What a year it was for Kodiak High School.
Here are the top 10 stories of the school year as judged by Daily Mirror sports reporter Derek Clarkston.
10. Year of the coaches
Kodiak had a remarkable cadre of coaches of the year. Earning awards were: John Lindquist (swimming), Amy Willis (volleyball), David Anderson (boys basketball), Amy Fogle (girls basketball), James Arnold (baseball), Sean Costello (wrestling).
Fogle, Anderson and Costello all won state coach of the year honors.
9. South Division champs
Kodiak’s baseball season ended a week before the state tournament, but the Bears did produce during the conference season, going 9-1 and winning the South Division of the Southcentral Conference.
Senior Austin Frick was named the South Division most valuable player, while sophomore Jon LeVan earned first-team honors.
8. Extending the streak
All the way back in September, Kodiak’s cross country team extended its Region III Championship winning streak to 12, beating Colony by three points. Levi Thomet won the race, but it was Keith Osowski who sealed the Bears’ win with a sixth-place finish. The freshman was normally Kodiak’s No. 5 runner, but was the Bears’ No. 2 runner at regions.
7. Queens of the diamond
Kodiak’s softball season ended short of the ultimate prize, but the team did achieve its goal of claiming the Northern Lights Conference crown — its first since 2009.
6. Ruling the hardwood
In March, Kodiak’s basketball team beat Colony, 56-50, to win its first Northern Lights Conference crown since 2001.
The Bears ended up losing both of their games at the state tournament to finish tied for seventh.
Frick and Alec Canete-Hall were both received NLC first-team honors.
5. Spiking the competition
A senior-laden volleyball team captured the school’s first Northern Lights Conference title since 1998 and placed third at the state championships in November.
Kodiak went a perfect 10-0 against NLC competition in the regular season.
4. Under the spotlight
In February, Joel Valdez and Kerry Powers both claimed state titles at the state championships at Bartlett High School in Anchorage.
Valdez took the 113-pound title with an injury default victory over Matt Glover of South Anchorage, while Powers edged rival Caleb Deemer of Palmer, 1-0, in the 195-pound championship match.
A week before the state tournament, Andrew Caballa won his third consecutive Region III title. Caballa placed second at state, along with Jay-Ar Small and Leo Sega.
3. Swimming duo
Junior swimmers Ila Hughes and Tahna Lindquist continued their domination over Alaska competition this season.
Lindquist captured her third consecutive state titles in the 200-yard individual medley and the 500 freestyle and was named the state’s female swimmer of the year for the second straight season.
Hughes won her first 200 freestyle state title and her third 100 freestyle title in November in Anchorage.
The two finished their high school season at the Speedo Winter Junior National Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina.
2. Running sensation
Junior Levi Thomet had another spectacular season. During the fall, Thomet captured his second consecutive state cross country title and advanced all the way to the Foot Locker Nationals in California where he placed 16th.
In the spring, Thomet became only the third boy in state history to win the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meters at the state meet. He was also a member of the winning 3,200 relay team.
Was there really any doubt that the Kodiak girls basketball team would not be in the top spot?
The Bears put together a season that will never be forgotten here on the island. The senior-laden team faced 27 opponents and sent all 27 home with an L. Just like a perfect game in baseball, it was 27 up and 27 down.
Kodiak capped its perfect season with a 65-41 victory over Colony in the state championship game in March at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, a game in which all five starters scored in double figures.
The girls basketball team could have easily taken up every spot in this Top 10 countdown, with Jerica Nelson winning the NLC player of the year award, Hannah Wandersee ending her career with more than 1,000 points and every starter on the team moving on to play college hoops.
Contact Derek Clarkston at email@example.com.