Sports

Chugiak head coach Ryan Landers stood in the rain at midfield on the team’s first day of football practice.

“Well, it’s not the first day …” Landers said.

He meant he’s been preparing for the 2018 season since getting the job this spring, but Landers could have been going much further back.

In fact, Landers’s first practice as a Mustang came nearly two decades ago when he strapped on the pads as a freshman in 1994.

“This is where I was born and raised, and I bleed black and blue,” he said.

As the team’s fifth head coach since 2005, Bob Adkins knows much of his job is trying to grow tradition at a program that’s had precious little success over the years. It’s a challenge the UAF grad welcomes.

“You have to build a culture because when you build a culture the kids know what to expect,” he said.

Chugiak has a distinctively new look this season, but in many ways it’s still going to be the same old black and blue at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.

Gone are the team’s star player, its head coach and several key cogs from last year’s state semifinalist squad. But the sidelines still won’t look that much different, with a former Mustang taking over the head coaching job and plenty of pieces returning from a team that spent much of 2017 atop the statewide football poll.

Sheryl Loan and Jason Lamoreaux captured the Tour of Anchorage titles Sunday after the fifth and final race of the annual bicycle stage race.

The victory marked Loan’s 12th Tour of Anchorage championship — by far the most in the history of the event, which dates back to 1984 Next on the list is Tim Lamb, who owns a record eight men’s titles, the last of them coming in 2003.

The Knik Little League’s Intermediate All-Stars advanced to the Western Regional Tournament in Tempe, Arizona, by winning the Alaska District 1 championship. The team finished fourth in the region, dropping their final game 16-9 to Northern California.

Chugiak’s American Legion baseball hopes were dashed by a juggernaut from Juneau, while Eagle River played its way into a consolation championship game.

The Post 33 Mustangs dropped an 8-3 decision to the Post 25 Midnight Suns on Sunday at the 66th Alaska American Legion State Tournament, the team’s second loss in as many days following a tournament-opening victory Friday. Ian Frizelle homered for Chugiak, which also got two hits and two RBIs from Christian Cambridge and a double from Trystan Costanios.

Win and they’re in.

The Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks used a maserful pitching performance to force a winner-take-all season finale with a 2-0 Alaska Baseball League win over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots Sunday evening at Lee Jordan Field.

With the sun-drenched field’s namesake looking on, the Chinooks got a complete game two-hitter from southpaw Sam Brace to pull even with the Pilots in the ABL standings at 17-26. The winner of Monday’s 6 p.m. game at Lee Jordan will earn the fourth and final playoff spot in the five-team league.

Eagle River’s Tucker Lien finished second Saturday at the annual Running Free 4-Miler footrace in Eagle River.

Lien completed course from Eagle River High School to Hiland Mountain Correctional Center and back in 25 minutes, 42 seconds, more than a minute behind winner Todd Jackson of Anchorage. Jackson finished in 24:16, with Anchorage’s Gavin Kentch third in 25:53.

Racers made one loop around the women’s prison, where participants in the HMCC Running Free Alaska program cheered them on.

Chugiak and Eagle River opened Alaska American Legion Baseball postseason play with victories Friday.

The Mustangs advanced to the second round of the Alaska State Tournament with a 3-2 win over Service Friday morning at Mulcahy Stadium. With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth, the Mustangs scored the winning run on an error by Service shortstop Cobey Cupp that allowed Billy Smith to score from third base.

Chugiak and Eagle River’s American Legion Baseball teams are heading for the postseason, but they’ll be playing in different tournaments.

The Post 33 Mustangs will participate in the state tournament at Mulcahy Stadium, while the Wolves will play in the consolation Matson Invitational at Bartlett High. Both tournaments will be held July 27-31.

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