Regional Wrestling, Volleyball Teams Compete In Kotzebue, Unalakleet

Wrestlers wrestle on a yellow mat surrounded by watching fans

As regional championships for wrestling and Bering Strait School District volleyball near, athletes from around the region headed to invitational competitions in Kotzebue and Unalakleet this weekend.

The Kotzebue Huskies hosted the Bush Brawl Tournament, which drew over 100 wrestlers from 21 communities. Elementary, middle, and high school teams from Kotzebue and Nome all competed.

The Nome High School team had the highest win percentage, taking just over 70 percent of their 53 matches.

The Nanooks’ winning athletes included high-schoolers Caleb Evatt, Ben Cross and Sierra Tucker; and middle-schoolers David Cardenas, Karlin Awinona-Smith, Duke McGuffey, and Ethan Hannon.

In Unalakleet, Wolfpack volleyball hosted the annual Mixed-Six Smash Classic. Tanalian came back through the loser’s bracket to challenge Unalakleet in the double-elimination final. After two close championship matches, the Wolfpack claimed victory at home.

White Mountain remains the top-seeded team heading into this weekend’s Mixed-Six Western Conference Tournament in St. Michael. A winning performance from the Wolves could upset Golovin and Unalakleet, who have claimed the two state-bound spots 16 out of the past 17 years.

And on the horizon for wrestling: at least 50 wrestling teams from around Alaska, including Nome and Kotzebue, will be heading to Palmer this weekend for the Lancer Smith Memorial Tournament.

A wrestling match at the Unalakleet Elementary/Junior High Wrestling and Cheerleading Tournament in early November (Photo: Karen Trop, KNOM, 2017)