A look at the past year in sports
We had state champions — individuals and teams — a heap of conference titles and longtime coaches hand up their whistles. Here’s a look at local sports over the past year:
• Three local grapplers won Cook Inlet Conference wrestling titles, including Eagle River’s Xavier Horton (152 pounds), and Chugiak’s Alex Medeiros (182) and Richard Burroughs (220) in January.
• Five local middle-schoolers won titles at the ASD Middle School City Championships. From Mirror Lake, eighth-graders Josh Edwards (127), Dawson Budke (133) and Merrick Johnson (190) took first. Terry Park (85) and Derryk Snell (148) claimed titles for Gruening.
• Ravenwood Elementary fifth-grader Joey Lerch won three state titles at the Alaska USA State Freestyle, Folkstyle and Greco-Roman tournaments in May.
• Chugiak High’s coed competition cheer team was named grand champions of the Spring Region IV Cheer Competition in February. Head coach Joyce Davis was named Coach of the Year. Chugiak also won the Fall Region IV competition in October.
• Chugiak’s cheer team won the level 4 coed division at the Contest of Champions Nationals in Orlando, Fla., in March.
Eagle River’s Alea Robinson won the Sky 350 Sled Dog Race in Lincoln, Montana, in February.
Four locals cracked the top 10 at the state ski championships. Chugiak’s David McPhetres was sixth, four spots ahead of teammate Alex Loan. On the girls side, Chugiak’s Sarissa Lammers finished seventh, one spot ahead of Eagle River’s Hannah Stevens.
• Birchwood Christian School’s boys made state for the second straight year. The Warriors went 2-2 in the Class 1A tournament after earning the No. 2 seed in their inaugural season competing in the Peninsula Conference.
• In April, ASD announced it was adding interscholastic basketball to the middle school level.
Track and field
• Chugiak senior Tyler Rohde signed a letter of intent to run for California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo’s NCAA Division I program in April.
• Eagle River and Chugiak combined for 12 conference titles in May. Birchwood Christian School’s Tia Goward won two Region II crowns.
• Rohde (200-meter dash) and fellow Chugiak senior Chris Kveseth (400) won state titles at Lathrop in May.
• Mirror Lake won a whopping 13 titles and finished first overall at the Middle School City Championships in May. Gruening won seven titles.
• Chugiak’s Kirsten Watts and Eagle River’s Jade Pandres were part of the Alaska Allstars team who won the USA Hockey Tier II 14-U girls national championship in April.
• ASD cut girls hockey due to lack of participation. The Scotty Gomez Foundation is operating the program as an outsourced sport.
• Chugiak High senior Kaitlin Friedli signed a letter of intent in April to dive for Colgate (N.Y.) University’s Division I program.
• Local athletes won a combined eight conference titles in November and 23 made state.
Coaches step down
Longtime Chugiak coaches Jon Schroeder, Kevin Fullmer, William “Top” Dill and Duncan Shackelford stepped down following their seasons. Since 1985, Schroeder coached football, flag football, basketball and track and field. Fullmer led the Mustangs’ basketball program for 15 years and Dill was the head riflery coach for 16 years. Shackelford was Chugiak’s head football coach for 10 years.
• Knik Little League celebrated its 50th anniversary in June.
• Chugiak went 1-2 at the Class 4A state softball tournament in May.
• Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks’ pitcher Mike Jeffreys signed with the Kansas City Royals organization in July. He was expected to join the team’s Class A affiliate in Burlington, N.C., after signing his deal in Surprise, Ariz.
• Chugiak Post 33 won the American Legion state championship in August. The Mustangs downed South 4-3 in the second of two games played for the title.
• 1985 Chugiak High grad Ed Blahous Jr. was inducted into the Alaska High School Hall of Fame in August. He was a three-time all-conference selection and helped the Mustangs win three straight state titles from 1983-85.
• The Chugiak Soccer Club’s 2001 Tsunami girls team won its second straight Alaska State Cup in August.
Cross country run
• Chugiak sophomore Ty Jordan won the boys CIC title in September and took second overall at state in October.
• Mirror Lake’s Emma Sees (sixth/seventh grade) and Emma Nelson (eighth grade) won ASD middle school championships in October.
• Chugiak made state but fell in the first round to Service.
• Chugiak senior Kenny Pegues was named Lineman of the Year.
Eagle River’s Kenzie Smith won the CIC gymnastics title. She scored 36 points through four events.
Chugiak finished fourth at state. Rachel Gregg was named to the all-tournament team.
Eagle River High’s Cat Papasodora won the overall conference title with an aggregate score of 394.