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Story Last modified at 5:16 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Locals earn all-state nods

ALASKA STAR STAFF

Eagle River American Legion catcher Zach Weller is a gamer.

"He'd play a doubleheader every day if he could," said Wolves coach Gregg Frost about Weller, who Frost said was the team's unquestioned leader this season.

"He's been the glue on this team since Day 1," Frost said.

Weller's strong arm behind the plate, hot bat and strong leadership qualities earned the 2011 Eagle River High graduate a spot on the 2011 Alaska American Legion Team of Excellence, which was announced on July 21 at a post-season awards banquet.

Joining Weller on the first team was his Wolves teammate Travis Ahlgren, an outfielder, along with Chugiak first baseman Cameron Fritz and the Mustangs' Gareth Sexton, who made it as a utility player.

With a state-best .526 batting average and 26 RBIs, Weller's numbers were eye-popping. The other three locals on the team were no slouches, either.

Fritz, who won the "Big Stick" award during the high school season, was Chugiak's best offensive player all season, hitting .387 for the year and driving in 18 runs while also finishing second in the state with 15 stolen bases.

Sexton hit .281 with 13 extra base hits, 18 RBIs and nine stolen bases to make the team as a utility player for Chugiak, while Ahlgren hit .377, had a .642 on base percentage, stole 13 bases and scored 26 runs for the Wolves.

The teams were selected based on a vote of the coaches.

Chugiak manager Bill Lierman, who guided a team that this year included just one player in his final year of eligibility, was named one of the state's three Coaches of the Year by a vote of his peers.

Also honored at the banquet as honorable mention performers were Eagle River's Colby LeBlanc, Brandon Metzel and Kyle Frost; along with Chugiak's Deven Ferriss and Justin Schneider.



This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, July 27, 2011.