Chugiak’s fall debut was a smashing success Saturday night as the new-look Mustangs fashioned a 21-18 Cook Inlet Conference football win over South at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.

“This year we’ve got a few more weapons,” said Mustangs coach Duncan Shackelford, who rotated a half-dozen running backs into the game.

The days of smelling salts are long gone.

A new law on the handling of concussions means that any middle or high school athlete who sustains or is suspected of sustaining a head injury can’t return to the team until cleared by a qualified person trained to deal with concussions.

“With what’s at stake, I think it’s a pretty good policy,” said Rep. Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak/Mat-Su.

Both houses of the Alaska Legislature passed the bill unanimously in April. Sponsored by Anchorage Rep. Mike Doogan, the legislation was signed into law May 27 by Gov. Sean Parnell.

At its most recent board meeting in February, the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA) by unanimous consent approved a proposal to move the state football playoffs from the dilapidated Anchorage Football Stadium to the newly-christened (and renovated) Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium at Chugiak High.