We had state champions — individuals and teams — a heap of conference titles and longtime coaches hand up their whistles. Here’s a look at local sports over the past year.
Eagle River and Chugiak wrestlers took to the mat at the West High Christmas Classic on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 20-21. Fifteen teams competed in the tournament. The Mustangs placed 11th with 89 points, and Eagle River followed right on their heels for a 12th place finish with 74 points. Wasilla won the team title with 255 points.
Eagle River was swept during a quad meet with Bartlett, West and South at Bartlett High on Dec. 11. The Golden Bears won 55-30; South earned a 67-12 victory and West cruised to a 71-8 win.
According to Chugiak head coach Teri Schneider, bowling is all about teamwork. And her boys and girls teams support and encourage one another. “I have a great bunch of kids,” she said during Anchorage Scholastic Bowling League play at Eagle River Bowl on Dec. 12.
The anticipation was almost palpable. With little over a minute on the clock, Chugiak’s Kris Tomazevic was penalized for boarding, and Eagle River traded in their goalie for an extra man on offense. Everyone in the McDonald Center leaned forward.
Chugiak and Eagle River High’s football programs will take the field next season with new head coaches at the helm. Matt Turner is taking over the Wolves’ program while Roger Spacking will be leading the Mustangs.
Nordic skiers started the season off with a sprint skate race on an icy course at the Service Snowball on Saturday, Dec. 7. The 53 Mustangs are split just about evenly between boys and girls, said first-year head coach Cody Priest. “It’s a good mix of kids,” he said. “Not really any gaps.”
Robert Huffer (152 pounds) won three matches for Chugiak, which went 1-2 in a quad meet against Dimond, East and Service at Dimond High on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Richard Burroughs (220 pounds) and Toren Cheely (195) earned two pinfall wins for the Mustangs.
Cat Papasodora held the top spot entering the final round of the Cook Inlet Conference riflery championships Saturday, Dec. 7 at West High. All she had to do was hold off the other nine best marksmen through a final round where each fired 10 additional shots. No problem.
Chugiak and Eagle River’s hockey teams suffered losses prior to the Thanksgiving break. West High scored with under two minutes in regulation to edge Chugiak 2-1 on Monday, Nov. 25 at McDonald Center. Taylor Garner scored for the Mustangs with Adam Groendyke and Kris Tomazevic getting the helpers.