for the tournament championship. The losers will play for third place, and Chugiak and Service — who won’t play this week — will meet in a game for fifth place.
As far as East coach Jeff Trotter is concerned, the stakes are high and the prize is big.
“I told our kids, look, we’ve been the first-place team from the beginning of the season, and if we’re the first-place team at the end of the season we’re the state champions,” he said.
All of the teams play in Division I, which is for Alaska’s biggest schools. So do the Dimond Lynx, whose season ended when the team went into quarantine.
Eagle River is the ASD’s eighth high school, a Division II team for Alaska’s medium-sized schools, and a quarantine ended their season too.
[Because of a high volume of comments requiring moderation, we are temporarily disabling comments on many of our articles so editors can focus on the coronavirus crisis and other coverage. We invite you to write a letter to the editor or reach out directly if you’d like to communicate with us about a particular article. Thanks.]