Not Your Everyday High School Football Game

Ever wondered what football in the Arctic looks like?

Barrow Whalers

One mile north of my hut, three miles south of the northernmost point of land in the US, there is a stretch of land about the width of three football fields (width of the football field, not length).  Barren and completely exposed, a fancy blue and yellow turf football field occupies one of those “widths.” This is Cathy Parker Field, the home of the Barrow Whalers High School Football Team.

field and rainbow

Cheerleaders 2

field and rainbow 2

A couple years ago a writer from ESPN came up to Barrow and did a story on the Barrow Whalers ( The Real Frozen Tundra).  At the time the Whalers were playing on a big patch of dirt in town.  Apparently the piece was so popular that it not only received an Emmy, but it also inspired Cathy Parker, a mother and football enthusiast from Florida, to raise over $500,000 to fund a turf football field in the arctic ( Save the Whalers).

Sidelines

Football3

One of my first weekends in Barrow, I made it out to a Saturday afternoon game.  Amidst cold winds and snow flurries, the Barrow Whalers lost to the Rams from Monroe Catholic High School in Fairbanks, AK.  Then, on October 8th, I watched the state semi-finals to see the Barrow Whalers take on Monroe for a second time and this time defeat them to head to the state championships for the first time ever!  Less than a mile up the road, whaling captains were pulling ashore the first harvested whales of the season.  Quite a day for all the whalers in Barrow!

Field - Semi Finals

Cheerleader

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