Eagle River: Home at last
With a set of permanent bleachers now in place, the Eagle River football team will host a program-high four games this season. West, Service, West Valley and Bartlett will all visit the Wolves.
The Wolves hosted one game last year, a spirited 21-19 homecoming loss to East. The school rented temporary bleachers for that game.
With Eagle River's field in play, the Cook Inlet Conference boasts four turf fields. The others are Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium in Chugiak, Dimond Alumni Field and Anchorage Football Stadium.
The postseason schedule is still in flux, but AFS is not expected to host playoff games.
Home to most of Alaska's state football championship games and many state playoff games in the past, AFS was deemed ineligible to host playoff games last season because of decaying facilities. Safety issues with locker rooms and a lack of concessions at the stadium prompted officials to move postseason games to Chugiak.
No improvements have been made at the stadium.
Sixteen games will be on TV
Last season went so well for KCFT Family Net Television that the network will broadcast one more game this season, for a total of 16. Coverage begins Saturday with the South-Eagle River game at 7 p.m.
"We got a good response from folks and people seemed to enjoy it," KCFT general manager Tom Steigleman said. "We're gonna make a big push to do a lot of local sports coverage this year. We bought all new HD gear, as far as cameras. It's gonna look good."
KCFT, which airs on GCI channel 19 and broadcast channel 35, has covered UAA basketball for six seasons and has branched out recently to cover high school sports. This season, KCFT will add flag football and volleyball to its roster of sports.
"We have enough equipment to do three events live if we wanted to," Steigleman said.
Because they can only air one at a time on TV, the occasional game will stream live on the internet. Kelly Thompson and the Alaska Sports Broadcasting Network will provide commentary for live football broadcasts.
KCFT will also air a weekly sports highlight show, "Final Score," at 7 p.m. Mondays. The show will be hosted by Skip Hurst, Keaton Homer and Heath Day. Visit Alaskasportschannel.com for updates and details.
KCFT football schedule
Eagle River vs. South, Saturday at 7 p.m.
South vs. East, Aug. 17, 7 p.m.
Service vs. Bartlett, Aug. 18, 7 p.m.
East vs. Service, Aug. 24, 7 p.m.
Bartlett vs. South, Aug. 25, 12:30 p.m.
Chugiak vs. West, Aug. 25, 7 p.m.
South vs. Chugiak, Aug. 31, 7 p.m.
East vs. West, Sep. 7, 7 p.m.
Chugiak vs. Service, Sep. 8, 7 p.m.
Bartlett vs. East, Sep. 14, 7 p.m.
Dimond vs. West, Sep. 15, 12:30 p.m.
South vs. Service, Sep. 15, 7 p.m.
Chugiak vs. Bartlett, Sep. 22, 2 p.m.
West vs. Service, Sep. 27, 7 p.m.
Palmer vs. Wasilla, Sep. 28, 7 p.m.
Dimond vs. South, Sep. 29, 7 p.m.
Association aims to better CIC
When first-year Bartlett coach Daniel Esparza started circulating emails this summer urging Anchorage coaches to unite to make the conference better, it didn't take long for the Cook Inlet Football Coaches Association to form.
"We definitely compete against each other and we want to beat each other, it's the nature of the game, but outside of that we want to have some kind of body to help us go to the district or go to ASAA and say, 'hey we feel this is wrong or that this isn't in the best interest of our kids,' " Esparza said.
The Alaska State Coaches Association only meets once or twice a year and essentially leaves teams or conferences to resolve matters on their own. The CIFCA will enable Anchorage coaches to meet as often as once a month in the offseason.
"The No. 1 priority is to promote football in our league," Esparza said. "No. 2 is to do everything in the best interest of our kids. I think we have one of the best football leagues in the Pacific Northwest."