Alaska’s passion for the pigskin begins early in August as high school teams from small, medium and large schools begin their seasons. After eight weeks of action, the First National Bowl series of games brings the best of the best high school football teams together to play for championships during two weekends in October.

In 1990, shortly after state funding for the Alaska School Activities Association was withdrawn, First National Bank Alaska stepped up to help fill the funding void. Since then, the bank has donated nearly $2 million as the title sponsor of all ASAA championship events.

One of the biggest of those events is the First National Bowl Football State Championships.

Alaska’s high school teams are the first in the nation to begin practice and play their season games in August, with the culminating state title event in October. With this awareness of “first in the nation,” the ASAA staff and First National Bank Alaska (ASAA’s title sponsor) transformed in 2003 ASAA’s state-culminating event for large school football teams into Alaska’s ONLY football bowl – First National Bowl – the first state football championship in the nation. As more schools established football teams, the First National Bowl was expanded into a series of games to include small schools and then in 2012 medium schools.

First National Bank Alaska donated a beautiful, huge traveling trophy for each championship team. Winners of the large, medium and small school tournament take the trophy home for the year, before it is passed on to the next year’s champions.

It’s now a decade-long tradition, one filled with cherished memories and history.

Namely, it’s the First National Bowl.