Coaches’ Corner: JDHS boys basketball

By JDHS boys basketball coaches

The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé boys’ basketball team recently held our end of the season awards ceremony. Every season we set our on-court goals as winning the Region V Championship and the State Championship. We won the Region V Championship in the most dramatic fashion, a furious 7-point comeback in the last minute of regulation to tie the game, and then with 2.4 seconds the team capped it off with a steal that led to the game-winning, buzzer-beating shot! The totality of the comeback and victorious moment was mind-boggling. The subsequent joy and elation from the players, coaches, and Crimson Bear faithful during the on-court celebration was incredible. This win earned us the right to represent Region V at the State Tournament. While we fell short of our goal of winning a State Championship, we gained a lot of valuable experience to build on moving forward into next season.

We know that our basketball program does not exist in a vacuum. The coaching staff wants to extend our gratitude to our families for supporting the time and effort we put in to coaching. There are a lot of late nights and weekends away from home during the season and we are thankful for their support. We are also grateful for all the parents/guardians that supported the players and the program this year. The coaches also want to thank our student managers, Tristan Oliva and Denali Isaak, who were integral to our daily operations. They were excellent at keeping the program organized while completing numerous essential tasks.

The support of the JDHS Cheer/Stunt Team, Dance Team, student body, pep band, Crimson Club, and community this season was amazing. The energy and excitement these groups provided on game day was second to none. Also, thank you to all those that cheered on the team in-person or through the live-stream, purchased raffle tickets, and joined the Fast Break Club.

The coaching staff greatly appreciates the efforts and continued support of the JDHS administration, activities office, teachers, and counselors. We’d like to specifically thank Principal Paula Casperson, Assistant Principal Nate Creel, Athletic Director Chad Bentz, and Activity Assistants Jana Morrison, Laura Campos, Toni DeSanto, and Counselors Jennifer Knaggs and Natalia Bucher. We would also like to thank our superintendent, Dr. Bridget Weiss, for her support of Crimson Bear basketball.

And lastly, we appreciate the media and their coverage of our season. They are vital to keeping our family, friends, and the community informed on our season. Thank you to Klas Stolpe at KINY and thank you to the sports department at Juneau Empire.

To wrap-up the 2021-2022 boys’ basketball season the team gathered for an awards ceremony. Some of the awards are statistical in nature and the players voted on the rest.

The winners for the JV’s special awards, as voted by team members, are as follows:

Most Improved: Gavin Gerrin

Most Inspirational: Leo Reyes-Boyer

Most Hustle: Caden Mesdag

Best Defense: Tayten Bennetsen

Most Valuable Player: Bodhi Nelson

Coaches Award: Alex Mallott

The winners for the Varsity statistical awards are as follows:

Best Passer (most assists): Alwen Carrillo

Best Rebounder (most rebounds): Orion Dybdahl

Toughness Award (most charges drawn): Porter Nelson/Chris Harris (Tied)

Marksman (highest 2-point shooting percentage): Sean Oliver

Deep Threat Marksman (highest 3-point shooting percentage): Kai Hargrave

Mr. Clutch (highest free-throw percentage): Sean Oliver

The Varsity special awards, as voted by team members, are as follows:

Most Improved: Orion Dybdahl

Most Inspirational: Adrell Mulgrew-Truitt

Most Hustle: Tias Carney

Best Defense: Alwen Carrillo

Most Valuable Player: Alwen Carrillo

The final special award given was created decades ago and named for late Juneau resident, Zach Gordon, for his commitment to Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé athletics/activities and his longtime support of the youth of Juneau. This award is given to the player that best embodies the ideals and values of being a Crimson Bear basketball player on the court, in the classroom, and the community. For those reasons, it is considered the highest honor available in our program. This year, through team member voting, the Zach Gordon Award went to Tias Carney.

As a coaching staff we would like to mention that it was truly our pleasure to work with seniors Alyx Bohulano, Tias Carney, Adrell Mulgrew-Truitt, Porter Nelson, Jake Sleppy, and Terrence Hawkins. Success leaves clues, and these seniors left plenty of clues for the returning players. They displayed a work ethic and caring towards their teammates that will benefit the returning players well when they follow the path that has been created.

On another note, Coach Ben Kriegmont has decided to retire his whistle and spend his time chasing the ever-elusive winter king salmon. We thank him for all his time, effort, and dedication while providing guidance and support to the players in our program. His perspective on the game and the players was extremely helpful to his fellow coaches. Coach Kriegmont has been a member of our coaching staff since 2015 and will be greatly missed. We wish him well in all his future endeavors.

Again, thank you to our families and Juneau for all your help. Each season is truly a team effort that is supported by many. We know that without your support none of this would be possible. We look forward to our returning and incoming players working hard to improve this off-season so the JDHS boys basketball team can continue to proudly represent our community.

Sincerely,

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yaada.at Kalé

Boys Basketball Coaching Staff:

Robert Casperson, John Sleppy, Ben Kriegmont, Vince Yadao and David Timothy

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