Buccaneer football bitten by Bulldogs
The Valdez High School volleyball team put on quite a show for the home crowd last weekend. The Lady Bucs went 14-1 against Cordova, Kotzebue, Glennallen, Barrow, Galena, Houston, and West Valley’s junior varsity team over two days to win the Valdez Invitational.
Valdez had no problems on the first day. The Lady Bucs went 8-0 during the round robin portion of the tournament.
“It was a really nice day,” Coach Cassie Carey said. “ Everything seemed to just fall into place. The girls played with a high intensity level.”
Despite going undefeated, Carey admits there were times when the team struggled.
“Sometime we struggled with serving and that’s because I usually have place serve,” Carey said. “When you are beating teams, it’s a great time to take chances and try better at certain things like that.”
The perfect day gave the Lady Bucs the number one seed in Gold Division.
The Lady Bucs extended their winning streak to 12 when it beat West Valley, Barrow, and Cordova in the Gold Division. Valdez and West Valley finished 1 and 2, respectively, to earn berths in the championship match. Valdez’s streak came to a halt after West Valley beat it in the first game, 25-22. The Lady Bucs rebounded to win the second game, 25-11. The Lady Bucs would take the third game, 15-9, to win the tournament title.
“It was intense,” Caery said of the title game. “I was really happy that they were able to pull it off when we went to that third game.”
The Lady Bucs stay at home this weekend for an Aurora Conference showdown with Monroe Catholic.
For an experienced Valdez High School football team, the goal for this season was to have a .500 record and make the playoffs for the first time in school history. Those hopes were dashed when the defending Greatland Conference champion Nikiski dealt a crushing 53-0 home loss to the Bucs last weekend.
“We were physically out-manned,” Bucs coach Lea Cockerham said. “Nikiski runs a very sophisticated offense. They caught us out-positioned.”
Muddy conditions were factors in the teams woes on offense, especially in the passing game. The Bucs were unable to get the offense moving in the first half.
Nikiski had no problems with scoring. The Bulldogs, who are known for their strong running attack, implemented the passing game and put up 44 points on the Bucs in the first half.
“We weren’t expecting that,” Cockerham said of Nikiski’s passing game. “That’s a potent offense right now because they run the Winged-T so well. And now that they are passing, especially in these conditions, that’s going to be a tough team to beat.”
Nikiski closed out the game with three straight field goals.
The loss drops the Bucs to 1-4 in the conference and 1-5 on the season.
Valdez may not be playing for the conference title, but it will play for something. The Pipeline Trophy will be on the line as the Bucs plays Barrow for Homecoming. The Whalers are 4-1 this season and 3-1 in the conference. Kickoff time is at 1 p.m. this Saturday.
(Editor’s note: Reporter Tony Gorman’s camera was lost during sporting events. If you find a black Samsung camera, please return it to KCHU Public Radio or offices of the Valdez Star.)