March 27, 2023

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School Spotlight: Seward High Alaska

Today’s school spotlight is off the beaten path. I called coach Tyler Mallory from Seward High School in Alaska because, like other states, Alaska has some real talent. They are highly overlooked because of the distance up there, but there are some real diamonds in the rough there. I spoke to coach Mallory for a solid 30 minutes and learned so much about Alaska football. -Coach Andy

Seward High School is located in Seward, Alaska. Seward is a small town with a population of around 2,773 people. Seward is a port city in southern Alaska, set on an inlet on the Kenai Peninsula. It’s a gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park, where glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield into coastal fjords.

Coach Tyler Mallory leads the Seward Seahawks as their head coach. He played at Diamond High School in Alaska. “I had to work my way through the ranks there,” said coach Mallory, “Diamond is a really big school up here with nearly 2000 students. There are three divisions of schools in Alaska; Big Schools, Medium Schools, and Small Schools. Seward plays in the Small School division. We have about 150 high school kids in the school and we have some home school kids that play for us as well. We have about 35 kids on the football team which is the most this school has ever had on the team. We play schools around the same size as us. Schools with 450 kids is supposed to be the cut off for the Small School division. So our closest bus ride is about three and a half hours with two of our division opponents are in Fairbanks which is about a 10-12 hour bus ride. This is a much different experience to what I grew u in or schools in the lower 48 have.”

Coach Mallory has been at Sward for six years now and head coach for two and said, “we have never taken nothing but a school bus since I have been here. We have been fundraising pretty hard so we can take a charter bus on some of these long bus rides we do. We have had some growing pains here. I am the third head coach here now in the past six years. The most we have ever had on the team since I have been here is 18 kids. We have had to forfeit games because we didn’t have enough players. We had gotten to a point where the school board had discussed taking away the football program from the school since we just didn’t have the numbers. Last year I had 21 kids on the team and this year, I started the weight lifting program last month and we have had 28 kids so far working out so we should be around 30-35 this summer. I only have one senior this next season, so next year I will be able to return all these kids plus have a whole other class coming in. So the community support has grown. We have had people come out of the woodworks and donate to the program. We had a local business owner write us a check to buy an endzone camera and couple of other people help fundraise to buy uniforms. We have had people donating tackle bags. We have had people come and fix our sled that is broken. So it has been growing and it is inspiring to see our town, of about 2500 people, bout 400 people come out and support us during the games last year.”

“We went 2-3 last year. We had scheduled seven games but two were cancelled due to covid,” said coach Mallory. “We have a short season in Alaska. We have an eight week regular season up here.”

“We have a lot of underclassmen here being that we are only returning one senior. I feel we have a lot of great kids to build around and the future looks bright for this program,” said coach Mallory. “I have an upcoming junior Kupono Albino is my starting Tail back and starting Linebacker. He is 5’11” and weighs 200 lbs. A solid kid, he is a strong kid, he runs hard, he runs behind his pads. He is deceptively quick i ad out of his cuts. He makes people miss.”

“We have a solid Linebacker in Landen DeRoos. He is 5’11” and weighs about 190 lbs. He is the leader of the defense and will be one of the Team Captains this year. He plays offensive line for us as well, but that is because he is a solid blocker. It isn’t what he was designed to play, it is just being a small school and we have to use kids in other positions where we need them to play. The kids is one of the hardest working kids out there. He is in the weight room every single day. He gets good grades. He is a true leader, he picks kids up and says ‘come with me lets go do this.’ As a middle linebacker as a sophomore last year he had over 24 tackles in one game on varsity. He was out for one game last year and still lead the team in tackles. Lst week we did max day and he did dead lifted 405 and squatted over 350.” -Coach Mallory

John Van Buskirk is our starting Left Tackle and starting Defensive Tackle. he is 6’5″ and weighs 270 lbs. He is an absolute tank. He has meat cleavers for hands he is heavy handed. Last year was his first year to play football, so he was a little behind the power curve trying to learn but he picked it up quick. He is just a monster. He squatted 395 and will be a junior next year and dead lifted 395. He just built to play line. He is also a 4.0 student, he was part of the National Oceanic Bowl. He is a very smart kid.” -Coach Mallory

Noah Price one of our Running Backs and Linebackers. He is a little undersized at 5’7″ and 155 lbs, but he is a tank. He is all muscle. He ran a 4.82 40 last year as a freshman and has been working out all winter. he was the second fastest kid on the team last year. He is not afraid of contact. He started at middle linebacker last year and had 17 tackles in one game. He understands the game extremally well. He cam in last year as a freshmen and he wasn’t apart of out summer workouts because he and his family was on vacation. So when he showed up when school started, we were all just blown away with this kid and his work ethic. He was a little behind when he started but by game two, I was like I had to get this kid in the game somehow. He is just talented and gifted. Last week he squatted over 300 lbs as 155 lbs kid.” -Coach Mallory

Brett Gilmore. He’s an upcoming sophomore. He was 1st team all conference at receiver as a freshman, with 3 touchdowns. He also plays outside LB. He squats 300 and benches 200. Brett is 5’9″ and weighs 155lbs. He has great hands, and good route runner. Might be our QB this year.” Coach Mallory

“I am just excited about this, we are showing great progress. We are dong the right things and staying out of trouble. Outside of football, I had a coach that impacted my life growing up and made a difference in my life and helped me turn my life around to do the right things. My goal is not to in football games, my goal is to help develop hard working men that will go out into the world and do good things. If I can achieve this, then everything else will come simple. The reality is, when you do this, you create a winning program. So last season, I had 21 kids on the team and I had 21 kids eligible all season. Not one of them got into trouble all season and they all have been getting good grades. This is just something that has never happened here before.”

“Alaska Football is legit. We just, not just us but kids in Alaska, don’t get the exposure. There are some true athletes and some really good football up here. It would be cool to see more kids from Alaska go to college to play football.”

Sat, 8/13 12:00pmValdezValdez Home • Conference
Thu, 8/18 5:00pmNikiskiNikiski Home • Conference
Fri, 8/26 6:00pmHomerHomer Home • Non-Conference
Sat, 9/3 12:00pmValdezValdez Away • Conference
Sat, 9/10 1:00pmMonroe CatholicMonroe Catholic Fairbanks Home • Conference
Sat, 9/17 1:00pmBen EielsonBen Eielson Eielson AFB Home • Conference
Sat, 9/24 1:00pmMonroe CatholicMonroe Catholic Fairbanks Home • Conference
Fri, 9/30 5:00pmNikiskiNikiski Away • Conference

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About Andy Bryson 801 Articles
Founder of Louisiana Gridiron Football and football coach
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