Carol Martin prepares the barbeque in memory of his son's homecoming 17 years ago.
It was a homecoming of another kind for James Martin, a KCHS senior, seventeen years ago. Martin, a member of the Kardinal football team in 1987, was on his way to Kodiak to go deer hunting with friends when a plane crash took his life along with 18 other passengers.
The next year his parents Carrol and Joanne Martin, of the Diamond M Ranch on K-Beach Rd, started a memorial scholarship that celebrates the characteristics of their son James. "The Clarion quoted my wife very accurately, in awarding the scholarship we look for enthusiastic kids, they don't have to have the best academics, but they have to have some enthusiasm for sports, not just a player, they can be a cheerleader or whatever. It's a $500 scholarship renewable for four years, so if they complete 4 years it's worth $2,000, and we've already had a lot of kids graduate from college and that money can buy their books for them," said Martin at last weeks event.
KCHS alumni and KPBSD Board member Margaret Gilman prepares for the start of the Kardinals homecoming game.
The Martin's started the barbeque as a means of raising funds for the special scholarship, "James use to work at McDonalds, and that first year Sharon Moock of McDonalds back then bought a 4-H steer and we barbequed it, then every year since, Unocal has bought the pig for the barbeque. They say they'll buy it as long as I'll barbeque it, and I've done it for seventeen years and I plan on doing it for at least seventeen more," said Martin, pulling a slab of ribs from the cooker. Martin says they need to raise about $2,000 a year to keep the scholarship going and that the barbeque raises about half that, "Unocal pays for the pig and we turn that into about $1,000 dollars at the barbeque, but it's also a way of encouraging folks to turn out to support the team and it's our way of showing appreciation to the community for all their care and concern over the years."
It was a big day for the Kardinals as they easily rolled over the Skyview Panthers during an early winter storm that reminded the heartiest of fans what high school football in Alaska is all about.
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