Spackman takes helm of Mustang football

Team charts course on 2014 season


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The ball will be in the hands of Chugiak’s quarterback Ben Stewart nearly every offensive play this fall. First-year head coach Roger Spackman said he has been pleased with the junior’s leadership during the preseason.

DAVID MORSE

With 10 years of varsity football coaching experience at East Anchorage High, one can’t call Roger Spackman a first-year coach – just a first-year varsity coach at Chugiak.

Spackman will put some new wrinkles into the fabric that is Chugiak football, leaving the rest of the conference wondering what to expect from the 2014 Mustangs.

“Call it the ‘flex-bone’ offense,” he hinted, reflecting to offenses used at the Naval and Air Force Academy.

Or perhaps, with an “I” back, or split-back.

“It’s a very versatile offense,” he noted, with options for two wide receivers and two wingbacks.

“Let’s just say we plan on running the option a lot,” Spackman said, delivering a broad smile.

The new coach is hoping that returning quarterback Ben Stewart will settle into the design and bring big gains for the ‘Stangs.

After a couple years coaching Chugiak JV (Spackman came to Chugiak High in 2011), the coach has pulled in a fine coaching staff, with Ryan Landers as offensive coordinator, Keaton Homer (defense), A.J. Hickman (backs and return team), Greg Russo (cornerbacks) and Jason Duncombe (safety).

Spackman said the team brings a lot of strength into the season.

“A lot of them have been lifting since January three times a week. We’ve had a good solid 25 players do that,” he said.

Although he had wanted 90 athletes out for the team, he has 75 so far. Still the team has enough players to field three teams, unlike Eagle River High. The Wolves dropped to just two squads, varsity and JV.

The coach named several players who will play major roles on the team, including Stewart, Kenny Lee (LB/RB), Vander Lekites (WR/RB/DB), Noah Harris (middle LB), and linemen Ben Dorsey and Tyler DelRosso.

Spackman also tabbed senior kicker Tyler Tulare as a player to watch.

The coach said he saw a lot of improvement among the team during the Team Camp, hosted by Colony High, the last week of July, prior to the official Cook Inlet Conference football start date of Aug. 4.

The team did lose 15 members from last year’s squad including a lot of size on line including Matt Oldenkamp, Jake Brownee and Kenny Pegues. Other players included Zach Bensel, Damiyen Wilkerson, Karson Forbush, Tyler Carnahan, Clayton Inabinet, David Mayhew, Marcus Gamble, Theodore Walters, Chantz Edwin-Orrison, Dylan Timberlake, Gabriel Mingledorff and Theodore Carlson.

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