Canceled Dimond football game affects other schools

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Dimond High School isn't the only team who's had its football season impacted. The Colony Knights were supposed to take on the Lynx Friday night in the Mat-Su Borough. But because of the Anchorage School District putting the football program at DHS on hold, the Knights too will play one less game this season.

While the game will be classified as a win for the Knights, the seniors at Colony High say it feels like a loss. Unlike other high school football teams in the Lower 48, weather in Alaska limits the amount of on-field action the athletes see. It also means one less chance to impress any college football recruiters that could help players both continue their football career and further their education by landing a scholarship offer.

"As a senior, games are few and far between so it just kind of sucks that we don't get another game that we can't get back," said Julian McPhail, senior at Colony High.

"We've all been seeing the stuff on the news, seeing the story develop and he (coach) told us that we weren't going to have a game. I think it's just made everyone think to be smart and do the right thing," said Eric Christy, another player on the Knights' team.

Two high schools told Channel 2 that games between big schools can raise as much as $5,000 for programs. That money goes toward things like safety gear, equipment, and other necessities. Other school districts commented on what they do to ensure that no alleged hazing incidents happen between their students.

"For us this just continues the conversations that we've already been having. These athletes are student-athletes, they know what good sportsmanship is and we just trust our coaches and our staff to act accordingly," said Jillian Morrissey, Public Information Officer for the Mat-Su Borough School District.

"The coaches are really critical, or activity sponsors, or whoever's working with kids. Teachers can help pass on the message, principals can say something, and the school board can take a stand, but the coaches on the field, in practices, on travel. How they interact with kids and what their expectations for behavior are huge," said Karen Gaborik, Superintendent of the Fairbanks-North Star Borough School District.

On Friday the Lynx will officially miss their first game, which was originally scheduled to kick off against the Colony Knights. ASD has yet to say if the DHS football program will remain on hold next week.

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