Home sweet home
Chugiak players and coaches had no say in the far-flung venue choice for the team’s season opener, but the Mustangs can guarantee themselves a home game in the season finale. All they’ve gotta do is win.
For the second year, Chugiak’s Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium will not only host four Chugiak home games, but also the final rounds and championship games of the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Bowl playoffs.
That means Chugiak is the only team in the state that can guarantee itself home field advantage for the duration of the playoffs.
Following an Aug. 11 clash with West Valley, Chugiak opens Cook Inlet Conference play at Huffer on Aug. 17 against Dimond. Other home dates include Aug. 31 against South, Sept. 15 against Eagle River (homecoming) and the Sept. 28 season finale against East.
Head coach Duncan Shackelford said the homecoming battle with the rival Wolves should be a wild affair.
“That should add a little bit to the rivalry,” he said.
Road games include Aug. 25 (West at Anchorage Football Stadium), Sept. 8 (Service at AFS), and Sept. 22 (Bartlett at AFS).
Hosting the state playoffs could not only boost the home team’s chances, but it also helps with the bottom line. Because the team’s booster club — which runs concessions during state — helps pay for things like road trips, uniforms and equipment, the playoffs are a nice financial bump.
“They made real good money off that last year, and they did a great job,” Shackelford said.
This year the state’s Large Schools teams will play their semifinals at Huffer on Oct. 12-13 and the Small and Medium division will play their championship games Oct. 13. The Large Schools championship game will be played Oct. 20.
Chugiak has the rights to the state playoffs through the 2013 season, and Shackelford said he thinks the stadium’s picturesque setting makes it an ideal setting for watching high school football.
“I think it’s one of the top places to watch a game in the country,” he said. “How can you beat it?”
Contact Matt Tunseth at 694-2727 or [email protected]