Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Region V Executive Committee of the Alaska School Activities Association has warned Ketchikan High School of possible sanctions due to not following Region V policies concerning COVID-19 mitigations at the recent Kayhi wrestling tournament.
A formal letter sent by Region V Executive Committee president Jaime Cabral to Ketchikan High School and to ASAA Executive Director Billy Strickland noted that:
“Due to Ketchikan High School’s actions, Region 5 schools and communities have been subjected to unnecessary health and safety risks related to COVID-19. This letter is to be considered a “warning” from the Region 5 Executive Committee. The undue stress on all communities and participating schools could have and should have been avoided. Ketchikan High School’s failure to follow the plans as set forth by the Region 5 Board of Directors created a situation that put both the Region and participating schools in an unsafe and unnecessary situation. These actions may jeopardize other schools academic in-person schedules and future activities. This is unacceptable and future violations of Region 5 policies may result in Ketchikan High School being denied membership in Region 5 in the 2021-2022 school year.”
Ketchikan Athletic Director Cole Maxwell said in an email response that "the cause of the outbreak would be a question for public health or the Ketchikan EOC."
“Kayhi believed it was following protocols, but misunderstood and was not,” Maxwell noted. “That action has been corrected and Kayhi will be following the Region V wrestling mitigation plan moving forward. All spring activities are moving forward and games cancelled from this weekend are actively being rescheduled. Kayhi was issued a warning by the Region V executive board.”
Juneau-Douglas High School canceled their girls soccer trip to Ketchikan this weekend as did the Thunder Mountain boys.
Sitka High School had to cancel their home track meet and baseball games that would have featured the Ketchikan Kings.
The Native Youth Olympics Traditional Games were also affected, with the southern portion of the event that was to be held in Ketchikan rescheduled.
Ketchikan had hosted eight teams in the Region V Division II meet last Friday followed by their Bill Weiss Tournament on Saturday. Teams from Craig, Haines, Metlakatla, Mt. Edgecumbe, Petersburg, Sitka, Thorne Bay and Wrangell participated.
Ketchikan also hosted a track meet that included teams from Haines, Petersburg and Sitka.
The communication also notes that an appeal can be made to the Executive Committee within 30 days of the decision.
Some of the possible violations included not testing wrestlers within appropriate time before the tournament and not following the masking requirements at the venue. Masks are not required while in a match but are at all other times in the venue by wrestlers and fans.
ASAA Executive Director Billy Strickland said he was aware of the situation and it is being dealt with by Region 5.