‘I’m getting older.”- Billie Eilish- Hart Pisani.

Back in 2004, a 13-year old girl wanted nothing more than to be thirty, flirty, and thriving. Thanks to some magic dust from her best friend’s dollhouse, her wish came true. She woke up and she was Jennifer Garner, she worked for fashion magazine, and her boss was Gollum from the Lord of the Rings (look it up).

Over the course of the next 90 minutes, she learned her life wasn’t everything she’d hoped it would be at thirty and wished she could go back and have another go at it. Thanks to some magic dust from her friend’s dollhouse, she went back to being 13, grew up to marry Mark Ruffalo, and lived happily ever after.

Of course, none of this actually happened. I’ve just described the plot to the classic 2004 romantic comedy “13 Going on 30.” In real life, Jennifer Garner didn’t work for Gollum (seriously, look it up) and she married Ben Affleck, not Mark Ruffalo (sounds like a downgrade to me, but I digress).

Anyway, it’s a great movie that you should check out if you haven’t already and it takes us to this week’s Hart of the Matter: My birthday is this week and much like Miss Garner in ‘04, I too will be thirty, flirty, and thriving. At least I hope to be; Blink-182 told me no one would like me when I’m 23 and they were right, so I’ve learned to trust my elders.

Anyway, my birthday won’t stop me from giving you the sports coverage you deserve so let’s take a look at this week’s schedule.

We’ll begin with football where the Monroe Catholic Rams have the week off, but no one else does. Lathrop will be on the road this Friday at Chugiak for a 7 p.m. game while North Pole will be in Kodiak the same night for a 7 p.m. game. We’ll still have one local game to look forward to, however, as the West Valley Wolfpack will host the Ben Eielson Ravens at 7 p.m.

Next up, the volleyball schedule. Eielson will host North Pole Tuesday at 6 p.m. for the only game of the day. Monroe will host Lathrop at 6 p.m. on Wednesday which is the same time that West Valley will be hosting Hutchison. Hutch will then host Monroe at 6 p.m. on Friday while Eielson, Delta, North Pole, and Lathrop all travel to Valdez for a tournament.

The flag football season will continue to run this week as Lathrop hosts Hutchison on Tuesday at 6 p.m. while West Valley hosts Hutchison on Thursday at 6 p.m. Lathrop will play flag football in Anchorage on Friday and Saturday with times and opponents to be determined.

At the time of this writing, the weather is expected to behave this week. As such, there should be tennis. Tuesday will see Lathrop take on West Valley at 3 p.m. and North Pole take on Monroe Catholic at 5 p.m. Thursday’s slate features Hutchison vs. Lathrop at 3 p.m. and West Valley vs. Monroe at 5 p.m. All of those matches will be played at DRCTC.

The final prep action of the week will occur down in Palmer. The Palmer Invitational cross country meet is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday.

It’s not just the prep sports playing this week, however. The University of Alaska Fairbanks volleyball team will be making their home debut this week as they begin hosting their tournament on Thursday.

A full schedule can be found on the UAF website. For UAF themselves, they’ll play Thursday at 7:30 p.m. against California State University, Los Angeles to kick things off. Friday, the ‘Nooks will take on Drury University at 7:30 p.m. Saturday will be a doubleheader as the ‘Nooks take on Ursuline at noon and CSU-Pueblo at 7:30 p.m.

Finally, the Ice Dogs begin the 2021-2022 season. It’s crazy to say, but it’s true. The Dogs will open their season on Friday in Minnesota against the Magicians at 4 p.m. AKDT. The Dogs will play the Magicians again on Saturday at 4 p.m. AKDT with both games being streamed on HockeyTV.com.

Well, as far as I know, that’s it. Thanks for getting to the Hart of the Matter with me. If I didn’t mention something, please don’t bother me on Sept. 10 as I have plans with some magic dust and a dollhouse.

Contact sports editor Hart Pisani at hpisani@newsminer.com or 459-7530.