Volleyball draws big interest from rural Alaska at ASAA state tournament
Volleyball teams from across Alaska are in Anchorage this weekend for the Alaska School Activities Association 2A/Mix 6 State Volleyball tournament.
Both tournaments feature some of the smallest towns and villages in the state. Mixed 6 teams are made up of three boys and three girls.
In the 2A tournament, Glennallen looks to defend its title, and the same goes for Tanalian, the school in Port Alsworth on Lake Clark, in the Mix 6 tournament.
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The tiny northwestern town of Buckland might have a small population, but it's not short on support.
Buckland principal Pedro Garcia said 25 parents accompanied the team to the state tournament in Anchorage. For a place with just over 400 people, that means they’ve got nearly 10% of their population at this weekend's tournament.
“Just being together with your teammates and coaches," is the best part, said Buckland’s Charlene Brown.
While Brown enjoys the relationship with her teammates, others enjoy the trip.
Principal Garcia says some players got to enjoy their first movie at a theater, and others went out to eat at a restaurant for the first time.
King Cove volleyball head coach Gary Lamar does it all.
On top of being the head girls’ basketball coach, Lamar is also the school’s principal.
“Sports, other than church, are the second biggest things that bring a school together,” said Lamar.
Before coming to King Cove the Bristol Bay Times reported Lamar had 500 wins in basketball and volleyball coaching in Texas.
Lamar is looking for his second 2A volleyball state championship, previously winning a state title with Point Hope, and he also coached the King Cove girls’ basketball team to a 2019 state championship.