A few weeks ago, members of Woodinville’s coaching staff hopped a plane and headed for Alaska. It served as a chance to scout the Palmer High School football team for their showdown on September 6th. But it also provided a chance for Falcon coaches to soak up stunning vistas from the last frontier.
"For most of the coaches it was our first time up in Alaska, so it was fun to take all that in and experience the wildlife and culture up there," Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell said. "The Palmer community is very excited to have us up there. We were mentioned in a couple different newspaper articles up there as one of the highlights for the Palmer season."
The Woodinville coaches even caused a small buzz during the game.
"When we got in the stadium there was a little drizzle so we had our rain gear on which has the Woodinville ‘W’ on it," Maxwell said with a chuckle. "So as we were walking by we could hear people talking."
The coaches returned home safely, and soon after started fall camp at Woodinville High School a couple weeks ago.
"It’s been a good, competitive camp," Maxwell said. "I think we’ve got a good blend and mix of kids returning from last year and new kids stepping in. We’ve got some youthful depth at some spots, and the kids at this point have some things to get better on. But you can tell they’re hungry and ready to get after it."
In past articles, top players like Drew Accimus, Alek Kacmarcik, Andre Dillard and Wyatt Smith have been mentioned.
But Maxwell was asked which players have made the biggest improvement since last year.
"Brad Roland is a linebacker and running back and he’s done a real nice job," Maxwell said. "He’s going to be a junior. He’s gotten himself into real good physical shape since his sophomore season. He’s had a strong presence at that linebacker spot.
"Chris Wright, our left guard, and Camden Hess, our right guard, are two guys who have had real nice off seasons as well and seem to be getting better and better with each practice. Both guys were backups last year. They’re just doing a real nice job and I’m real pleased with them.
"And Matt Wilson has done a real nice job," Maxwell said. "He’s a backup QB and a safety for us. He’s really competing and working hard. He’s performing so well that we’re trying to find a spot in terms of getting him on the field."
This Thursday after school, the Falcons will board a plane bound for Alaska and arrive in the evening.
"We’ve got a couple fun things planned for the guys," Maxwell said. "We’re going to visit a reindeer farm and relax a bit Friday morning. Then we’ll come back and have some meetings and get focused and get into game mode for Friday night."
On Saturday, the team will visit a musk ox farm, see a glacier up close and visit the Iditarod headquarters. "We’re also shooting for having a late lunch or early dinner with the Palmer team," Maxwell said. "So we can hang out with the Palmer players and coaches and have some fun."
Falcons game to be webcast live
The Woodinville High School Falcons football team will be traveling to Palmer, Alaska, to play the Palmer Moose on September 6 at 7 p.m. (PDT). The game will be broadcast LIVE to the Internet on www.matsunetwork.com. The webcast will be free to watch anywhere in the world on your computer, web-enabled TV or mobile device.
Palmer, Alaska is located in Alaska’s Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) valley which lies 42 miles northeast of Anchorage, Alaska. It is a farming-based community with a population of over 6,000 residents famous for its world-record cabbages.
Powder Ridge Productions will be producing the webcast in association with MTA TV in Palmer, as well as participating sponsors from the Woodinville and Palmer communities. Powder Ridge Productions is a video production company based in Palmer, Alaska specializing in sporting events production for community consumption.