Mustangs open 2017 football season against defending state champs

Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 15:20
  • Chugiak’s Ramal Maad tries to break a tackle during a scrimmage against Soldotna on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017 at Soldotna High. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Chugiak isn’t exactly easing its way into the 2017 prep football season.

After scrimmaging 2016 Medium Schools champion Soldotna in an Aug. 5 tune-up, the Mustangs will open their season for real against East — which won the 2016 Large Schools title.

“It’ll definitely be a test,” said Chugiak head coach Roger Spackman.

It’s one Chugiak’s players are ready for. Just two years removed from the Large Schools title game and coming off a Railbelt Conference championship, the Mustangs feel they belong in the conversation as one of the state’s top teams.

“We won the conference last year and obviously that’s the goal again, but the ultimate goal is state,” said Derryk Snell, a senior who was the Alaska Large Schools Offensive Player of the Year last season.

Spackman said he’s not sure quite what to expect from East, which lost several key seniors from the team that downed West in the Large Schools title game. But he knows coach Jeff Trotter will field a team comparable in size and strength to the one that won it all on the snowy Anchorage Football Stadium turf last October.

“I know they lost a lot, but at the same time they’ve got a good thing rolling over there,” Spackman said.

Senior quarterback Hunter Harr said Chugiak is expecting to face a talented bunch in the T-birds.

“These guys are tough, they’re state champions,” Harr said.

Although the nonconference game doesn’t mean much in the Railbelt standings, Chugiak’s players said playing well in the opener will go a long way toward helping the team reach its ultimate goals.

“That’s what’s going to define us where we are, not just in the Railbelt but in the CIC and the state, and it’s a chance to really put us on the map,” Harr said.

Chugiak Mustangs 2017 Varsity Football Schedule

Friday, Aug. 11

Chugiak at East, 7 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 18

South at Chugiak, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 26

Chugiak at West Valley, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 2

Lathrop at Chugiak, 3 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 8

Chugiak at Green Canyon (Utah), 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 15

Kenai Central at Chugiak, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 22

Chugiak at Wasilla, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 29

Colony at Chugiak, 7 p.m.

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