WEEKEND HANGOUT – Gina Lusher, foreground right, and other Sitka Cirque aerialists rehearse Thursday night for this weekend’s show, Cirque Noir, at the 207 Smith Street studio. The show includes cage dancers, live music and champagne. Kids from first grade through high school will have a separate fundraiser showcase event Saturday afternoon from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Tickets for both shows are available online at sitkacirque.com. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

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Daily Sitka Sentinel

Sitka Soccer Players Prep for Fall Season


Sentinel Sports Editor

Four months after Sitka Youth Soccer joined forces with the Alaska Rush Soccer Club, a statewide umbrella group, local soccer enthusiasts have a chance to compete in a fall time league as the group seeks to expand local interest in the sport.

While the popularity of soccer in Sitka has waxed and waned over the years – there is no longer a high school team in town – Sitka Rush Soccer director Brock Vowell said prospects for the October to November fall season look solid.

“The season is going to be about seven weeks, and as of right now we have 75 kiddos registered, and we always get a pretty decent push at the end,” Vowell said Thursday. “We have a really large young group of kids that are wanting to play soccer.”

Young soccer players celebrate during practice with the Sitka Rush Soccer Club during a four-day soccer camp, July 30 in Sitka. The club’s seven-week fall season begins October 9. (Photo provided by Sitka Rush Soccer)

A strong base of younger players is going to be important “to see this club get bigger,” he said.

The club is open to young people from pre-kindergarten through high school age.

In May, Sitka joined Palmer, Juneau and Homer under the Alaska Rush Soccer banner. Rush is a national organization of soccer clubs.

Vowell said prospects are good for soccer to expand as a regular sport in Sitka.

“The next step for the club is to become more of what it looks like in… a big city. You know, having a set team. And what we’re kind of working towards, the next step in the fall season is, we were able to get some brand new Sitka Rush Soccer Club kits, like some jerseys and shorts and socks,” Vowell said. “And they mimic what you would see in really nice looking jerseys on big teams, and so it’s kind of cool seeing a smaller community getting the resources of having these really nice jerseys. I think that kind of just helps with the legitimacy of playing soccer in Sitka, and also kind of just makes them look sharp.”

Vowell hopes to attract enough coaches to keep up with an increasing number of kids who want to play soccer. So far, the club has 18 coaches for the fall season.

“We’re always trying to get some new faces and trying to reach out to people and we’re really trying to get some new coaches or people interested in coaching. In this season, we’ve had a couple of new coaches, which is really awesome. But there’s some anxiety around making sure that we do have enough coaches to support our growth as well,” the director said.

Sitka Rush Soccer had a youth soccer camp in July, attracting about 40 players who practiced under the instruction of Steve Rubinstein, coach of the Palmer Rush club Polar Vortex.

“It was really fun, we had a good time,” Vowell said. “And Steve said that it was something that he’d want to come back and do again and there’s even interest now in opening up a Sitka summer camp for the entire state of Alaska.”

A handful of high schoolers in the club have also been picked to form a futsal team that will travel north to compete this winter. Futsal is similar to soccer but is played on a smaller, hard-surface court. Sitka’s futsal squad was assembled by Randy Hitchcock and Olivier Pheulpin, Vowell said.

“They put together a group of high schoolers who are actually going to be going to… Anchorage to play at a futsal tournament this December, which is really awesome,” Vowell said.

Sitka Rush Soccer’s fall season begins October 9, and there’s still time to register. Information is posted at https://www.sitkayouthsoccer.com/.

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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.






December 2003

The Sawmill Cove Industrial Park board of directors endorsed a final contract tuesday for the city to sell a minimum of 40 million gallons of reservoir water per year to an export company based in New York City. ... under the contract Quest would have the right to purchase up to 1 billion gallons of water per year at 1 cent per gallon



December 1973

 The City and Borough of Sitka conducted a community public opinion poll evaluating municipal services and facilities. ... The overall results gave this priority order: 1. roads and highways; 2. water and sewer; 3. downtown parking; 4. garbage collection and disposal; 5. hospital and medical facilities; 6. planning and zoning; 7. boat harbors.


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