Alaska High School Football Team Hosts First Playoff Game North of the Arctic Circle
Barrow, Alaska--the northernmost settlement on the North American mainland--hosted the first high school football playoff game ever played north of the Arctic Circle. The 8-1 Barrow High Whalers won their quarter-finals match against the Houston Hawks, 46-18.
The Whalers played the game on their new $500,000 artificial turf football field located just a few steps away from the Arctic Ocean. The field was built, not through a pork-funded project like Alaska's famous Bridge to Nowhere, but through the work of one dedicated Florida woman who heard about the team on ESPN.
The school received some exposure on ESPN that year due to the unusual challenges faced by the school in fielding a team. A Florida woman named Cathy Parker helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to have an artificial turf field installed in town. The Boise State-inspired blue field opened in 2007, but it was completely obscured by snow on Saturday.
Just two years removed from playing on dirt and struggling to win games, the Whalers find themselves 8-1 and two victories from a state title.