High school football scrimmages mark the start of Fall athletics

Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 6:45 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - High school football scrimmages marked the start of Fall athletics in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District area. Monroe faced Eielson while Lathrop took on North Pole in pre-season action.

Lathrop @ North Pole

The Lathrop Malemutes football program faced the North Pole Patriots ahead of the 2020 season. Lathrop have a new quarterback with Jarren Littell and many of their skilled positions are filled with juniors. The Malemutes are the defending Railbelt Conference champions and were the runner-ups in the 2019 state championship.

“Man it was so much fun. We’re fully aware on how lucky we are to be out here playing football,” said Lathrop Head Coach Luke Balash. “We recognize that 90% of the kids are staying at home right and don’t get to play football.”

Lathrop’s first game in the 2020 season is against the West Valley Wolfpack for a non-conference contest on August 22 at 5 P.M. at Lathrop.

The Patriots are under second year Head Coach Mike Hollett who is looking to take North Pole’s program to the next level in the Railbelt Conference. The Patriots have many of their skilled positions filled with young players who are learning to build the program up.

“It’s always good to be able to hit somebody in another color,” said Coach Hollett. “You know that’s what we talked about this week our goal was to come out here and get better. So we’ll take a lot of lessons, we saw a lot that we can get better at.”

The Patriots prepare for the Blood Bowl on Friday when they take on the Eielson Ravens at 7 P.M. in North Pole.

North Pole hosts Lathrop for a scrimmage.
North Pole hosts Lathrop for a scrimmage.(Jordan Rodenberger/KTVF/August 14, 2020)

Eielson @ Monroe

The Monroe Catholic Rams are under a new coaching regime headlined by Kyle Allison and they hosted Aurora Conference rival Eielson Ravens for a scrimmage at the Kiwanis Field. Coming over from West Valley is starting quarterback Shaun Conwell who showed some speed outside of the pocket for the Rams. The defense was also fast off the snap.

“Only winning four games and losing three games and still not going to the playoffs like yeah, but I think that we did pretty good today” said Mornoe’s Evan Puryear.

“Team could have done better but I think we did pretty good for our first scrimmage, always room for improvement.” said Monroe’s Jabin Collins.

Monroe will face the Valdez Buccaneers on Saturday at 1 P.M. at Kiwanis Field.

The Eielson Ravens are under a new interim Head Coach with Jacob Borkovec who replaces former coach David DeVaughn who led the program for the past 20 years. Eielson is another team in Interior, Alaska that is littered with young players. However, there are some returning players that are learning under the new coaches.

“It’s definitely different to learn a whole new offense and two new coaches that I have never met before but I’m confident about it and I’m liking the new system that we have.” said Eielson’s Will McManus.

“Every coach brings a different thing to the table and I think we’re good to go this year.” said Eielson’s Braden Grorud.

Eielson faces the North Pole Patriots on Friday for the annual Blood Bowl at 7 P.M. in North Pole.

Monroe scores against Eielson.
Monroe scores against Eielson.(Aaron Walling/KTVF/August 14, 2020)

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