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Football review
Story Last modified at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, August 10, 2011

There's an app for 'Shack'
Mustang football gallops into information age

BY MATT TUNSETH
Alaska Star

Chugiak High head football coach Duncan Shackelford isn't real big on computers, but he knew right away that the team's recent foray into cyber space was something worth paying attention to.

"It looks pretty darn cool," Shackelford said after getting a look at Chugiakfootball.mobi, a website and mobile application for smart phones that booster club president Drema Fitzhugh said has the potential to revolutionize how people follow the 'Stangs this season.

"We'll be updating scores throughout the games, and there's a coaches show were we interview coach Shack," Fitzhugh said.

Anyone with a web browser can access the app, which includes buttons that link to Chugiak schedules, rosters, highlights and more. Fitzhugh said the site will be used as a way to get any and all information about the team out to the public as quickly as possible.

"Most all of the players have family and friends in the Lower 48 or even other parts of the world," she said. "We can get their family and friends plugged in from whererver they are."

Fitzhugh said the team partnered with MGP Solutions, a company that creates specialized mobile apps for high school teams nationwide. Originally from the football hotbed of Texas, Fitzhugh said she wanted to find a way to make the Mustangs stand apart from other Alaska teams.

"We wanted to put Chugiak football on the map," she said. "I think it's extremely exciting."

Fitzhugh said one thing fans have been talking about is the proposed Coach Shack show. She said she's not yet sure how that will work — Shackelford may sit down for an interview the day after a game or maybe right afterward — but she does know the show is likely to be entertaining.

"He's never at a loss for words," she said.

Shackelford said he's onboard with whatever the booster club has in store for him as long as it helps build excitement.

"I guess it's going to be kinda wild," he said.

Kinda wild is exactly what Fitzhugh is hoping for. With this year's state tournament scheduled for Chugiak's Tom Huffer Stadium, she said the level of anticipation over the upcoming season — which begins Saturday, Aug. 13 with a home game against South — is already building.

"This is kind of a state-of-the-art and something that will build more excitement," she said. "We want to step up the enthusiasm in the stands this year. As a booster club, we feel that's our duty."

Contact Matt Tunseth at 694-2727 or matt.tunseth@alaskastar.com



This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.