High School volleyball team looks to Regionals

Skagway’s Panthers practice in the school gymnasium. PHOTO BY DAN FOX

Skagway’s volleyball players are preparing for the Regional Volleyball Championship in Petersburg, which is coming up quickly on Nov. 17-18

“It will be neat to see how we can take advantage of some extra practice time instead of a lot of travel time,” coach Aaron Schmidt said. “I’d love to really come to regionals in Petersburg with fire in our eyes and really shock some folks.”

The team had planned to head to Metlakatla, Alaska, in the week of Oct. 30 for the second of the season’s two seeding tournaments. However, Schmidt said that the passing of a community member had impacted several of the players, and the team made the choice to stay home.

“And frankly I encourage them in that, or at least gave them the freedom to make that choice,” Schmidt said. “I think there are things in life more important than volleyball and sports.”

Schmidt has been working bigger concepts than hitting the ball into volleyball practice, like having fun win or lose, and enjoying the contest and camaraderie of the game.

“Play with joy, also lift up the people around you – light other people’s candles, as a great football coach in Washington put it,” Schmidt said, referencing Forrest “Frosty” Westering, an American football coach.

The girls on the team have been doing a good job of leading through example, Schmidt said.

“Jenny Hansen leads through just having a good attitude, being there with a smile on her face and hustling like crazy, working her butt off,” Schmidt said.
Eighth grader Zoe Whitehead is another instance of leading by example – Schmidt said Whitehead has really grown as a player, which encourages her teammates.

“To turn your focus outwards and see growth in others is just generally inspiring and life-affirming,” Schmidt said. “I feel like Iraida Hisman has been doing that as well, really stepping up her game…it’s just cool to see, and the neat thing about it, and part of why it’s inspiring is that all the players have skin in that game. All the other players are part of each other’s growth.

“So when you see younger players like Zoe and Iraida really making gains, that’s much to the credit of everybody around them, especially on such a small squad.”

‘Stonecliff’ puts music to Skagway history

Coming to Skagway on Nov. 15, the musical “Stonecliff” will tell the life story of Michael J. Heney, the man who played a pivotal role in the construction of the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad.

“Stonecliff” follows Heney through his early days – after he ran away from his family farm at the age of 14 to work on the Canadian Pacific Railway – through the building of the White Pass railroad and ultimately to his demise as a result of a shipwreck in the Inside Passage.

Conrad Boyce, writer and organizer of “Stonecliff,” said Heney’s life tale is an “amazing and tragic story.”

“Stonecliff” will be performed in Skagway on Nov. 15 at the school. Admission is by donation. The show will start at 6:30 p.m. The musical will also play at the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, for $30 (Canadian) a seat at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 17, 1 p.m. on Nov. 18 and 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 (Alaska time).

-DAN FOX

Chilkoot Trail Artists in Residence selected for 2018

The Yukon Arts Centre, the National Park Service, Parks Canada and the Skagway Arts Council have announced the names of the three artists selected for the 2018 Chilkoot Trail Artist Residency Program.

These participants will combine their artistic abilities and love of the outdoors to offer a unique experience for visitors along the iconic Chilkoot Trail.

The program, which is in its eighth consecutive year, invites selected artists to hike the famous Chilkoot Trail, following in the footsteps of Tlingit traders and turn-of-the-century prospectors from the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Alaska to the Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site in Canada.

Josh Winkler from Minnesota will be on the trail in late June/early July. Representing Alaska is artist Kristin Link, who will be hiking the trail in mid-July. Artist Hilary Lorenz from New York will be hiking at the end of July through the beginning of August.

“The Chilkoot Trail Artist Residency helps more people connect to the park and to the many stories of the Klondike Gold Rush,” Klondike Gold Rush Park Superintendent Mike Tranel said a release. “Over the past several years, we have benefited from many different artists working in a variety of media. They have impressed hikers while working along the trail, and they have enhanced memories of the trail in their public presentations afterward.

“And through their work, the artists reach people who may not be able to hike the Chilkoot Trail or who may never have heard of the site or story. The program not only raises public consciousness about the park, but also about art, public lands and stewardship overall.”

The deadline to apply for the 2019 Artists in Residence program is coming up on February 1, 2018.

If you are a visual artist and you want to spur your creativity on the Chilkoot Trail, apply to be an artist in residence in 2019. The application can be found at yukonartscentre.com/programs/chilkoot.

-NPS