Sports

Throughout the 2012 softball season, Chugiak Mustangs head coach Jim Huber touted the strength of his senior class.

Turns out he was right.

Three recent Chugiak High graduates, Kacey Brooker, Mollie Matthis and Taylor Bakker, are all playing collegiate softball in the fall.

Brooker and Matthis recently signed to play for Brevard (N.C.) College, an NCAA Division II program, and Bakker is heading to Kansas to play for Hutchinson Community College.

Huber — who’s coached them since they were Knik Little Leaguers — couldn’t be happier.

Two longtime Chugiak High coaches were recently inducted into the Alaska High School Hall of Fame.

Soccer coach Ed Blahous and hockey coach Paul Brauneis were amond the 12 inductees honored Sunday, Aug. 5 at the Sheraton in Anchorage.

Here’s a look at each man:

Ed Blahous:

Blahous coached Chugiak’s boys varsity soccer team for 20 years — 18 as head coach — until retiring from the Anchorage School District in 2002.

Blahous got involved with the team in 1982 after Chugiak finished 1-9 in ASD’s inaugural soccer season.

After finishing 7-8 and falling to West in the opening round of the Cook Inlet Conference playoffs last year, Chugiak’s flag football team has set the bar high for the 2012 campaign.

“We’re looking to win the championship,” said returner Ashleigh Sitz. “Go all the way this year.”

The Mustangs graduated 18 seniors from the 2011 team, and just a few returners are back who saw significant playing time, said head coach Jon Schroeder.

About half of the program is made up of upperclassmen, Schroder said, and he’s seeing a lot of potential.

Mustangs coach Duncan Shackelford said his team — which suited just 23 varsity players — couldn’t deal with the Wolfpack’s ability to rotate in fresh players on offense and defense in their 35-12 loss to West Valley on Aug. 11.

“The kids were in shape, but not in shape to play in 70 degrees against a platoon team,” Shackelford said by phone after the game. “West Valley’s a good football team.”

Chugiak led after the first quarter and trailed just 14-6 at halftime.

First-year head coach Jason Brewer assumed all the blame for the 68-6 trouncing Eagle River suffered at the hands of South in the Wolves’ season-opening game Saturday, Aug. 11 at Anchorage Football Stadium.

“I didn’t prepare them well enough,” he said.

The Wolverines — last year’s ASAA Large Schools state runner-up — scored on six consecutive possessions to build a 34-6 lead in the second quarter. South increased that to 53-6 by halftime.

Eagle River’s lone score came on a 66-yard pass from Peter Kott to Jeavonte Dunn in the second quarter.

Having earned a bronze medal in the 1,500-meter run at the 2012 Warrior Games — an athletic competition that pits U.S. service members against one another — Eagle River’s Mike Sanders is no slouch when it comes to running.

He’s one heck of a cyclist, too.

Sanders, an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force, recently rode 3,700 miles across the country with 13 other disabled veterans in the World T.E.A.M. Sports’ 2012 Sea to Shining Sea ride.

An undermanned Chugiak football squad lost its season opener 34-12 to West Valley Saturday night in Fairbanks, while the Eagle River Wolves were run over by the defending state runner-up South at Anchorage Football Stadium.

Mustangs coach Duncan Shackelford said his team — which suited just 23 varsity players — couldn't deal with the Wolfpack's ability to rotate in fresh players on offense and defense.

Chugiak American Legion shortstop Conner Cimmiyotti, 18, recevied the Gold Glove award at the American Legion AA State Tournament last week. Cimmiyotti, 18, helped turn two double plays, racked up 19 assists and finished the tournament with a .962 fielding percentage. He is the son of Dean and Deborah Cimmiyotti of Eagle River.

Eagle River American Legion pitched David Fuller, 17, went 3-for-5 and drove in four runs in the Wolves' 9-8 win over Fairbanks in the American Legion AA tournament on Sunday, July 29. A day prior, Fuller — who will be a senior at Eagle River High this fall — pitched a complete game shutout in the Wolves' 6-0 win over top-seeded Kenai. He allowed just five hits and struck out six in the win.

Eagle River nearly pulled off its second upset over top-seeded Kenai Post 20, but the Twins had other plans.

Josiah Covey hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Kenai past Eagle River 9-8 on Friday, Aug. 3 in the American Legion AA State Tournament losers’ bracket final at Mulcahy Stadium.

Kenai went on to defeat previously unbeaten Chugiak twice Saturday, Aug. 4 to claim its third state title.

After six innings from starter Wesley Bennice, David Fuller entered the game in the seventh for Eagle River with the score tied 8-8.

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