Eagle River flag football loaded with seniors
Wolves open season Saturday
Skylar Metzel, left, tries to avoid being tackled by Gabrielle Mordini during the Wolves’ practice Monday, Aug. 13.
What a difference one season can make.
After going winless two straight seasons, Eagle River High’s flag football team finished 8-7 last year. The improvement in their record also brought a change to the team’s attitude this year, said senior Scout Warners. The 34 girls between the varsity and junior varsity squads have been taking preseason practice more seriously than in the past, she said.
“Everyone’s been on time to practice,” Warners said.
The Wolves’ senior-laden varsity team (they have 12) is full of returners, said head coach Matt Turner, the 2011 Cook Inlet Conference Coach of the Year.
“We have a good, solid return,” he said.
That experience will benefit the Wolves, senior Skylar Metzel said.
“It will really help us out,” she said.
Key returners include seniors Alyssa Randall, Metzel and Warners, Turner said. Metzel and Warners both received First-Team All-CIC honors last season. Randall and returner Gabi Mordini received Second-Team honors.
Sophomore quarterback Lauren Frost is another important returner for the Wolves, Turner said. Frost, who is currently playing at the Women’s Baseball World Cup on the U-21 National All-Star Team in Edmonton, Alberta, will likely miss the first two games, he said.
Once Frost returns, Eagle River’s offense will largely mirror last year’s team, Turner said. But it’s a different story on defense.
The loss of graduates Meaghan Byman (a First-Team All-CIC selection), Paulette Mordini (a Second-Team selection) and Leilani Mahi (honorable mention) has left voids to fill on the defensive side, Turner said.
“The defense is the big thing we’ll be rebuilding,” he said.
Byman will be the most difficult to replace, Turner said.
“She’ll be the big shoes to fill,” he said.
The Wolves open their season Saturday, Aug. 18 against West at Eagle River at 11 a.m. Eagle River then hosts Chugiak on Tuesday, Aug. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
The trash talking between the crosstown rivals has already begun.
“Chugiak is already Facebooking us, ‘We’re gonna beat you,’” Warners said.
With the combination of returners and last year’s JV players that have made the jump to varsity, the Wolves are seeking to improve on their best-ever record from last season, Warners said.
“We have a strong team this year,” she said.
“We’ve got a lot of speed,” she said. “We’ll be better this year than last year.”
East Anchorage ended Eagle River’s 2011 season with a 13-0 win in the opening round of the CIC playoffs. Warners said the team wants to earn a first-round playoff victory and make a run at the title.
Working together will be key for Eagle River to have success, Metzel said.
“We have play as a team,” she said.
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or email@example.com.