Our favorite high school football team, the Barrow Whalers, have made the Alaska state playoffs and will be playing host to the first playoff game above the Arctic Circle at 1 p.m. (Alaska) on Saturday.
The dreaded Houston Hawks are the opponent in the quarterfinal game and officials were scrambling Friday to get snow, which was up to 18 inches deep, cleared from Cathy Parker Field. Only flurries are expected at kickoff and temperatures are forecast to soar into the 20s.
Whaler players went through their final practice on Friday in 20-degree temperatures that were chilled by a 35 mph wind off the Arctic Ocean. The ocean is less than 100 yards from the field.
Whaler senior nose tackle and offensive guard Zac Rohan, pictured above, practiced in shorts Friday. "It's awesome," he told Danny Martin of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
The winner advances to the semifinal round next weekend at the Anchorage Football Stadium. The semifinal winners play for the small schools state title there on Oct. 18.
Photo by Eric Engman of the News-Miner. Thanks to James Brooks of the News-Miner for his help.