There's an app for followers of LBHS sports

tmiller@losbanosenterprise.comMay 4, 2013 

Members of Tiger Nation can have the latest athlete and student news at their fingertips.

The Los Banos Athletics application for smartphones has been available for 11 days, said Los Banos High Athletic Director Joe Barcellos.

“The idea behind the app is to have one-stop shopping for our fans,” he said.

With the swipe of a finger, the free app allows users to look up any team’s schedule, 6,000 photos and a range of video. And that’s just the beginning.

Its link from the device’s GPS to Google Maps means users can get directions to away games.

“It saves time,” Barcellos said. “I get a lot of calls, lot of emails — ‘Hey, where are they playing? What are the directions?’ ”

Los Banos Athletics already has a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, so the app connects to them. Users don’t need a Twitter account to see the posts, Barcellos said.

Though the app carries the athletic department’s name, it’s not just for athletes and parents of athletes.

Los Banos High’s calendar and daily bulletin, which includes a video version, are also inside.

“Everything that we do on campus will be in there,” Barcellos said, adding some of the updates are automatic while he’s responsible for the others.

Cincinnati-based Prep Connect Mobile designed the app for Los Banos High.

Barcellos said he paid $1,500 for it. The money came out of the Associated Student Body account, Barcellos said, money for which is generated at the gate of any sporting event. It’s the same account that pays for referees and other expenses.

Barcellos said an future update later could allow for advertising. Google Analytics, which tracks the number of users, gives advertisers an accurate count of how many users look at the app.

“This is, hopefully, going to pay for itself,” he said. Barcellos said he opted not to charge for downloads.

Barcellos said those downloaders number more than 250 and counting.

Principal Ryan Hartsoch said the schedule is updated through the end of the year, which is about a month away. So, next year users can expect to find standardized test dates as well as scholarship nights and other services led by counselors.

“It’s just one more tool we can use to communicate,” Hartsoch said, adding that it has the potential to reach hundreds of people and eventually thousands.

“I think the cost is certainly justified,” he said.

As the two administrators become familiar with the app, Hartsoch said, they will be able to add features when needed.

“The possibilities are endless,” he said.

The app is available on Apple and Android phones. Links to both versions can be found on the Tiger Nation fanpage on Facebook.

Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at tmiller@losbanosenterprise.com.

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