Eagle River football to host four home games
It’s two months before the 2012 prep football season starts, and Eagle River High already has cause for celebration.
The Wolves will host four home games this year, doubling the number of games played at the school the past two seasons.
“It’s gonna be great for the kids and the community,” head coach Jason Brewer said. “We’re looking forward to it.”
Eagle River played its first home game against nonconference Lathrop in 2010. Last year, the Wolves hosted their first Cook Inlet Conference game against East for homecoming.
Thanks to $130,000 from the Legislature, seating for about 400 will be installed at the Wolves’ den, ERHS principal Marty Lang said.
“We’re really pleased that we’re going to have some permanent bleachers in place next fall,” he said.
The 10 rows of aluminum bleachers might not be assembled for Eagle River’s first home game against West in Week 2, Lang said, but he’s hoping they’ll be installed no later than Week 5 when the Wolves host West Valley for their homecoming Sept. 8.
Eventually, the school wants seating for 1,000, a PA system and lighting, Lang said. But the bleachers are a good start.
“It will be a really nice addition to the field,” he said. “It’s definitely a boon for our program.”
In addition to West and West Valley, the Wolves are slated to host Service in Week 4 and Bartlett in Week 8. Lang said one of those games might be moved so crews can build the bleachers, but he’s hoping to have at least three games played at Eagle River.
The Wolves, who finished 1-7 last season, start the 2012 campaign against South — last year’s runner-up in the Large Schools state tournament.
“We have a tough schedule coming out of the gate,” Brewer said. “It will really test us.”
Eagle River takes on crosstown rival Chugiak in Week 6 at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium. The game, which will be played Sept. 15, is the Mustangs’ homecoming.
In recent years, the two teams separated by less than 7 miles have met early in the season. The later meeting will allow for better scouting, Chugiak head coach Duncan Shackelford said.
“We’ll get a chance to see what each other is doing,” he said.
It will also heighten the drama, Brewer said.
“It will make the rivalry even bigger,” he said. “But like I tell the kids, it’s not a rivalry until we beat them one time.”
Eagle River’s lone “victory” over Chugiak in school history came last season after the Mustangs were forced to forfeit three of their wins — one of them over the Wolves — for use of an ineligible player. As a result, Chugiak finished 2-6.
The Mustangs open 2012 on the road in Fairbanks against West Valley.
Playing the season’s only nonconference game in Week 1 will give the Mustangs an opportunity to fix mistakes, Shackelford said, as a loss won’t affect their chance of making it to the postseason.
The distance from the rest of the conference is another benefit, Shackelford said.
“You’re not under everybody’s eye,” he said.
For a complete schedule of the 2012 high school football season, visit www.asdk12.org.
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or [email protected]