Riflery season shoots off starting Friday

Chugiak hosts West; Eagle River travels to Service


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Chugiak’s Curtis Bringhurst competes in a preseason riflery match against Eagle River on Friday, Sept. 28.

MIKE NESPER

After finishing third in the Cook Inlet Conference riflery championships two years in a row, Eagle River High has a new goal: win it all.

“We’re gonna do our best to be No. 1,” Wolves’ head coach Jeff Parker said. “We have a strong possibility to do that.”

Ten of the team’s 26 are returning shooters. Parker said he expects to gain a couple more athletes in the coming weeks.

About two thirds of Eagle River — which lost four seniors — is made up of underclassmen.

“We’re pretty young, which is a good thing,” Parker said, as it bodes well for the program’s future.

Though riflery is typically dominated by upperclassmen, the Wolves’ collective age isn’t a reflection on its talent, Parker said.

“Some of our youth is extremely good,” he said.

Sophomore Cat Papasodora is one such shooter.

She fired an aggregate score of 383 to finish fifth overall and lead all local shooters at last year’s CIC championships. Along with Papasodora, senior Brenden Lyon is another strong returner for Eagle River, Parker said.

Parker said he couldn’t ask for a better team.

“They’re really coherent,” he said. “They want to get better.”

Everyone on Eagle River has a happy disposition, Parker said.

“They like each other, which is a real positive thing,” he said. “They help each other.”

Like Eagle River, Chugiak has a lot of youth this season.

Eleven of the 24 are returners, and a third of the team are freshmen, said Mustangs’ head coach William “Top” Dill.

Chugiak, which lost five seniors, finished fifth at last year’s CIC championships.

But Dill doesn’t care where his team places at the end of the season. His main concern is that every Mustang shooter represents the words printed on their uniform.

“The key thing to this sport is what we wear on our sleeve — character and respect,” Dill said. “Before winning comes respect and character.”

Dill said he wants to teach his team the basics of riflery.

“It’s not about shooting,” he said. “This is about fundamentals.”

Safety is also essential, Dill said. Every Chugiak shooter studies the rules before the season beings to ensure their safety, he said.

“The safest kid is the most educated kid,” Dill said.

Chugiak opens the 2012 campaign against last year’s CIC champions West at home Friday, Oct. 5 at 3:30 p.m. Eagle River travels to Service the same day and time.

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com.

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