Sports

Just five miles separate Hiland Road and Birchwood Loop, but for more than a decade the gulf between the high school football teams that call those highway exits home has been much greater.

Consider the gap bridged.

Eagle River won its first “Battle of the Bridge” trophy Saturday with a dominant 34-21 nonconference win over Chugiak in front of a huge homecoming crowd at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium in Chugiak.

It’s rivalry time.

The Mustangs and Wolves will square off at 2 p.m. Saturday at Chugiak’s Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium in the “Battle of the Bridge,” a semiannual clash between the two local high schools last contested in 2015.

Wolves, South split

Eagle River and South split a prep swimming and diving meet on Tuesday, with the Eagle River boys earning a 114-61 win and the South girls edging the Wolves 91-85.

Eagle River’s Cam McDonald commits to Division 1 Providence

Cam McDonald is following family footsteps to Division I college hockey.

The former ERHS Wolves defenseman announced his decision to sign with the Providence Flyers Monday on Twitter.

“I’m proud and humbled to announce my commitment to play college hockey at Providence College!” wrote McDonald, who played last season for the Kenai River Brown Bears of the North American Hockey League. “Thank you to my family, coaches, teammates, and mentors that have helped me along the way. #friartown”

Just call them the road warriors.

Chugiak and Eagle River’s football teams earned crucial victories as visitors over the weekend, with the Mustangs earning a 22-7 Chugach Conference win over Juneau in Juneau and the Wolves crushing Kenai Central 48-14 on the Peninsula.

Runners smiled and slogged through the sunshine Saturday at Kincaid Park, where the final regular-season cross country running race of the high school season gave athletes a chance to test themselves while in the midst of training.

“This race should have been their tiredest,” said Eagle River coach Jacob Bera, whose top athlete, Emily Walsh, finished second in the girls varsity race, two seconds behind South’s Ava Earl.

Service avenged an earlier loss to Chugiak with a 5-4 Cook Inlet Conference tennis victory over the Mustangs on Thursday, Sept. 13.

Jared Elison and Emilee Groth won singles matches for the Mustangs, who also got victories from the girls doubles team of Jordyn Bailey/Bethany Kesler and the mixed doubles team of Riley Fugere/Claire Mahoney.

COUGARS 5, MUSTANGS 4

Boys singles 1: Jared Elison (C) def Kelly Wages (S) 6-4, 6-4

Boys singles 2: Zach Moore (S) def. Eric Rueb (C) 6-4, 2-6, 10-3

A pair of local mountain runners crossed the finish line together atop the North Face of Alyeska in Girdwood on Sunday, Sept. 9.

Michael Connelly, 16, won his second straight Alyeska Climbathon while fellow Eagle River athlete Chris Kirk, 21, claimed his second championship in three years by completing 12 trips up the mountain in 9 hours, 37 minutes and 31 seconds. Both tied the race record of 12 laps up the North Face for a total climb of about 24,000 vertical feet.

Bartlett 3, Chugiak 2 (28-25, 26-28, 25-19, 18-25, 15-13)

Chugiak dropped a back-and-forth high school Cook Inlet Conference volleyball match Wednesday night at Bartlett.

The Golden Bears won the first and third sets, while the Mustangs took the second and fourth to set up the decisive fifth. There, Bartlett eked out a 15-13 win to take the match.

Sophia Lestina led Chugiak with 15 kills and 16 digs, while Mackenzie Edwards added seven kills and four blocks.

Chugiak’s flag football team is getting healthy and starting to roll.

The Mustangs earned their second straight Cook Inlet Conference flag football win Wednesday by racing past rival Eagle River 47-0 at Eagle River High School.

“The more experienced players are stepping up and pulling the players who haven’t played as much up with them,” said Chugiak coach Marilyn Campnell, whose squad improved to 2-7 in the CIC after dropping seven games to start the year.

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