Today the NFHS Network announced the kick-off of its coverage of the 2014-2015 high school football season this weekend in Alaska. The Alaskan football season begins earlier than the rest of the country to accommodate extreme weather conditions that can begin as early as October.
Alaska’s dedication to football can be seen in its extremely large football following and NFL viewership ratings that are among the highest in the nation. For Alaskan high school players, football offers a sense of community and opportunity for growth. The Alaska School Athletic Association (ASAA) Executive Director, Billy Strickland, believes there is a true passion for the game on the Last Frontier, commenting, “Our football playing Alaskan schools have a true love of high school football. It offers so many opportunities for student involvement both on the playing field and on the sidelines.”
The commitment to high school sports is evident in the lengths that ASAA member schools go, both literally and figuratively, to play their games. More than twice the size of Texas, Alaska’s massive land area requires players to travel long journeys often by plane just to reach their opponent’s field. Barrow High School, the host of one of this weekend’s match-up, is actually the northernmost city in the United States just above the Arctic Circle. Long-time ASAA sponsor, Alaska Airlines, has been instrumental over the years in helping schools defray some of the travel costs that can build up over an eight game regular season and potential playoff matchups. Undeterred by their weary travels, these players arrive on the field energized and ready to win.
The Alaska football kickoff weekend opens with Palmer High School taking on West Anchorage High School on Friday, August 15th at 11 pm EST. On Saturday, August 16th, the Valez/Barrow rivalry will be broadcast at 5 pm EST and Nikiski High School against Thunder Mountain High School game at 6 pm EST. Saturday’s final matchup will be Juneau-Douglas High School against Kenai High School at 8 pm EST.
Check NFHSnetwork.com for live coverage as well as for the full schedule of other ASAA sports championships throughout the school year.
“We are very excited to showcase these games as the kickoff of the NFHS Network's fall sports season. Between our School Broadcast Program games and our network productions we'll cover over 5,000 regular season and playoff football games this year from coast to coast,” said Sandy Malcolm, Chief Content Officer, NFHS Network. “The passion and commitment to their sport displayed by the teams, families and communities in Alaska represents what our network is all about.”
During the 2014-2015 school year, the NFHS Network will deliver live broadcasts of more than 40,000 high school games and other events to fans across a wide variety of platforms. The destination for these events is the redesigned NFHS Network site (www.NFHSnetwork.com), a joint venture between the NFHS, its member state associations, and PlayOn! Sports.
The NFHS Network captures the passion, pride, and energy of the high school experience by delivering live high school sports and events to family members and fans whenever they want, wherever they are.
The NFHS Network celebrates and showcases the unique accomplishments of students, whether they are a student-athlete participating in the 27 different sports covered by the Network, or one of the student broadcasters from schools around the country that produce events through the School Broadcast Program.
All NFHS Network events are available online at NFHSnetwork.com. Follow the NFHS Network on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram at @NFHSnetwork for the latest news and event information.
The NFHS Network is a joint venture among the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), its member state associations and PlayOn! Sports. The NFHS is located in Indianapolis, Indiana and is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. PlayOn! Sports is based in Atlanta, Georgia and is the nation’s largest high school sports media company.