Interior football coaches react to new Classifications

By  | 

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The ASAA made some massive changes to classification for High School Football.
These moves sent West Valley and Lathrop down to Division 2, while North Pole stayed at the D-2 level, despite their desire to move up next season.
I spoke with the coaches affected by this Gridiron Facelift today to see how they feel about their new homes.
Devin Fry; Reporting>>: The Alaska School Activities Association recently announced changes to the Alignment for High School Football that completely changed the conferences for several of our Interior Teams.
The Interior Coaches are taking the moves in stride, and look forward to new challenges.
Luke Balash; Head Coach - Lathrop Malemutes>>: "As a coach I've always been in the spot of just taking whatever they can throw at us. And last year we had a really tough schedule and we didn't complain or fuss, we said hey let's take it and do the best we can with it. All in all it sounds like a good move for the State. It's kind of what the coaches all agreed on."
Dennis Diviney; Head Coach - North Pole Patriots>>: "I think doing the alignment the way they did it was probably about the best we could do right now with the mindset and the teams we have. We really need to expand and get more schools to buy in and add football. But I understand the expense and economic hardships that some of the Schools are going through. I really do think that the Alignment is good for Alaska Football. It makes us a lot more competitive in the medium schools, pulling Lathrop and West Valley down."
Kyle Allison; Head Coach - West Valley Wolfpack>>: "You know I think the choice that ASAA made was the better of the couple options that were on the table at the end of last year when they had wanted to possibly make it only two divisions, where it would be somewhat of a large school and a small school type of scenario. So, I'm glad that they still stuck to three divisions and realigned within the divisions the new conferences. Now I think you'll see a little more competitive football within each division."
Devin Fry; Reporting>>: All the coaches are looking forward to different aspects of the new alignment, whether it's rekindling old rivalries for the North Pole Patriots,
Dennis Diviney; Head Coach - North Pole Patriots>>: "What I'm trying to do with Eielson is get the Blood Bowl reinstated. We had a Blood Bowl in years past, and Blood Bank of Alaska, they'd bring the mobile units out and that was pretty successful. I've got a call in to Dave Devaughn and I'm hoping that he's amenable to us about reinstating that Blood Bowl up here as well."
Devin Fry; Reporting>>: Or strengthening the community by playing other interior schools more often,
Kyle Allison; Head Coach - West Valley Wolfpack>>: "One of the Major ones that needed to happen, I think, for a while now was bringing North Pole back into the conference or at least into the fold and making sure we're playing them each year. From a geographic standpoint and financially, and the strength of the community here in Fairbanks, I think it was a great move for them to do. We needed to play North Pole just as much as North Pole needs to play West Valley and Lathrop. And keep that rivalry going that fuels us here in the Interior."
Devin Fry; Reporting>>: Or even exciting postseason opportunities down the road.
Luke Balash; Head Coach - Lathrop Malemutes>>: "I've been promised that we'll have a chance to, in years after that, if we can win our little conference then we'd be able to host a home playoff game in years after that. I'm hoping that that stays true. That'll give you something to shoot for because a home playoff game is a big financial swing for a team and a community."
Devin Fry; Reporting>>: Our Interior coaches and their teams are excited for these new opportunities in this new era of Alaska Football.
This is Devin Fry reporting.