Flag football: Eagle River continues to gain respect
Learning how to win again isn’t always easy
Eagle River’s Skylar Metzel runs for a gain during Eagle River’s 20-7 loss to Dimond at Dimond Alumni Field on Sept. 2.
STAR PHOTO BY MIKE NESPER
After watching members his team laugh after committing a backbreaking penalty late in their 20-7 loss to Dimond on Sept. 2 at Dimond Alumni Field, Eagle River flag football coach Matt Turner screamed at his players from the sidelines.
“That’s not funny!” Turner yelled.
For the first time in three seasons, Eagle River actually has a team capable of competing in the Cook Inlet Conference. But Turner said it’s taking a while for his squad to develop that killer instinct.
“They don’t know how to win yet,” he said.
The Wolves broke a two-season winless streak with a victory in their season-opener against Chugiak, and have taken two losses of six points or less.
Turner said he thinks this year’s team has the talent to be a contender — but they’ve got to believe in themselves.
“There’s a mentality to it,” he said.
Alyssa Randal scored three of the team’s first four touchdowns this season, while Gabrielle Mordini, Skylar Metzel and Lauren Frost have one each. Meghan Byman has been a standout on defense, Turner said.
Turner said the addition of Frost, a freshman, has been particularly helpful because it allowed him to move Metzel — one of the team’s fastest players — to wideout.
“Having [Frost] out there is huge,” Turner said.
Eagle River 12, Bartlett 6
Frost’s value showed up in Eagle River’s next game, a last-second 12-6 win over Bartlett on Sept. 6 that improved the Wolves’ record to 2-3 this season.
The freshman quarterback scored the game’s opening touchdown on a quarterback sneak to give the Wolves a 6-0 lead.
Bartlett later scored to tie the game, but Frost found Metzel with a touchdown pass in the final seconds of the game to seal the victory.
“We did really well,” Turner said.
Upcoming games for Eagle River and Chugiak include Eagle River vs. West on Sept. 9, South at Chugiak on Sept. 10. In a break from their normal Tuesday time-slots, both teams also play the night of Monday, Sept. 12. Eagle River plays Service that afternoon at 5 p.m. at AFS, with the Mustangs taking on West at 8 p.m. at the same venue.
Bartlett 13, Chugiak 12
Chugiak’s hard-luck streak continued as the Mustangs fell to 1-3 with a 13-12 loss to Bartlett on Sept. 2 at Anchorage Football Stadium.
Tracie Haken caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Jessi McMullen with 16 seconds left, but Chugiak’s 2-point conversion fell short.
Like Eagle River, two of Chugiak’s three losses this season have come by six points or less.
Results of Chugiak’s game on Sept. 6 were not availible at of press time.