High School Sports

Two Anchorage football teams will sit this week to allow two Fairbanks schools to play each other

In a topsy-turvy season of football, this week could be the topsy-turviest of them all.

Two Anchorage schools -- West High and Dimond High -- won’t play this weekend in order to allow two Fairbanks teams -- North Pole and Lathrop -- a chance to make up a game postponed by COVID-19 earlier this season.

A third Fairbanks team, Monroe Catholic, will play a junior varsity team rather than go three straight weeks without a game. The Rams’ game against Eielson was cancelled because of an Eielson roster depleted by COVID-19 contact tracing, injuries and disciplinary reasons, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

And the Houston Hawks have the weekend free as their scheduled opponent, the Barrow Whalers, continues to deal with school closures because of the COVID-19 virus. The high school in Utqiagvik has been closed to in-person learning for most of the month, and remote learning will continue through the end of next week.

It has been decided that Utqiagvik schools will remain closed until Monday, October 4th. Further details concerning school work will be published in a day or two.

Posted by Daily Bulletin Barrow High on Monday, September 20, 2021

Cancellations and postponements have made a big impact on high school football this season as Alaska contends with soaring COVID-19 cases. This is the seventh weekend of the season, but only seven out of 27 teams have played six games.

With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, the West Eagles and Dimond Lynx were both scheduled to play nonconference games this week against Fairbanks schools -- West was supposed to head north for a game against Lathrop, and Dimond was supposed to host North Pole.

But North Pole has missed two games in a row because of COVID-19 protocols, including a Railbelt Conference game against Lathrop. In order for those teams to make up the critical conference game -- the Patriots and Malemutes are both 1-0 in league play -- the games involving West and Dimond were cancelled, according to the Anchorage School District.

That cleared the way for a Thursday night game between North Pole and Lathrop that will help decide the Railbelt championship.

Little was at stake in the Denali Conference game between the first-place Monroe Rams and last-place Eielson Ravens. But Eielson’s forfeit meant the Rams would go without a game for a third straight week (they were scheduled to be off on one of those weekends and had a game against Barrow cancelled on the other).

Plus, this weekend was supposed to be homecoming and senior night for Monroe. The school salvaged those celebrations by scheduling a Friday night game against the Lathrop JV team.

There’s only one game in Anchorage this week -- Saturday afternoon’s East Side Boot game between East (5-1 overall, 4-1 Cook Inlet Conference) and Bartlett (3-3, 2-3).

The teams meet at 4 p.m. at East High to continue a rivalry game that honors East High all-state defensive lineman Aanooali “Auno” Filoialli, who died in a car accident in 2002. Ever since then, the east-side schools have played for a trophy that includes a bronzed cleat worn by Filoialli.

Standings after 6 weeks (overall, conference)

Division I

Cook Inlet Conference

Juneau 5-1, 5-1

East 5-1, 4-1

West 4-2, 4-2

Colony 4-2, 2-2

South 2-3, 2-2

Bartlett 3-3, 2-3

Service 1-5, 1-4

Dimond 0-5, 0-5

Division II

Northern Lights Conference

Soldotna 4-1, 3-0

Eagle River 4-1, 2-1

Wasilla 4-2, 1-1

Palmer 0-2, 2-4

Chugiak 0-2, 2-4

Railbelt Conference

North Pole 3-0, 1-0

Lathrop 4-1, 1-0

West Valley 1-4, 0-1

Kodiak 0-4, 0-1

Division III

Denali Conference

Monroe 4-1, 3-0

Seward 2-2, 1-1

Valdez 2-2, 1-1

Nikiski 1-4, 1-1

Eielson 0-5, 0-3

Mid Alaska

Redington 5-0, 2-0

Houston 3-3, 2-0

Kenai 1-3, 1-2

Barrow 1-1, 0-1

Homer 1-4, 0-2

Week 7 games

Thursday

Lathrop at North Pole, 6 p.m.

Friday

Wasilla at Soldotna, 5 p.m.

Redington at Homer, 5:30 p.m.

Lathrop JV at Monroe, 6 p.m.

Service at Colony, 7 p.m.

Chugiak at Palmer, 7 p.m.

Kodiak at West Valley, 7 p.m.

Saturday

Eagle River at Kenai Central, 2 p.m.

Valdez at Nikiski, 2 p.m.

South at Juneau, 3 p.m.

Bartlett at East, 4 p.m.

Cancelled games

North Pole at Dimond

West at Lathrop

Barrow at Houston

Eielson at Monroe



Beth Bragg

Beth Bragg wrote about sports and other topics for the ADN for more than 35 years, much of it as sports editor. She retired in October 2021. She's contributing coverage of Alaskans involved in the 2022 Winter Olympics.

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