Sports

After going through nine head coaches in as many seasons, Jon Schroeder is back at the helm of Chugiak High’s track program.

Schroeder served as head coach two years ago, but an injury prevented him from running the program last season. Now, Schroeder is focused on growing the Mustangs’ track and field team.

Schroeder said he wants to stir up excitement at Chugiak, which he said has a deep pool of talent roaming the halls.

“We’re trying to get them to come out and have some fun,” he said. “Try to build the track program back.”

With about 50 athletes out and another five to 10 expected to join after spring break (which ended March 16), Eagle River High head track and field coach Matt Turner had something to celebrate before the 2012 season even started.

“We’ve got the most numbers out we’ve ever had,” he said. “That’s always a plus to start the year off.”

The 2012 Arctic Winter Games closed with 15 local athletes bringing home ulus. The games, which this year featured nine teams from northern regions participating in a variety of athletic and cultural events, were held this year in Whitehorse, Yukon.

On the turf, all rivalry was set aside as Sue Fleurant of Chugiak High and Jackie Klecka, of Eagle River, teamed up to bring home indoor soccer bronze.

“We can be teammates one week and opponents the next, its really not weird at all,” Fleurant said.

The Chugiak-Eagle River Huskies won the 2012 Valley Comp Basketball Girls 7/8 Elite Championship on Feb. 29 at the AT&T Center in Wasilla. The Huskies won the championship with a 29-26 victory over their longtime rival, the Mountaineers. Pictured are (back row, left to right) Coach Glenn Haasl, Victoria Spring, Kassidy Murfin, Randi McMullin, Nicole Pinckney, Coach Chuck Pinckney and (front row, L-R) Kaylee Carlson, Emmie Jennings, Haley Scott, Miranda Haasl and Hannah Russell.

In their first year as a Competition team, the Eagle River Glacier Hockey Association’s Alaska Glacier Bears won the U16 Tier II state title. Now, the Bears are heading to the national tournament in Green Bay, Wis., on March 28 through April 1 to see how they stack up against the Lower 48.

“They’re very excited,” head coach Scott Hulse said. “It’s an opportunity and experience for the players they’ve never had.”

Hulse said the Bears will open the tournament against a team from Indiana. They’ll also face the best from Virginia and North Carolina.

Though Eagle River High is fielding just one girls soccer team, it has a high caliber of players, second-year head coach Lauren Mason said.

“We had a lot of girls who know how to play soccer come out,” she said. “Low numbers of quality players.”

A majority of the team’s 16 players are returning starters, Mason said.

“I feel pretty confident with this team,” she said. “Technically I think we’ve improved overall as a group from last year.”

First-year head soccer coach Max Solodkii couldn’t ask for a better team to start his career at ERHS.

Eagle River High’s boys team is one of the best groups Solodkii’s had the opportunity to coach, he said.

“It’s a good bunch,” he said. “A very good group of boys.”

Solodkii said the team doesn’t have a single “superstar,” and no one plays with a chip on their shoulder.

If Chugiak’s girls soccer team is going to return to state this year, the Mustangs will have to do it without standout Kelly Cobb.

The 2011 graduate now plays for Duke University. In her first year, Cobb led the Blue Devils to the NCAA Division I women’s soccer tournament championship Dec. 4, 2011, where they lost 1-0 to Stanford. Cobb finished the season with a team-high 11 goals and 31 total points — both freshman records at Duke.

With nine seniors, Chugiak High’s boys soccer team won’t be lacking experience for the 2012 campaign.

That’s good news for first-year head coach Mikey Evans.

Evans knows it will be challenging to transition from the style of former longtime head coach George Campnell. Evans said he doesn’t plan on throwing too many new changes at the team, but does want to improve on last year’s record.

“As a first-year coach, you always like to finish above .500,” he said. “I’m just looking to develop a group of guys that all play as a unit.”

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