Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported locations of the third and fourth stages of the Tour of Juneau. The third stage starts outside the National Shrine of St. Terese on Glacier Highway and the fourth stage starts on Mile 18 of Glacier Highway. The article also incorrectly stated Juneau football coach Randy Quinto said Thomas Willhoite will be the starting quarterback against West Anchorage. Quinto did not tell the Empire who was starting at quarterback.
School starts on Monday, but high school football and cross country are already in full swing.
The Juneau co-op football team takes on West Anchorage tonight at 7 p.m. in Anchorage while the Douglas Island Mini-Meet convenes the Juneau-Douglas, Thunder Mountain, Skagway and Sitka cross country teams for a 5-kilometer race at Sandy Beach tomorrow morning.
After competing against — and losing — to last year’s medium schools state runner-up last weekend, Palmer, the Juneau unified team takes on large schools state runner-up tonight. Juneau is 0-1 following a 31-8 loss to Palmer while West Anchorage is 1-0 after upsetting Soldotna on the Stars’ home turf. The Stars had won 59-straight games up until that point.
Juneau’s defense allowed Palmer to rush for over 200 yards. Head coach Randy Quinto knows that won’t cut it against a strong Eagles team.
Thomas Willhoite threw for 77 yards and no touchdowns in the loss to the Moose. Juneau-Douglas junior Luis Medina Mojica caught six passes for 29 yards while Danny Isaak caught two for 50 yards. Thunder Mountain senior Caleb Traxler led the rushing attack with 25 yards.
The latest Alaska Sports Broadcasting Network (ASBN) football poll ranked the Eagles the No. 3 team in the state. Three other future opponents of Juneau also appear on the list: East Anchorage (No. 1, play in Juneau next Saturday at Adair-Kennedy), Colony (No. 4, play in Juneau on Sept. 21) and Bartlett (No. 2, host Juneau Sept. 29).
The Colony and Bartlett games are two of the team’s four conference games this season. The Chugach Conference (formerly known as the Railbelt Conference) is also home to Chugiak and the defending state champion Bartlett Golden Bears.
Tour of Juneau
The Tour of Juneau, a four-part bicycle race, starts tonight at Mendenhall River Community School with a 2.2-mile prologue. The prologue will be the shortest of the four stages that make up the race.
The second and third stages take place on Saturday on Eaglecrest Road and Glacier Highway, respectively. The first race of the day begins at 9 a.m. and the second one will kick off at 3 p.m. The tour finishes on Sunday at 9 a.m. with an approximately 48-mile out-and-back ride on Glacier Highway.
Contestants can sign-up for all four races or individual races. A helmet and Juneau Freewheeler membership is required. For more information, contact Dave Ringle at 321-7027.
The Douglas Island Mini-Meet is one of two home meets the Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain cross country teams will be racing in this season. Skagway and Sitka will also be attending the meet, which JDHS co-coach Merry Ellefson intends to grow in the coming years to include teams from Anchorage and Fairbanks.
The community run is set for 10 a.m. with the high school girls and boys running from Sandy Beach at 10:45 and 11:30 a.m., respectively.
“Because it’s before school starts, there’s a great chance that we’re going to get more teams the opportunity to come down here and check out the capital city course,” Ellefson said by phone on Thursday. “We really wanted to set it up and get it going and make it be part of a schedule.”
The Region V cross country meet comes to Juneau on Saturday, Sept. 22.
Look for a TMHS and JDHS season preview in the Empire next week.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.