High School Stories

Chugiak High boys’ basketball took the big round trophy bowl home Tuesday night from the Eagle River High School gymnasium earning its fifth victory in the eight-year long Birchwood Bowl cross-town rivalry game.

While previous games featured close scores, the 2016 game ended as a bit of blowout with Chugiak’s more experienced boys’ varsity basketball team dominating the ERHS team comprised mostly of eager freshman by a score of 65-34.

Word seems to be getting around the Anchorage School District that Eagle River High School has a rather proficient special education department.

The number of IEPs, or Individual Education Plans, in place at the school rose sharply this fall from an average of 85 in years past to 130 for the fall semester. That was nearly a 53 percent increase that represents 15 percent of the school’s total student population of nearly 900.

It was unusual.

JUNEAU — The Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team found its offensive groove in the second half against Chugiak on Dec. 30. But it was too little, too late.

The Warriors matched the defensive intensity that has become the hallmark of this year’s Crimson Bears squad in a 48-42 victory at JDHS that sent Chugiak home with the Capital City Classic championship and gave JDHS its first loss of the season.

It’s an idea that has been bandied about before as the Anchorage School District deals with pending budget cuts: Close Gruening Middle School, move the middle school students to what is currently Eagle River High School, return the Fort Richardson high school population to Bartlett High School and the students living in Eagle River proper back to Chugiak High School.

CHS, according to district numbers, is only 56 percent full. In 2014, district numbers crunchers considered the idea, but no action was taken.

Last Thursday’s change-of-command ceremony for the Chugiak High School Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps featured passing top school-based duties from a U.S. Navy enlistee to an Army National Guard enlistee.

“I hereby relieve you of duty,” Cadet Lt. Commander Colten Bell told Cadet Lt. Commander Michelle Millette as the unit gathered for the ceremony that is held every semester in the school cafeteria.

The Eagle River High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps knows how to drill in unison.

Three of its teams – Armed Exhibition, Armed Regulation and Unarmed Regulation – earned first place and two of its teams – First Year Unarmed Regulation and Regulation Color Guard – earned second place at the Interior Drill Meet held at West Valley High School in Fairbanks on Dec. 5, 2015. An individual member – Cadet Captain Josh Lewis – earned second place overall in the Individual Armed Exhibition category.

Lana Vo blocked out the cheering crowd and the competitors closing in on her. She listened only to her team members, Nathaniel Lontoc and Ashlynn Walker, as they helped guide her toward achieving her sole focus last Friday morning: getting one of the arms of the team’s ROV to press the button and release the large Styrofoam ball from its captive spot at the bottom of the Bartlett High School pool.

A pair of local wrestlers claimed Region IV titles last weekend and Chugiak High School took second in the team standings behind powerhouse South Anchorage High.

Brandon Lowe of Chugiak won the Region IV title at 170 pounds and Marcus Amico of Eagle River High won at 152 pounds.

Poised to capture the state team title when Chugiak hosts the championships this weekend, South took 10 individual titles en route to racking up 450 points to easily outdistance Chugiak’s 237.

Eagle River finished eighth in the Region IV with 137 points.

The Anchorage School Board sent its proposed bond package to the Anchorage Assembly last week for its approval for inclusion on the April 2016 ballot, but only after removing funding for remodeling Gruening Middle School and upgrades to two other district schools.

“Students in one-third of our schools will have a direct benefit from the projects on this proposal,” Ed Graff, Anchorage School District superintendent, said in a district press release.

The Eagle River Wolves won a dual match against Anchorage East High on Nov. 25.

The Wolves won 54-29 in a dual with six forfeits, but Eagle River won the contested matches 5-4.

Winners for Eagle River were Caleb Robles at 120 pounds, Josh Luff at 145 pounds, Marcus Amico at 160 pounds, David Wilson at 170 and Dayton Denter at 220 pounds.