VOCAL EXERCISES - Artist in the Schools instructor Sarah Branton of Cherry Creek, Colorado, leads an exercise in the Sitka High School band room this morning as she teaches students how to improve their volume. Branton will be here all week working with choirs at Blatchley Middle School and Sitka High. Her instruction is part of the effort to rebuild school  choir programs and numbers following the pandemic. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

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Daily Sitka Sentinel

Sitka All Stars Wrap Up Season Down South


Sentinel Sports Editor

A week after claiming the state championship baseball title in a one-on-one tournament against Ketchikan, the Sitka Junior League All Stars team made it deep into the Western Region tournament before being eliminated after their fourth game in Bend, Oregon.

In the double elimination bracket, Sitka led off with a 15-4 win over Oregon’s team on August 4, but then fell 12-1 to Hawaii the next day.

With no room for error, Sitka stayed in the game and beat Wyoming 15-4 on August 6. But following that, Washington’s squad ended Sitka’s regional tournament run on August 7, in a 14-3 game.

Hawaii won the regional title by defeating Southern California’s team 16-3 Thursday.

Looking back on the 2-2 tournament run, Sitka catcher Nate White, 14, was happy with his team’s performance, but noted that the squad wasn’t entirely consistent.

“When we went down to Bend, we got a couple games where we played really well as a team, and we had one or two off games, which is kind of the reason I think that we lost,” he said.

Sitka would often open a game strong, White said, giving the team an early edge.

“When we were the visiting team (batting first), we would normally jump out and score a bunch of runs in the first inning and that would get our morale and team spirit up. And that would help us on the defensive end,” the catcher said.

But while that early surge helped Sitka against Oregon and Wyoming, the 13- and 14-year-old athletes couldn’t repeat the performance against Hawaii or Washington.

For Josh McAlpin, the tournament was a redux of his 2019 Western Region tournament run.

But in ’19, Sitka went 0-2, a far cry from their 2-2 record this month.

Evan Grant was also on the 2019 squad. He said this year the team was more calm going into the tournament.

“In 2019, it was our first time going down south and we were really nervous and this year we were more relaxed when we were playing,” Grant, 14, said over the phone.

McAlpin, 14, was happy for the chance to compete against a variety of new teams.

“It was pretty cool to be around all those other states and their teams… Alaska doesn’t really normally get this far into the tournament so we wanted to get as far as possibly could,” he said.

Like White, McAlpin said the team “had really good energy, we got the momentum and we kept it.”

Through the tournament, team coordination improved too, Zander Dumag, also 14, said.

“Definitely communication got a lot better throughout our games,” Dumag added.

Grant said positive team dynamics helped propel Sitka through the bracket.

“Our team bonding was really good. I don’t know, we just played really good together as a team,” Grant said

At 14, White and McAlpin will be too old to compete with the All Stars again next summer.

Sitka’s team did well down south, coach Rich McAlpin told the newspaper via text, but a few more hits could have yielded another win.

“They did great, a few more timely hits (and) maybe we could have done better. They all gave 100 percent – real proud of the entire team,” the coach said.

Regardless of the scoreboard, both players highlighted the convivial nature of their teammates, many of whom have played baseball together for years.

“Just living with all my friends for a couple of weeks, that was probably the most fun,” White told the Sentinel.

McAlpin seconded this.

“Probably, honestly, in the last game I had a really good defensive game, me personally, and probably being around the team, just other activities and stuff like that… We didn’t do that much but when we did do something we went bowling and they had a huge river you could ride in rafts,” McAlpin said.

In hindsight, White thinks Sitka fielded one of the better teams in the tournament.

“There were teams of all different skill levels. There were some teams that weren’t so good and some teams that are pretty good. But as far as talent goes, I think we were up there with the best of the teams,” he said.

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At a Glance

(updated 9-12-2023)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 8:57 a.m. Tuesday, September 12.

New cases as of Tuesday: 278

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 301,513

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,485

Case Rate per 100,000 – 38.14

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "Low.'' Case statistics are as of Tuesday.

Case Rate/100,000 – 152.50

Cases in last 7 days – 13

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,575

Deceased (cumulative) – 10

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






September 2003

Sitka Tribe of Alaska is “upset and disturbed” about the Senate appropriations bill that cuts spending for Alaska tribal courts, STA Vice Chairman Gil Truitt said today. He was referring to Sen. Ted Stevens’ move to divert Department of Justice grants from tribal courts and tribal police officers to fund the Village Public Safety Officer program.



September 1973

Photo caption: Receiving service pins at a Carpenters Union Local 466 dinner meeting at the Kiksadi Club were, from left, Arthur Littlefield, Alvin Helm, Harley Finch, Dave Gibson, Gerald Hughes, Fred Nelson, Walter Moy, Edward Nelson, William Sutton and Don Stromme.


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