ASD pushes high school hockey season to the spring

Published: Dec. 10, 2020 at 8:20 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage School District finalized its plans to begin the high school hockey season on March 15 and will hold a regional tournament on the week of May 3. The Anchorage high schools will only play Anchorage high schools unless COVID-19 numbers in Anchorage change, according to ASD.

“With the current emergency order in place, and [COVID-19] numbers the way they are in Anchorage,” ASD Director of Secondary Education Marty Lang said over the phone on Thursday. “We were hoping for a time when there are fewer restrictions where we are able to run a longer season.”

Current Anchorage mandates do not allow for indoor competition, and Lang said the Alaska School Activities Association laid out a revised calendar for winter sports that allowed for flexibility for high school hockey.

“Having a late March start is awesome,” Dimond High School varsity hockey head coach Dennis Sorenson said. “I know my seniors are going to be excited.”

Sorenson said he expects a bigger turnout for this high school hockey this season, and feels many of the kids who would have left to play travel or junior hockey under normal circumstances before COVID-19 stayed in Anchorage this winter.

“Being a high school athlete means a lot to these kids and for most of them it’s the last time they are going to play a real or organized sport,” Sorenson said. “We don’t know if we are going to have fans in March but we can certainly hope.”

ASD is aiming for a Jan. 11 start date for basketball and is currently working on mitigation plans. The district’s high school cross-country ski season is restricted to practice only and hope to begin racing next month.

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