The Rewind: Wolverines fall in NAHL semifinals while South soccer teams and Service baseball finish regular seasons undefeated

Welcome to The Rewind, a weekly digest that puts a spotlight on the biggest stories and best performances from Alaska’s world of sports.

This past week featured several notable individual and team performances across the Alaska sports landscape at the high school, collegiate and professional levels. The final slate of games from the 2024 baseball and soccer regular seasons saw a trio of teams finish unbeaten in their respective sports while the lone unbeaten softball team suffered its first loss. Outside the state, several Alaskans had impressive performances and career achievements worth recognizing and celebrating.

Headlines and highlights

The final week of the high school soccer regular season saw one impressive streak come to an end for the defending Division I champion South Anchorage girls team but an even more important one get extended Tuesday night. While a free kick in the second half of the Wolverines’ latest rematch with longtime rival Dimond resulted in the first goal allowed in more than a month, the Wolverines still prevailed 4-1 to remain undefeated. And with a 4-0 blowout of West on Saturday, they’re heading into the postseason with an unblemished 14-0 record.

“It’s definitely a confidence booster, and I think we for sure know now that we have a pretty good chances to win (the state) championship and beating Dimond twice,” South senior defender Morgan Galko said about pulling off the rare sweep of the Lynx.

[South girls soccer team pulls off first regular-season sweep of Dimond in over a decade]

The South boys also finished the soccer regular season undefeated after blowing out West 10-0 in their finale to finish 14-0-1. After coming up short in the Division I state finals last year, the Wolverines have been on a mission all season, and their confidence is soaring heading into the playoffs.

“It’s tough to keep that level of performance for 15 games, but I think we showed over those 15 games that we are the top team,” South boys head coach Brian Lux said. “Hopefully, we can keep it up for a few more games and win state.”


The Region IV track and field championships saw both the Chugiak girls and Bartlett boys successfully defend their titles, highlighted by dominant group performances. The Mustangs had nine champions crowned and swept the podium in the 800 meters while the Golden Bears had four champions crowned and nearly swept the podium in the long jump. Among the athletes who were crowned more than once with a pair of record-breaking performances were Bartlett senior A’Lante Owens-Player, who made regional history in both the long and triple jump.

“It’s a surreal feeling,” Owens-Player said Friday. “I didn’t think I was going to be here after starting track in seventh grade. I didn’t think it would evolve into this, but it feels amazing.”

[Reigning state long jump champions break records at Region IV track and field championships]

The 2024 regular season for high school baseball also wrapped up last week with a pair of rivals ending on high notes by extending their respective winning streaks. Top-seeded Service capped off its undefeated season with four more wins last week to finish on an eight-game heater and with an overall record of 17-0-1. Meanwhile, three-time defending champion South also rattled off four more wins to head into regions this week on a 10-game winning streak.

The penultimate week in the 2024 high school softball season saw top-seeded Bettye Davis East Anchorage have its 15-game win streak snapped as the Thunderbirds fell to reigning state champion Chugiak 4-3 last Tuesday, but it responded by rattling off three straight victories heading into the final week, including a 2-1 win over perennial powerhouse South on Saturday.

The inaugural Arctic Angels Endless Ultramarathon was held on Friday and Saturday at Kincaid Park. The format called for participants to run a 4.2-mile loop every hour for 24 hours starting Friday evening. Army veteran and ultra runner Austin Canning won the event, completing 67.2 miles (16 loops).

In total, seven racers finished at least 50 miles and 41 racers ran at least a full marathon distance. Not only did the race feature a number of excellent performances, it was also an important fundraiser.

The race raised more than $10,000 for Fallen Outdoors Alaska, which focuses on getting veterans and service members into the outdoors. It also raised awareness about veteran suicide. Organizers hope to make the ultramarathon an annual event.

After 15 years of faithful service and helping mold some of the best skiers from the state as well as abroad as a coach, Eric Strabel is leaving the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center for the Mat-Su Ski Club. He was integral in building up the APU program over the past decade and a half but after he and his family moved out to the Mat-Su last year, he will now be coaching out there too.

The Anchorage Wolverines had their hopes of advancing to the Robertson Cup finals for the second time in three years dashed over the weekend after getting swept by the top-seeded Lone Star Brahmas in the semifinals. After getting blown out 8-2 in Game 1, they tightened up the defense but couldn’t find any offense in Game 2, resulting in a 2-0 loss. Nevertheless, it was a historic season for the franchise, in which the team dominated in-state competition on its way to claiming the Club 49 Cup title and finishing with a 45-16-2-5 record.

“The sting of the results this weekend are real,” Wolverines head coach Nick Walters said in a statement. “Hard to put into words. But I told the guys ‘don’t hang your head on this season.’ Winning is a hard thing to do. Getting to the final four is hard. Winning your division is hard. Winning the division regular season is hard. Winning 39 games,12 games in a row, is hard. We accomplished a lot. This group was special in that locker room, and for that I’m proud of the guys this season.”

[Anchorage Wolverines drop Robertson Cup semifinal series to Lone Star, ending a successful third season]

Anchorage’s Sheryl Mohwinkel-Fleming followed up her first-place performance at the Bike for Women earlier this month by doing the same at the Gold Nugget Triathlon, which took place Sunday. Her winning mark of 1 hour, 3 minutes, 42 seconds, was one of many ways her late mother Diane Mohwinkel was honored at the annual event with others including racers dawning sparkly blue hues on their finger and toe nails as well as competing in some of her old shoes.

“She’s the main reason I’m doing it,” Mohwinkel-Fleming said. “I thought I could do it with her (bib) number so that made it special to me.”

[Dedicated to Diane: Sheryl Mohwinkel-Fleming and others continued to honor her late mother at 2024 Gold Nugget Triathlon]

Alaska stars shining Outside

Anchorage’s Mac Swanson capped off his sensational season in the nation’s top junior hockey circuit by leading the Fargo Force to a Clark Cup championship over the weekend. He had already earned USHL Forward and Player of the Year honors and after his team defeated the Dubuque Fighting Saints 3-1 on Saturday night, he added the title of Clark Cup MVP and champion to his list of accomplishments for this season. In the trophy-clinching game, Swanson didn’t find the back of the net himself but assisted on the final goal. During the playoffs, he recorded at least one point in 10 of 12 contests and posted a tally of five goals and 12 assists for a point total of 17 which led the next closest player by double figures.

Anchorage’s Alissa Pili laced up her shoes and took the court for her first taste of WNBA regular-season action last week and helped the Minnesota Lynx get off to a 2-0 start. While she only played 10 minutes in each game, the former Dimond multi-sport star and first round pick managed to record the first points of her professional career on Friday night in the team’s 102-93 double overtime win over the Seattle Storm. She made her debut against the Storm in Seattle earlier in the week with family and friends in attendance.


“It’s just such a big stage and you can feel that when you’re out there on the court,” Pili said. “I definitely felt it tonight. You’re playing against the best players in the world. Every night is going to be challenging but I’m just taking it day by day. The biggest difference for me is getting used to it being such a big stage and it’s cool to see how much (women’s basketball) has grown and to be a part of that.”

[Playing at a new level, Anchorage’s Alissa Pili finds her footing and connects with fans]

Anchorage’s Jeremy Swayman wasn’t able to lead the Boston Bruins to the next round of the NHL playoffs, but he was able to keep their hopes alive and force a Game 6 situation with his impressive performance in Game 5 where he stopped 28-of-29 shots in a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers last Tuesday. Unfortunately, even though he prevented 26-of-28 shots from getting past him on Friday, the Bruins weren’t able to stave off elimination in a 2-1 series-ending defeat.

“I think it’s obvious how much I care about this organization, how much I care about this team and the city and I wouldn’t want it to be any other way,” Swayman said.

[Anchorage’s Jeremy Swayman delivers as Bruins top Panthers 2-1 to stave off elimination in playoff series]

Wasilla’s Layla Hays was the only Alaskan among the 26 players from across the country to receive an invitation to a five-day tryout for the Team USA U18 women’s basketball team last week in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The tryout was to determine who represents Team USA at the FIBA U18 Women’s AmeriCup next month in Bucaramanga, Colombia. She ultimately wasn’t selected to the team but was able to test her mettle against elite upperclassmen from across the nation.

Fast Forward



Track and Field

ASAA state championships at Dimond, Friday and Saturday

The postseason will be in its second week and will come to a conclusion with the annual two-day event where returning champions will be trying repeat while others will be hoping to unseat them.


ASAA state championships at Wasilla, Colony and Palmer, Thursday-Saturday

The top Division I and II teams in the state will be converging on the Mat-Su, where this year’s state tournament is being held. And while it is not taking place in Anchorage, the city will be well represented on both the boys and girls sides.


Cook Inlet Conference tournament at Mulcahy Stadium

The postseason gets underway this week with regional action across the state. In town, the action starts Tuesday and will run through Friday with games taking place at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. each day.

Last week’s results





Palmer 14, Wasilla 7

Palmer 11, Colony 8

East 17, Service 2

South 8, West 4

Colony 10, Wasilla 1

Service 11, West 6


East 14, South 2


Chugiak 4, East 3

East 8, Dimond 1


Soldotna 15, Kenai Central 1

Palmer 24, Homer 9

Service 10, Bartlett 2

South 11, Bartlett 4


Homer 17, Houston 5

Homer 11, Houston 8

Palmer 10, Kenai Central 2

Colony 7, Soldotna 4

West 9, Bartlett 3

Homer 22, Redington 5

Palmer 8, Kenai Central 4

West 20, Bartlett 10


Kodiak 29, Homer 0

Soldotna 19, Palmer 8

Dimond 11, Service 2

Chugiak 12, West 1

Dimond 5, South 4

Chugiak 16, Bartlett 0


East 17, West 3

Service 17, Eagle River 0

Chugiak 10, Dimond 3

Dimond 29, Eagle River 1

Chugiak 24, Eagle River 3

Boys Soccer


West 3, Wasilla 0

Grace Christian 7, Redington 0

Colony 3, East 1


Houston 9, Grace Christian 4

Service 2, Chugiak 0


Soldotna 15, Nikiski 0

Homer 1, Kenai Central 1

Palmer 6, Kodiak 0

West Valley 5, Eagle River 0

Chugiak 2, Lathrop 0

Colony 3, Wasilla 0


Homer 10, Nikiski

Palmer 6, Kodiak 0

Service 3, Bartlett 1

Houston over Redington (Forfeit)

Lathrop 3, Eagle River 0

West Valley 4, Chugiak 0

Girls Soccer


Grace Christian 5, Redington 0

Colony 10, East 0


Grace Christian 2, Houston 1

South 4, Dimond 1

Service 3, Chugiak 1


Wasilla 1, West 1


Grace Christian 7, Houston 0

Palmer 4, Kodiak 0

Eagle River 1, West Valley 1

Chugiak 2, Lathrop 2

Kenai Central 6, Nikiski 1

Colony 2, Wasilla 0


Service 5, Bartlett 0

Houston 4, Redington 0

South 4, West 0

Lathrop 1, Eagle River 0

West Valley 3, Chugiak 1

Homer 6, Nikiski 2

Palmer 4, Kodiak 0



South 6, West 0

Colony 19, Palmer 0

Grace Christian 6, Redington 2

Dimond 7, East 5


Redington 11, Grace Christian 10

South 11, Colony 5

Service 4, Chugiak 2


South 11, Chugiak 1

Soldotna 19, Homer 6

Palmer 8, Houston 3

Eagle River 15, Bartlett 0


Houston 5, Kenai Central 4

Palmer 11, Homer 5

Chugiak 5, Eagle River 4


Kenai Central 11, Palmer 7

Homer 11, Redington 6

Soldotna 1, Colony 0

West 5, Wasilla 3

Service 10, Eagle River 0


Homer 9, Houston 4

Eagle River 4, Chugiak 0

Soldotna 7, Wasilla 5

South 7, Bartlett 1

Track and Field

Region IV championships


Boys 3200 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Vebjorn Flagstad, 9:39.77, South

2. Owen Hayes, 9:47.50, Chugiak

3. Jaxon Henrie, 9:50.16, South

4. Blaise Boyer, 9:56.20, South

Girls 3200 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Hannah Shaha, 11:26.53, Chugiak

2. Mia Stiassny, 11:35.31, South

3. Elizabeth Page, 11:35.32, South

4. Madeleine Lojewski, 11:35.57, East

Boys Shot Put - Unified - Finals

1. Jermaine Pegram, 24′05.25, East

2. Ronnie Evans, 23′07.50, Service

3. Collin Hester, 18′10.50, Dimond

4. Aiden Zamora, 18′08.50, Service

Boys Shot Put - 12lb Partners - Finals

1. Carter Pyne, 27′00.50, East

2. North Crawford, 26′11.00, Service

3. Ashton Fairbanks, 25′07.50, Chugiak

4. Witter Kellen, 25′01.50, Service

Girls Shot Put - 4kg Varsity - Finals

1. Leileanah Toleafoa, 41′05.00, West

2. Josephine Mata, 35′00.25, West

3. Mona Koko, 34′01.50, West

4. Loseli Ofiu, 32′07.00, Chugiak

Girls Shot Put - Unified - Finals

1. Sahdirah James, 20′00.25, East

2. Emi Hamazaki, 17′04.50, East

3. Ellen Pitka, 13′01.00, Service

4. Ashlee Olds, 12′10.00, Service

Girls Shot Put - 4kg Partners - Finals

1. Emmalee Griffin, 21′09.50, Chugiak

2. Lilian Kurth, 21′08.00, Service

3. Ronnie Garrett, 19′11.25, Chugiak

4. Hannah Katchen, 19′06.00, Service

Boys Discus - 1.6kg Varsity - Finals

1. Sone Falealo, 155′10.00, West

2. George Lane, 145′10.00, East

3. Pusa Lilo, 144′09.00, East

4. Matthew Watson, 137′07.00, Eagle River

Girls High Jump Varsity - Finals

1. Nevaeh Watkins, 5′0.00, Dimond

2. Kayla Cagle, 4′10.00, South

2. Emily Moore, 4′10.00, Chugiak

2. Rachael White, 4′10.00, South

Boys High Jump Varsity - Finals

1. Phoenix Perkins, 5′8.00, Service

2. Bryson Jackson, 5′6.00, South

3. Marlin Burns, 5′4.00, Bartlett

4. Cameron Anderson, 5′4.00, Service

Girls Long Jump Varsity - Finals

1. Sarah Dittman, 17′10.00, Dimond

2. Makaylen King, 16′04.25, South

3. Samantha Jensen, 16′03.25, Chugiak

4. Maya Tirpack, 15′10.25, South

Boys Long Jump Varsity - Finals

1. A’Lante Owens-Player, 22′10.00, Bartlett

2. Ariel Sanchez, 22′00.75, West

3. Tyler Drake, 21′00.75, Bartlett

4. Jai Jordan, 20′09.50, Bartlett

Girls Long Jump - Unified - Finals

1. Ashlee Olds , 5′11.75, Service

2. Ellen Pitka, 5′09.75, Service

3. Martine Gleason, 5′07.50, South

4. Emi Hamazaki, 5′07.00, East

Boys Long Jump - Unified - Finals

1. Jermaine Pegram, 15′00.25, East

2. Jay Main, 11′02.00, Service

3. Ronnie Evans, 11′00.00, Service

4. Aiden Zamora, 10′10.75, Service

Girls Long Jump Partners - Finals

1. Jessica Jensen, 14′10.50, Chugiak

2. Oliver DuVall, 11′09.50, Service

3. Siera Chadwick, 11′04.75, East

4. Emmalee Griffin, 11′04.00, Chugiak

Boys Long Jump Partners - Finals

1. James Anaruk, 16′06.00, East

2. Peyton Barnes, 15′10.75, Chugiak

3. Oliver Saganic, 15′05.00, South

4. Ashton Fairbanks, 15′04.75, Chugiak

Boys Triple Jump Varsity - Finals

1. A’Lante Owens-Player, 46′10.25, Bartlett

2. Isaiah Douyon, 42′02.25, South

3. Tyler Drake, 41′07.75, Bartlett

4. Marlin Burns, 38′04.50, Bartlett

Girls Triple Jump Varsity - Finals

1. Gabrielle Okorodudu, 36′00.00, Eagle River

2. Avrey Campbell, 33′04.25, Dimond

3. Makaylen King, 33′00.00, South

4. Maya Tirpack, 32′10.25, South

Boys 100 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Beckett Stolp, 11.30, West

2. Marquez Nevitte, 11.43, Bartlett

3. Elijah Williams, 11.57, Chugiak

4. Semaj Walker, 11.571, Chugiak

Girls 100 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Jihsana Williams, 12.92, Chugiak

2. Anna Green, 13.25, South

3. Amaliah Layton, 13.36, East

4. Fatou Sallah, 13.46, West

Boys 100 Meters - Unified - Finals

1. Jermaine Pegram, 13.92, East

2. Noah Zamora, 14.54, Service

3. Jay Main, 15.35, Service

4. Aiden Zamora, 15.46, Service

Girls 100 Meters - Unified - Finals

1. Emi Hamazaki, 17.87, East

2. Martine Gleason, 19.45, South

3. Ashlee Olds, 20.46, Service

4. Ellen Pitka, 20.97, Service

Boys 100 Meters Partners - Finals

1. James Anaruk, 13.05, East

2. Peyton Barnes, 13.29, Chugiak

3. Ashton Fairbanks, 13.43, Chugiak

4. Oliver Saganic, 13.68, South

Girls 100 Meters Partners - Finals

1. Siera Chadwick, 14.67, East

1. Jessica Jensen, 14.67, Chugiak

3. Emmalee Griffin, 15.67, Chugiak

4. Wiktoria Grochowski, 16.00, Service

Boys 200 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Alan Szewczyk Jr.,23.26, Eagle River

2. Jabari Johnson, 23.27, Chugiak

3. Marquez Nevitte, 23.54, Bartlett

4. Elijah Williams, 23.71, Chugiak

Girls 200 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Jihsana Williams, 26.61, Chugiak

2. Sarah Dittman, 26.89, Dimond

3. Anna Green, 27.63, South

4. Emilia Zych, 28.05, Service

Boys 400 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Ethan Stiller, 52.22, Dimond

2. Elijah Lemaster, 52.30, Bartlett

3. Matt Varney, 52.33, Chugiak

4. Akobo Riek, 53.05, East

Girls 400 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Alliyah Fields, 58.92, Chugiak

2. Petra Knox, 1:01.12, Chugiak

3. Skylar Morris, 1:01.40, South

4. Ryleigh Ervin, 1:01.48, Chugiak

Boys 800 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Owen Hayes, 2:00.60, Chugiak

2. Dash Dicang, 2:00.85, Dimond

3. AJ Glover, 2:01.39, Dimond

4. Luke Shaw, 2:01.70, Eagle River

Girls 800 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Ryleigh Ervin, 2:21.71, Chugiak

2. Alliyah Fields, 2:22.48, Chugiak

3. Petra Knox, 2:24.60, Chugiak

4. Hannah Shaha, 2:25.46, Chugiak

Boys 1600 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Vebjorn Flagstad, 4:31.32, South

2. Owen Hayes, 4:31.78, Chugiak

3. Jaxon Henrie, 4:35.30, South

4. Rowan Robinson, 4:38.85, South

Girls 1600 Meters Varsity - Finals

1. Hannah Shaha, 5:17.57, Chugiak

2. Elizabeth Page, 5:20.72, South

3. Ashlyn Paynter, 5:21.36, Eagle River

4. Mia Stiassny, 5:23.73, South

Boys 110m Hurdles - 39″ Varsity - Finals

1. Tyler Drake, 15.02, Bartlett

2. Alan Szewczyk Jr., 15.08, Eagle River

3. Isaiah Douyon, 15.84, South

4. Fafo Lefano, 16.51, South

Girls 100m Hurdles - 33″ Varsity - Finals

1. Nevaeh Watkins, 15.86, Dimond

2. Makaylen King, 16.04, South

3. Ellen Kruchoski, 17.38, Chugiak

4. Kensley Denmon, 17.47, Service

Boys 300m Hurdles - 36″ Varsity - Finals

1. Alan Szewczyk Jr., 41.01, Eagle River

2. Sean Gainan, 43.46, Bartlett

3. Malachi Coski, 43.79, Dimond

4. Makai Warren-Dowl, 44.18, Chugiak

Girls 300m Hurdles - 30″ Varsity - Finals

1. Nevaeh Watkins, 48.88, Dimond

2. Makaylen King, 49.09, South

3. Maya Tirpack, 51.36, South

4. Emily Moore, 52.07, Chugiak

Boys 4x100 Relay Varsity - Finals

1. Chugiak, 43.88

2. Bartlett, 44.02

3. West, 44.60a

4.South, 44.75

Girls 4x100 Relay Varsity - Finals

1. Chugiak, 51.84

2. Service, 52.79

3. Dimond, 53.10

4. East, 53.27

Boys 4x100 Relay - Unified - Finals

1. Service, 57.72

2. East, 57.89

3. Chugiak, 58.68

4 South, 1:00.80

Girls 4x100 Relay - Unified - Finals

1. Service, 1:13.57

2. South, 1:22.85

3. Chugiak, 1:33.87

Boys 4x200 Relay Varsity - Finals

1. West, 1:32.18

2. Chugiak, 1:32.30

3. Bartlett, 1:32.91

4. South, 1:35.05

Girls 4x200 Relay Varsity - Finals

1. Dimond, 1:46.33

2. Chugiak, 1:47.15

3. South, 1:48.80

4. Service, 1:53.78

Boys 4x400 Relay Varsity - Finals

1. Chugiak, 3:31.12

2. Dimond, 3:35.28

3. South, 3:37.25

4. West, 3:38.16

Girls 4x400 Relay Varsity - Finals

1. Chugiak, 4:10.60

2. South, 4:21.27

3. Dimond, 4:25.15

4. Service, 4:27.45

Boys 4x800 Relay Varsity - Finals

1. South, 8:13.73

2. Dimond, 8:27.24

3. Chugiak, 8:32.20

4. West, 9:07.44

Girls 4x800 Relay Varsity - Finals

1. Chugiak, 10:06.31

2. Dimond, 10:11.86

3. Eagle River, 10:25.81

4. West, 10:32.69

Boys Shot Put - 12lb Varsity - Finals

1. Deuce Alailefaleula, 51′02.50, Bartlett

2. George Lane, 48′09.75, East

3. Pusa Lilo, 44′00.25, East

4. Ryvre Howell, 43′11.75, Chugiak

Girls Discus - 1kg Varsity - Finals

1. Leileanah Toleafoa, 117′00.00, West

2. Mona Koko, 110′10.00, West

3. Shayvon Williams, 110′02.00, Chugiak

4. Meira Williams, 102′00.00, West



Lone Star Brahmas 8, Anchorage Wolverines 2


Lone Star Brahmas 2, Anchorage Wolverines 0

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.