Eagle River XC running lead numbers game
Eagle River cross-country coach Jacob Bera is in an enviable position. That’s because he has 47 athletes currently on the docket.
“Last year we topped out with 61, so I’m still hoping for some more,” said the sixth-year coach Sunday evening.
With one week of practices behind them, the coach said the team looks good.
“Our girls went to state last year, and we are hoping for the same. And our boys are emerging,” he said, adding that the boys team should be the strongest the school has fielded during his tenure.
Alec Smith and Jacob Walsh have been named captains for the boys, with Summer Frazier and Tessa Heagy selected for the girls.
Wolves tennis coach Thornton Stanley said the squad currently numbers 11 – but that more, many more, are encouraged to join.
“Right now we have five girls and six boys out,” Stanley said Sunday, with the first of two weeks of practices behind him.
Top returnees include singles player Claire Bottini and doubles partner Jace Jerome and Dan McLain, all seniors.
“Basically, we have a few seniors, some sophomores and the rest freshman,” he added.
The incoming freshman come in with a “good amount of ability,” while most of the returners have benefitted from a year of private lessons.
Still, more athletes are needed, and Stanley is ready to take on all comers.
Larger questions remain as to late season games and the end-of-year tournament previously held at the two indoor tennis facilities owned by the Alaska Club.
With five courts sold at the Bragaw court, only four indoor courts remain – at the Tudor facility.
“There are a lot of unknowns right now,” he said.
First-year flag football coach Valerie Spencer said she anticipates 25-30 girls “at a minimum” to turn out as practices begin this week.
Having co-coached with Matt Turner for three years, and Turner assuming the boys varsity football team, Spencer said her ascent to the top was in “the nature order of things.”
Spencer said the return of standouts Lauren Frost and Tara Fisher will do much to shore up the team, with each player contending on both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively.
“Although to be honest, they could play any position on the field,” she said.
With 10 freshmen in the program last year, Spencer expects the sophomore class to be the majority group.
A track and volleyball player herself as a high school athlete back East, the coach said she enjoys coaching football and seeing players athletic abilities brought to light in the sport.
Spencer’s two assistants are Bob Warren and Julie Campbell.
Eagle River coaches in other fall sports are Angie Bayer (gymnastics), David Maker (swimming and diving), Matt Turner (football), and Deborah Pierce (football cheer).