The Juneau-Douglas High School football team faced some dark days to start their season, but a late-season surge has brought some light, in the form of sparkling awards, to the end of their tunnel.
The Crimson Bears racked up 10 Railbelt All-Conference awards, including five players making first-team honors.
Defensive lineman Enoch Fifita and linebacker Lincoln Maka, both seniors, joined their teammates on the Railbelt's offensive first team.
Offensive Player of the Year - Alex Fagerstrom, Juneau. Defensive Player of the Year - Steve Wright, North Pole. Lineman of the Year - Jackson Collins, North Pole. Assistant Coaches of the Year - Rusty Ham and Luke Balash, North Pole. Coach of the Year - Richard Henert, North Pole.
•First Team Offense
Center - Balin Babcock, Colony. Guard - Mike Sewell, North Pole; Matt Lehrbach, Juneau; Daniel Contini, Palmer. Tackle - Matt Packa, Colony; Jack Perkins, Juneau; Clay Tidwell; North Pole. Tight End - Tim Orr, Wasilla. Wide Receiver - Tim Jaronik, Colony; Mitch Swetzof, Palmer. Quarterback - Collin Murphy, Colony. Fullback - Taylor Lewis, North Pole. Running Back - Chris Crane, Wasilla; Alex Fagerstrom, Juneau; Brennan Bohman, Palmer; Dane Ebanez, North Pole.
•First Team Defense
End - Chris Krieg, Colony; Philip Warwick, North Pole. Interior Linemen - Kevin Priestley, Palmer; Jackson Collins, North Pole; Matt Craft, West Valley; Enoch Fifita, Juneau. Inside Linebacker - JD Mitchell, Palmer; Jack Perkins, Juneau; Kevin Ward, North Pole. Outside Linebacker - Lincoln Maka, Juneau; Lee Jones, North Pole; Casey Katchinska, Wasilla. Defensive Back - Alex Fagerstrom, Juneau; Collin Murphy, Colony; Steve Wright, North Pole; Vic Wisel; West Valley.
•First Team Special Teams
Kicker - Phillip Hingst, North Pole; Zach Zegzdryn, Palmer. Punter - Dan Ebanez, North Pole. Kick Returner - John Daly, Palmer. Punt Returner - Brennan Bohman, Palmer. Long Snapper - Aaron Mabee, Lathrop. Utility Player - Alex Fagerstrom, Juneau.
•Second Team Offense
Center - Kevin Priestly, Palmer. Guard - Aaron Mabee, Lathrop; Chris Lafe, Wasilla; Eric Sele, Juneau. Tackle - Matt Craft, West Valley; Jackson Collins, North Pole; Raymond Chapman, Palmer. Tight End - Jeffrey Mitchell, Palmer. Wide receiver - Tillerman Kroon, Wasilla; Matt Jaronik, Colony. Quarterback - Dakotah Smith, Juneau. Fullback - Coleman Ahrens, Palmer. Running Back - Gino Paoletti, Colony; AJ Allen, Lathrop; Eric Antesberger, North Pole; Jacob Claypoole, West Valley.
•Second Team Defense
Defensive End - Ishmael Agae, West Valley; Jake Jackson, West Valley. Interior Linemen - Shane Duque, Colony; Mike Sewell, North Pole; Ransome Kelley, Palmer; Clay Tidwell, North Pole; Eric Fan, Colony. Outside Linebacker - Doug Templeton, West Valley; Coleman Ahrens, Palmer. Inside Linebacker - Brandon Nichols, Lathrop; Alex Innes, North Pole; Balin Babcock, Colony. Defensive Back - Matthew Maka, Juneau; Dane Ebanez, North Pole; Mitch Swetzof, Palmer; Matt Jaronik, Colony.
•Second Team Special Teams
Kicker - Joe Slagle, Juneau. Kick returner - Corey Mock, Wasilla; Dane Ebanez, North Pole. Punt Returner - Dane Ebanez, North Pole; Corey Mock, Wasilla. Punter - Victor Wilson, Juneau. Long Snapper - John Church, Palmer. Utility Player - Dane Ebanez, North Pole; Matt Jaronik, Colony.
•Honorable Mention Offense
Center - Jordan Lewis, Lathrop; Keith Lemay, North Pole; Brandon Shira, West Valley. Guard - Chris Wentland, North Pole; Jed Johnson, Wasilla; Aaron McCauley, West Valley. Wide Receiver - David Richard, Lathrop; Steve Wright; North Pole. Quarterback - Sam McKinstry, West Valley. Fullback - Chris Krieg, Colony.
•Honorable Mention Defense
End - John Daly, Palmer; Matt Packa, Colony; Josh Eriksen, North Pole. Inside Linebacker - James Langendorf, Wasilla. Defensive Back - Tillerman Kroon, Wasilla; Jared Isaacson, North Pole; Chris Crane, Wasilla; Brennan Bohman, Palmer.
•Honorable Mention Special Teams
Kicker - Tillerman Kroon, Wasilla. Punter - Todd Stephens, Lathrop; Tillerman Kroon, Wasilla. Long Snapper - Josh Hollett, North Pole; Tim Orr, Wasilla; JD Mayo, Colony. Utility Player - Vic Wisel, West Valley.