Wolves open season on the road
ER plays at North Pole on Saturday
Eagle River running back Ed Hall breaks free for yardage during the Wolves’ game against West last season. Hall, a senior, averaged 6.2 yards per carry last season and his 329 yards were the most among Chugiak or Eagle River players.
STAR FILE PHOTO
Eagle River is getting its only nonconference game of the season out of the way early. The Wolves play at North Pole on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 1 p.m.
The well-coached Patriots will serve as a measuring stick for the Wolves, head coach Jason Brewer said.
“It will be a great test for us,” he said.
While heading home with a Week 1 victory is the goal, a loss wouldn’t put the Wolves — who are trying to make the playoffs for the first time — in an early hole.
“It makes a good practice game,” senior Peter Kott said.
Reaching the postseason will be a little easier this year, thanks in part to North Pole. The Patriots and Juneau-Douglas moved down to the Medium Schools division’s Southeast Conference, which means the Cook Inlet Conference will receive five state berths.
Three of the five remaining Railbelt Conference teams — Colony, Lathrop, Palmer, Wasilla, West Valley — will make state.
Being the visitors to start the season will take some pressure off the team, junior Isaiah Banks said.
“If we do mess up, it’s not as bad,” he said.
The Patriots went 7-2 in the Large Schools division last season, losing in the first round of the state playoffs to West Anchorage.
The North Pole game will help prepare Eagle River for its first of seven CIC contests, senior Collin Metzel said. Four of those games will be played on Eagle River’s turf.
The Wolves host Dimond on Aug. 24; South on Sept. 7; Chugiak on Sept. 21 and East on Oct. 5.
There’s nothing better than playing in front of a sea of blue-and-silver-clad fans, Metzel said.
“I love playing at home,” he said.
But Eagle River isn’t overlooking its first contest. The Wolves want to bring an undefeated record back to town.
“We’re going there and hopefully leaving with a W,” Banks said.
For the Wolves complete schedule, see Page 16.
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or firstname.lastname@example.org.