Five Alaskans Top Chart for Most Influential in 2012

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by Jake Ryle

ANCHORAGE, Alaska--

#5: UAA Womens basketball head coach Ryan McCarthy.
To paint the scene.. McCarthy stepped in after two coaches stepped down less than a year apart. His team is 7-2 going into Christmas break.. Winners of the AT&T Classic.. and Runner-up in the 2012 Great Alaska Shootout.

#4: Multi-sport athlete at Service High School, Amu Aukusitino.
Amu averaged 115 passing, and 95 rushing yards per game..In his game against West in the playoffs.. Aukusitino picked up 535 all-purpose yards. In total.. 31 touchdowns on the 2012 season makes Aukusitino Alaska's highest scoring football player.

#3: The scoring machine for the Alaska Aces.. Nick Mazzolini.
Already on the season.. Mazzolini is tied for third in the ECHL for most goals scored with 18.. and has 15 assists to add to his points total. Mazzolini and the other 4 NHL stars with the Aces have been an integral part of why the team is leading the division.

#2: Found of Anchorage Bucs baseball team--Dennis Mattingly.
The man who founded the Anchorage Bucs.. passed away from bone cancer earlier this year. Mattingly single-handedly turned the team into one of the most storied and famed franchises in the Alaska Baseball League. His guidance helped scores of baseball players develop into the big leagues. Names like Mark Mcguire and Jared Weaver

And for the 2012 most influential person in Alaskan Sports?

#1: Dimond High School Volleyball player Leah Swiss.
When you think 2012 Volleyball you think Dimond High School. When you think Dimond high school.. You think of junior Leah Swiss. Swiss tallied 29 kills and 22 digs in her team's dramatic come-from-behind win against South in the 4A State volleyball championship. Swiss racked up almost half of her kills in the first-to-30 tie-breaker match. Swiss has been named Gatorade's Alaska Volleyball Player of the Year for her stand-out performance this season.