East ends Eagle River's season
When East Anchorage ended Eagle River’s flag football season with a 13-0 win Tuesday, Oct. 11 in the first round of the Cook Inlet Conference playoffs, Wolves head Coach Matt Turner had nothing but positive words for his girls.
“I told them to keep their heads up,” Turner said.
After finishing each of the past two seasons winless, the Wolves went 8-7 this year.
“To be here to this point is just a huge turnaround,” Turner said.
Eagle River, which swept East during the regular season, missed too many passes, Turner said.
“We dropped the ball tonight,” he said. “That can kill a drive easily.”
The Thunderbirds’ first touchdown late in the first quarter rattled Eagle River, senior Meaghan Byman said.
“Once they got their first touchdown, we just lost our heads, and it went down from there,” she said.
Quarterback Lauren Frost agreed.
“They started with the momentum,” she said.
Just a freshman, Frost was a huge addition and major reason for Eagle River’s turnaround, Turner said.
“The girls just bought in this year,” he said. “That’s another big thing.”
The team had a camaraderie not seen in last year’s squad, Byman said.
“I think we bonded more as a team,” she said. “Everyone wanted to play.”
Eagle River’s program will benefit from the successful season, Frost said.
“I think just having wins under our belt will be a huge confidence builder,” she said.
The team’s two wins over Chugiak were keys to the season, Turner said — but not just because of the rivalry between the two schools.
The Wolves’ win over the Mustangs in the first game of the season Aug. 23 showed the girls they could win, Turner said, and set the tone for the rest of the season.
And the recent Oct. 3 win gave Eagle River its eighth victory, sealing a winning season.
“Just the thought of having a winning season made an impact,” Turner said.
With a core group returning next year, Tuner said Eagle River’s flag football future is bright.
“We have nowhere to go but up, hopefully,” he said.
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or firstname.lastname@example.org