Energy levels were in full force at the Beach Lake Park dog trails Saturday, Jan. 11. It was the first session of the Chugiak Dog Mushers Association’s two-day Eagle River Classic Sled Dog Race, and the parking lot was filled with campers and trucks.
Chugiak High wrestling dropped a pair of duals when the Mustangs hosted Wasilla and South on Saturday, Jan. 4. Chugiak started its dual against South slowly, with the early weights falling. The Wolverines won 59-12. The mood changed when Brandon Lowe (160 pounds) stepped out on the map.
Led by freshman Nicole Pinckney, Chugiak’s girls basketball team started its Cook Inlet Conference schedule with a 47-30 win over visiting Bartlett on Monday, Jan. 6. A strong offense keyed the victory, said Pinckney, who pumped in a team-high 16 points. “Our offense was really working,” she said. “We were getting baskets and shot opportunities.”
If nothing else, Birchwood Christian School’s girls basketball team will be in phenomenal shape this year. With just six on the roster, BCS must be well conditioned to compete with the fast-paced games of its Peninsula Conference foes, head coach Tamie Vickers said.
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.
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.
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.
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.