The Haines Highschool wrestling team returns to competitive action for the first time in two weeks, as it plays host to a tournament in Haines this weekend, Nov. 18 and 19.  

This is the team’s only home meet and the excitement is high.

Coach Dennis Durr said the past two weeks without a match have been used to review on-the-mat strategies with his wrestlers rather than enduring long ferry commutes to matches.

“It’s kind of a plus to have had this break to work on technique and conditioning rather than spending 4-5 days a week on the ferry,” he said. “Guys focused on getting better, instead of just sitting around waiting to get to the competition.”

Seniors Mori Hays and Ketch Jacobson will both be competing at lower weight classes, which Durr thinks will increase their success. Hays will wrestle at 138 pounds and Jacobson at 145 pounds.  

“It doesn’t always correlate that dropping weight is better,” Durr said. “But just from looking at their weight class competition it should be good for both of them to slim down.”

Kamakana Kanahele, a participant at state last year in the 220-pound division, issued this challenge to his cousin, Carl Tupou of Juneau. Even though he’s lost to Tupou this season, he continued to fan the flames of the pair’s family rivalry.

“If Carl’s not too afraid to show up, my plan is to meet him in the main course (the spotlight match).”              

Freshmen Karl Gillham and Nathan Haas will also be wrestling this weekend.  

The tournament features wrestlers from Craig, Juneau, Metlakatla, Sitka and Skagway.  

Competition begins Friday at 4 p.m. and there will be feature matches on Friday night. Competition resumes Saturday morning at 10 a.m. and continues until approximately 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon.  

Durr encourages fans, friends and family to come and go throughout the day to support local wrestlers and regional athletes.