Eagle River football’s new pack leader hopes to bring new snarl to the Wolves’ program.

“What we’re trying to do is change the culture and get a winning mentality,” said Bob Adkins, who took over the program this season after spending two years as an assistant under Matt Turner.

Turner is now coaching special teams at Bartlett, and Adkins has brought in an almost entirely new crop of assistant coaches to help him take his shot at turning around a program that has now had five head coaches but never a winning season since starting varsity play in 2006.

Chugiak isn’t exactly easing its way into the 2017 prep football season.

After scrimmaging 2016 Medium Schools champion Soldotna in an Aug. 5 tune-up, the Mustangs will open their season for real against East — which won the 2016 Large Schools title.

“It’ll definitely be a test,” said Chugiak head coach Roger Spackman.

It’s one Chugiak’s players are ready for. Just two years removed from the Large Schools title game and coming off a Railbelt Conference championship, the Mustangs feel they belong in the conversation as one of the state’s top teams.

A spirited crowd sent the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks to a warm send-off Monday at Lee Jordan Field in Chugiak.

With the field’s namesake on hand to help sing “Take me Out to the Ballgame” and players sticking around afterward to sign autographs for any kid who wanted one, it was easy to forget the 4-0 defeat the hometown nine suffered in its final game of a 17-27 Alaska Baseball League campaign.

South knocked Chugiak Post 33 from the Alaska American Legion Baseball state tournament with a 2-1 elimination-game victory over the Mustangs in 10 innings Thursday, July 27 at Mulcahy Stadium.

The tough loss spoiled one of the great pitching performances of the season for Chugiak, which saw starter Garrett Nevells give up just one run in nine innings while striking out eight South batters. Nevells didn’t allow a run until the ninth inning, which saw both teams scratch a run across the board.

Chugiak fell in heartbreaking fashion on a rainy Tuesday night at Mulcahy Stadium, losing to Service 7-6 in the opening round of the Alaska American Legion Baseball State Tournament on a walk-off single in the 11th inning.

Service’s Cooper Bailey-Parsons scored the game-winning run on a one-out single by Jaren Childs off Chugiak reliever Braden Shackelford.

Alaska’s latest world champion is a hot shot from Chugiak.

20-year-old marksman Matt Toth helped Team U.S.A. to a dramatic win July 6-9 at the Federation Internationale de Tirs aux Armes Sportives de Chasse (FITASC) Sporting Clays Junior World Championships at the Galgamasca Shooting Ground near Budapest, Hungary. Toth is a Chugiak High grad who frequently hones his skills at the Birchwood Recreation and Shooting Park.

Toth joined teammates Braxton Oliver and Dominic Gross in defeating second-place Great Britain by a single point.

Chugiak used a late-season surge to storm its way into the Alaska American Legion State Baseball Tournament, which begins Tuesday at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

After closing the season with seven straight league wins, the Post 33 Mustangs finished 11-7 in league play, good enough to clinch one of the National Division’s three automatic playoff spots. Chugiak — which won the state title in 2015 — didn’t lose a league game in the month of July, outscoring its opponents by a combined 46 runs during its final seven league games.

Update: the Knik 11-12 majors All-Star team defeated Dimond-West on Wednesday, July 19, to advance to the title game. On Thursday, July 20, Knik lost 3-2 to Abbott-O-Rabbit in the final.

Knik finishing strong

The Knik Little League All-Star teams have wrapped up a record-setting season.

Eagle River’s Alev Kelter continues to be a key member of the United States women’s rugby team.

Kelter, a 28-year-old who graduated from Chugiak in 2009, was recenttly named to the U.S. Women’s Eagles team that will compete at the Women’s Rugby World cup August 9-26 in Belfast, Ireland.

Jake Moe and Allison VanPelt beat the heat — and the field — Saturday to claim victory in the Bear Paw 5K race through Eagle River.

Moe’s victory in 15 minutes, 39 seconds was his third straight and ninth overall.

“This is always my favorite race of the whole year,” said Moe, a 32-year-old from Anchorage.

Moe first won the race when he was just a teenager. Now he’s a father of three trying to hold off the field in the race he’s dominated like nobody else.

“Now I’m the one holding off the younger guys,” he said.