The 2008 High School football season is underway! Yes, this is no joke. Week 1 of the regular season has come and gone…
While we in Connecticut have a little over four weeks remaining until the kickoff of the 2008 season (one of the LAST 50 states to kick off, mind you), they’re well underway in places like Anchorage, Fairbanks and … yes, Barrow.
For those of you who can use a lesson in geography, Barrow is the northernmost town in, not just the United States, but in North America and the second northernmost town of over 4,000 residents in the world (Tiksi, Russia is the northernmost).
The Barrow High School Whalers’ turf football field, which was built just recently (the team used to play on gravel), sits a mere football field away from the Arctic Ocean. When they won the program’s first game there last season, the team celebrated by leaping into the sub-freezing ocean. This squad is the ultimate Polar Bear Club.
Anyway, Barrow started their practices just a week or so ago in beautifully wintry weather (And we in Connecticut can’t add one more week of football? Harumph!) Barrow’s closest opponent is close to 500 miles away and, since there are no roads to Barrow, they have to fly to get there. And here we think Masuk to Fitch is hefty roadtrip.
Barrow opened the season at home with a 36-27 victory over Skyview High School in Soldotna, Alaska — which sits on the Cook Inlet, nearly 1,000 miles away on the state’s southern coast. Yow.
While looking for information on these rugged individuals, I stumbled across this ESPN.com report and this sequel on the Whalers’ football team. After watching this, I dare anybody here to complain about windy, 10-degree December playoff weather ever again.
Here was the Anchorage Daily News’ preseason report on the Whalers. (A free subscription may be required).
Meanwhile, we still have two weeks to go before anybody can even strap on a helmet. Grr.