Many people in Homer High School are wondering why our football team had to make the long trip down to Juneau once again this year when we have a better record than every school our size except for Sohi. Earlier in the year our Mariners beat the team they’re playing this weekend, the Thunder Mountain Falcons, 84-20. This would normally mean that had earned home field in our first playoff game, which can make the difference in who makes it to the state championship. Not this year however.
Starting this year, a third state championship was added to the original two, so not only are there small and large school championships, but also a medium one from now on. The medium school season, divided into two brackets, has nine schools all together; the Northern Lights conference with six teams, and the Southeast conference with three. The Northern Lights conference’s top three teams, combined with the top team from the Southeast conference, make up the four teams that enter the playoffs for medium schools in Alaska. The playoffs games are run so that the number one seed in the Northern Lights conference plays the number three, and the number two seed plays the number one seed in the Southeastern conference.
The Southeast conference only has one seed though. This means that every year from now on, their top team will receive a first place seat and get home field advantage in the playoffs. This is why our Mariners, even after finishing the season with an outstanding 7-1 record, must once again make the long trip down to Juneau. Dr. Gee is fighting this issue, as are the other peninsula schools who don’t think this new arrangement is fair. “They wanted to have two separate conferences, and they wanted a guaranteed playoff seed.” said Dr. Gee, “I say that if they want to get in the playoffs, they should start beating some teams.” Unfortunately, no official change was made this year and our team still had to take the game to the Falcon’s field. The Mariners play tonight at six.