Chugiak fought and scrapped its way to a 3-3 season-opening nonconference hockey tie with Wasilla Saturday at the McDonald Center in Eagle River.

The defending Alaska state champions fell behind 2-0 less than four minutes into the game after Wasilla picked up quick goals from Alex Engan and Dillon Matson.

Chugiak cut the lead to 2-1 after two period on a Danny Casey goal, then tied things up with 3:33 to play on a goal by Jacob Kosinski, who deftly poked the puck past Wasilla goalie Sean Carney.

Chugiak finished its Cook Inlet Conference volleyball season with a home sweep over Eagle River on Tuesday, Oct. 24 as the Mustangs honored seniors Allison Chase, Samantha Harris, Malia Mortensen, Rebekah Smith, Emily Walden and Leah Atalig.

Sophia Lestina had 12 kills and 19 digs in the 25-16, 25-18, 25-20 win, which lifted Chugiak to 4-10 at the conclusion of the regular season. Mortensen added four aces and 25 digs for Chugiak, which also got 20 assists from Chase.

Among Chugiak-Eagle River’s claims to fame are high densities of bears and large numbers of hockey players, so it’s probably fitting the Kenai River Brown Bears Tier II junior hockey team has tapped the area for a chunk of its roster this season.

Four local residents are on the North American Hockey League team’s roster this season, including former Chugiak High standouts William Casey and Zach Krajnik, along with former Eagle River Wolves Sutton and Cam McDonald.

For the second year in a row, Chugiak’s Derryk Snell has been named Alaska’s top offensive football player.

The senior running back was named the Alaska Football Coaches Association Alaska Division I Offensive Player of the Year over the weekend after leading the Mustangs to a 9-1 season and a second straight Railbelt Conference title.

Chugiak head coach Roger Spackman was also recognized by the state’s coaches with Coach of the Year honors. West’s Javin Iloilo was the Division I Defensive Player of the Year, while Bartlett’s Thomas Sio won Lineman of the Year.

Chugiak earned four spots on the first-team All Cook Inlet Conference team, which was released following the conclusion of the regular season.

The third-place Mustangs — who lost in the CIC semifinals to eventual champion Dimond — landed quarterback Eva Palmer, wide receiver Chasity Horn, cornerback Briana Panter and cornerback Carson Head on the first team. Running back Corey Frazier and linebacker Sierra Love made the first team for Eagle River, which finished eighth and lost in the first round of the playoffs to CIC runner-up West.

Chugiak rolled undefeated through the Railbelt Conference, so it’s no surprise the Mustangs came out with plenty of postseason football honors.

Leading the way for the Mustangs — who went 9-1 and lost in the state Division I semifinals earlier this month — was senior Derryk Snell, who earned his second consecutive RBC Offensive Player of the Year award. Snell was named a first-team running back and linebacker for the Mustangs, who earned eight spots on the first team.

How does someone reach the peak of their sport? A million push-ups doesn’t hurt.

Former Eagle River resident Ron Mohr credited his fitness regimen with helping him go from talented amateur to a recent inductee into the Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Fame.

“I found out probably in my 30s, not many bowlers were doing that sort of thing,” Mohr said in an Oct. 18 press release announcing his induction.

Izzy Powers and Cheyenne Burke won twice for the Chugiak girls, while Dalton Lodzins was a double winner for the Mustang boys as Chugiak swept West in a Cook Inlet Conference swimming and diving meet Friday, Oct. 13 at West High.

Powers won the 200 yard freestyle and 100 backstroke and Burke won the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly for the Chugiak girls, which earned a 106-70 win over the Eagles. Other individual winners included Lydia Ekstrom in diving and Shelby Thompson in the 500 free.

An anti-bullying program last week at Birchwood ABC Elementary was a slam-dunk.


Much to the delight of the hundreds of screaming children packed inside the school’s gymnasium, Harlem Globetrotter Julian “Zeus” McClurkin provided the high-flying lesson as part of the world-famous basketball team’s community outreach program.

At one point during a frantic Friday night at Anchorage Football Stadium, steam rising from the turf at Anchorage Football hung over the players like a fog.

Even the field was breathing heavy.

In a First National Bowl Division I semifinal thriller, Bartlett used an unstoppable running game to outlast Chugiak 75-62 and reach the state title game — ending the Mustangs’ dream of a perfect season in the process.