Sports

Chugiak’s Justice Rushford bolted from the starting line at Saturday’s New Balance XC Classic like he was fired out of a cannon. Or about to fire a Canon, perhaps.

The Mustangs senior sprinted ahead of the field, whipped out his phone at snapped a triumphant selfie with the rest of the junior varsity boys field training behind, then tossed his phone triumphantly to a waiting teammate/co-conspirator.

After the race, Rushford explained the selfie schtick has become an unofficial (and unsanctioned) team tradition during the annual races at Russian Jack Springs Park.

On a spectacularly sunny day at the Wolves’ Den, Eagle River head football coach Bob Adkins preferred to look on the bright side after watching his previously undefeated team get outshined in a 55-19 Northern Lights Conference loss to the Soldotna Stars on Saturday.

“Now we have something to work for,” he said after his team fell to 1-1 in the NLC with a crucial conference clash against Kenai Central coming next week.

Chugiak football lost twice this week — once on the field, and once off.

On Wednesday, the Mustangs learned they’d have to forfeit what had been a 42-6 Chugach Conference win over Wasilla on Aug. 31 due to the use of an ineligible player. On Friday night, the Mustangs got more bad news when Bartlett steamrolled its way to a 73-13 Chugach win at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.

“It’s on me,” said first-year Chugiak head coach Ryan Landers of the Wasilla snafu, which resulted from the Mustangs using a kicker in too many quarters in one week.

A highly anticipated showdown between unbeaten Cook Inlet Conference volleyball powers ended in disappointment for the large crowd that packed the Chugiak High gym to watch Dimond roll to a 3-0 win over the host Mustangs.

Eagle River’s Kamryn Perry threw touchdown passes to Grace Harder and Nicole Bedwell Thursday, but it wasn’t quite enough as the Wolves fell 18-13 to Bartlett in a Cook Inlet Conference flag football game at Bartlett High.

Briana McChesney had one interception for the Wolves’ defense.

Eagle River fell to 0-4 in the CIC. The Wolves also dropped a 32-0 CIC game at South on Aug. 28.

The Wolves face East on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at East.

West 20, Chugiak 0

Chugiak fell to 0-4 with a 20-0 CIC flag football loss on Tuesday, Aug. 28 at West.

Chugiak bounced back from a tough loss to South earlier in the week with a dramatic 6-3 prep tennis win over Dimond on Thursday at Dimond High.

Five of the day’s nine matches went to third-set tiebreakers, and all five were won by the Mustangs. The mixed doubles team of Jared Elison and Claire Mahoney pulled out a come-from-behind win, falling 2-6 in the opening set to Roman Narroquin and Mauri Butzke before storming back for a 6-2 win in the second and holding on 10-8 in the tiebreaker.

Before he walked on the football team at the University of Idaho, Ed Hall got sage advice from his high school coach Jason Brewer.

“He told me, ‘You have to outwork everybody. You have to be first in everything. You have to showcase yourself,’” said Hall, a 2014 Eagle River High grad. “It’s tough coming out of Alaska because there’s not too many coaches coming up there to scout players.”

Gymnasts flew into action for first high school meet of the season Aug. 23 at Chugiak High.

Emily Rand led the way for a high-flying Chugiak team with wins in both the balance beam and floor exercise.

“I’m really excited for this season,” said Chugiak head coach Wendy Wiltfong.

Wiltfong said she’s got about 20 athletes in the program, with about 10 of those having previous gymnastics experience.

FAIRBANKS — The players on the West Valley High School football team can stick another feather in their caps after another convincing victory.

The Wolfpack dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and used their strength up front throughout Friday night’s 22-7 victory over the Chugiak Mustangs at West Valley High School.

With the win, West Valley improves to 3-0. The team already has more wins than it did last season, when the Wolfpack finished the year 2-6.

Ryan Adkins threw for 259 yards and six touchdown passes and Eagle River raced to its best start in program history with a 65-15 Northern Lights Conference win over Kodiak Saturday in Eagle River.

“It means a lot,” said Eagle River’s Quanard Cox, who ran for a touchdown and caught another in front of a large Homecoming Day crowd at The Wolves Den. “Now we’ve got to just keep pushing and pushing.”

Eagle River is 3-0 for the first time in the school’s 13 seasons of varsity play. More importantly, the Wolves improved to 1-0 in the four-team Northern Lights Conference.

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