Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau-Douglas High School Yadaa.at Kalé Crimson Bears baseball team will play its final home game at 7 p.m. tonight on Adair Kennedy Field against the Thunder Mountain Falcons. The Crimson Bears will honor their seniors at 6:45 p.m. on the field.
This trying season of limited competition and the loss of last season, both due to the coronavirus pandemic, shows the dedicated spirit of the ball club as they have persevered and remained true to the school’s work ethic.
“This is a great group of seniors who have worked hard throughout their career as a member of the baseball team,” Juneau-Douglas coach Chad Bentz said. “They were solid leaders on and off the field and they will be missed. I wish them nothing but the best of luck and have no doubt that they will accomplish whatever they decide to do after they leave.”
The Crimson Bears baseball seniors provided insight into what that was like and what is in their future.
“What I have learned with these pandemic seasons is that nothing is for certain,” Ben Coutu said. “And you have to take advantage of every moment you get.”
Coutu will be attending the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. His favorite food is crepes, favorite movie is “A River Runs Through It” and favorite book is “Tipping Point.”
Brock McCormick will be attending Barstow Junior College in northern California to play baseball. His favorite food is tacos, favorite movie “Stand By Me” and favorite book “Pride and Prejudice.”
“We never know what we are going to have,” McCormick said. “So take every opportunity you get and do other other things in the off season, like go to the gym, because you can’t play basketball or baseball 24-7 with the weather.”
Christian Ludeman said his favorite food is steak, favorite movie “Step Brothers” and favorite book “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” He plans to go somewhere in southern California next year.
“Don’t take anything for granted,” Ludeman said. “Because you never know what is going to happen.”
Garrett Bryant is attending Columbia Basin Junior College in Washington and will play baseball for the Hawks. His favorite food is chicken wings, favorite movie “The Hangover” and favorite book “The Fifth Wave.”
“Practice or play hard like tomorrow is not going to happen,” Bryant said.
Malakai Nichols plans to go to a welding school in Seattle. His favorite food is fried chicken and french fries, favorite movie “Thunderstruck” and favorite book “The Hunger Games.”
“Don’t take anything for granted, live in the moment,” Nichols said. “You only get four years in high school.”
Raekwon Razor will be attending Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina.
“I haven’t decided on a career yet, but I hope to explore the possibilities while I am there,” he said. “I learned that opportunities aren’t guaranteed, you should appreciate every moment of something you care about. All you can do is live in the moment, once it s past, you can’t go back.”
His favorite food is potatoes or chicken, favorite movie “Grown-ups (1 or 2)” and favorite book “Ready Player One.”
Luke Bibb is heading to Bozeman, Montana, to join the IBEW and become an inside wireman. His favorite food is chili, favorite movie is “Back to the Future” and favorite book “Enders Game.”
“I learned that everything in life can change so fast,” Bibb said. “And you can never be ready for what’s next in life.”
Olin Rawson will be attending Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, next fall. His favorite food is filet mignon steak, favorite movie “Moneyball” and favorite book “Float Monkeys” by Jonathan Thomas Stratman.
Rawson said he learned “how to overcome and make the best out of the challenges we were faced with.”
The seniors were asked what they would change about themselves looking back.
Ben Coutu - I would learn not to be an idiot early in my career, but I am pretty happy with the way things have gone so far. So I guess, don’t be an idiot.
Brock McCormick - I am pretty happy with what I have accomplished in high school both academically and athletically. I would say never be satisfied, keep striving to get better at everything.
Christian Ludeman - Never be satisfied. I would prepare for the season a little bit more than I have.
Garrett Bryant - Getting my arm ready for season by using bands or throwing a little bit more in the field house.
Malakai Nichols - I feel like everybody takes preparing for granted. It’s a grind. You just have to stick to it.
Raekwon Razor - I wish I played baseball in my spare time and not just during the season, after missing my junior year due to COVID, I realized how much I needed and missed the sport of baseball.
Luke Bibb - I would change my attitude and how I perceive things.
Olin Rawson - To not overthink the future so much, enjoy the moment while it’s there.
Above: JDHS seniors Ben Coutu, Malakai Nichols, Brock McCormick, Garrett Bryant and Christen Ludeman. Not pictured are Luke Bibb, Olin Rawson and Rae Razor.