Chugiak’s girls might be young — but they’re soaking up basketball knowledge as quickly as head coach Ryan Hales feeds it to them. “We learn things quick,” Hales said. Half of the team are juniors and the rest are underclassmen. Returning players include Anna Ingraham and Brandy Bookout — who logged significant varsity minutes last season — and Hannah Russell.
For 15 seasons, Kevin Fullmer ran the boys basketball program at Chugiak. He stepped down following last season. “Those are some big shoes to fill,” said Kevin Spink, the man chosen to do just that. A former Chugiak JV coach, Spink said it’s an honor to take over for Fullmer.
Birchwood Christian School lost a heap of experience when four starters graduated from last year’s boys basketball team. But if a team is going through a rebuilding year, it’s nice to have numbers. That’s something the Warriors don’t have to worry about.
Seven seniors graduated from Eagle River’s boys basketball team last season. So third-year head coach Fred Young will rely heavily on his five returners. Those include Thomas Jones — the only returning starter — Collin Metzel, R.J. Dirscherl, Isaiah Banks and Cody Keith.
Eagle River’s girls want to notch more wins this basketball season — and second-year head coach Princella Jones said she has the squad to make that a reality. “I think we’re gonna do well,” she said.
Chugiak finished third at the Dimond-Service volleyball tournament Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25-26. The Mustangs cruised in pool play, going 7-1 on Friday, to earn a spot in the gold bracket.
If swimmers and divers want to punch their ticket to Juneau, they’ll have to perform well in the Cook Inlet Conference meet. “It all depends on how everybody performs when it comes to regions,” Chugiak head coach Anne Williams said.
The Cook Inlet Conference gymnastic meet wasn’t the biggest competition of Kenzie Smith’s career. But, the Eagle River High junior said it presented a new form of pressure — representing her school. She did the Wolves proud.
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.