Sports

Chugiak High’s tennis program is full of talented newcomers, said fourth-year head coach Sally Jo Cook.

“If we had a tournament for first and second year players, I think we’d bring home that trophy,” she said.

If some of those players compete through their senior year, Cook said, Chugiak’s future will be looking bright.

It’s not just athleticism the new players bring to the team. They all have great attitudes, Cook said.

“They have a good drive to want to improve,” she said. “It’s fun to see them go from zero to 50.”

The Chugiak Soccer Club Tsunami recently competed in the Alaska State Cup Finals soccer tournament in Kenai, where they posted a 2-0-1 record to claim the state championship for the U-12 girls division. The win qualifies the team for the Regional Soccer Tournament to be held in Hawaii next June.

Chugiak’s stingy defense kept the Wolves from reaching the end zone as the Mustangs blanked their crosstown rivals 19-0 in Cook Inlet Conference flag football action Tuesday, Aug. 21 at Eagle River.

“Defensively, we played a great game” Chugiak head coach Jon Schroeder said. “Offensively, it was a good confidence day being able to score three touchdowns.”

With the win, Chugiak — which lost its season opener 20-0 against Dimond on Aug. 18 — improved to 1-1. Eagle River, which lost 8-0 to West on Aug. 18, fell to 0-2.

Chugiak head football coach Duncan Shackelford put the blame for his team’s 14-7 Cook Inlet Conference loss to Dimond on Aug. 17 squarely on the shoulders of a lone Mustang.

Himself.

“My fault. Absolutely my fault,” Shackelford said after watching his team melt down in the fourth quarter of their home opener at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.

Though Eagle River finished on the losing end of another lopsided Cook Inlet Conference football game Saturday, Aug. 18, the 49-6 final didn’t tell the whole story, Wolves’ head coach Jason Brewer said.

“The scoreboard doesn’t indicate the game,” he said after West handed Eagle River (0-2 in CIC and overall) its second loss of the season. “We drove 80 yards and the next play they throw a bomb.”

That’s just how the game started.

Chugiak High has 34 runners out for its cross country team this year — and every one of them is ready to go to work.

“They all want to be there,” Mustangs’ head coach Tina McPhetres said. “That’s all I want.”

Chugiak’s biggest loss is 2012 graduate Isaac Lammers, who is running and skiing for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Lammers finished 11th at last year’s state meet to lead all local male runners.

Eagle River is loaded with 42 athletes in its 2012 cross country running program.

“This is our largest squad we’ve ever had,” Wolves’ head coach Jacob Bera said.

Much of the team is made up of underclassmen, he said, and the start of the season couldn’t be going any better.

“We’re having an awesome year so far,” Bera said. “The kids are really supportive of each other.”

Bera said he’s focused on growing the program every season.

“Every year, were trying to reach out more,” he said.

Chugiak head football coach Duncan Shackelford put the blame for Friday night’s 14-7 Cook Inlet Conference loss to Dimond squarely on the shoulders of a lone Mustang. 

Himself.

“My fault. Absolutely my fault,” Shackelford said after watching his team melt down in the fourth quarter of their home opener at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.

Chugiak High sophomore running back Josh Capers ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns in Chugiak's season-opening loss at West Valley on Saturday, Aug. 11 in Fairbanks. Capers, 15, is the son of Smiley and Michelle Capers of Eagle River. 

What a difference one season can make.

After going winless two straight seasons, Eagle River High’s flag football team finished 8-7 last year. The improvement in their record also brought a change to the team’s attitude this year, said senior Scout Warners. The 34 girls between the varsity and junior varsity squads have been taking preseason practice more seriously than in the past, she said.

“Everyone’s been on time to practice,” Warners said.

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