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  • Boys basketball scrimmage at Kennedy on Nov. 19

  • Girls bowling plays City High at Colonial Bowling Lanes on Nov. 20

  • Boys bowling plays City High at Colonial Bowling Lanes on Nov. 20

  • Boys swimming meet at Muscatine on Nov. 20

  • Girls basketball scrimmage against Iowa City Regina on Nov. 20

A new app for athletics

The “Iowa City West High” app that was released on Aug. 22 and makes viewing athletic information easier.

Students and parents have new software to view information about the school’s athletics, and a West High graduate helped make it possible.

Luke Barta ’16 is a junior majoring in marketing at the University of Iowa. In December of 2017 he started working on an app with his business partner Sean Nielsen and a software developer in North Carolina.

“Sean … had the idea, actually, and tried to do it in North Carolina and it did not work,” said Barta. “Through somebody that we mutually are friends with we got connected and he said he wanted to try to roll it out here. He didn’t have the app or anything like that ready. He just had the idea and … he told me about it and I was like, ‘Heck yeah I’m in.’”

Gwen Watson
The app, “Iowa City West High” has information on all this season’s sports.

During third trimester of last year Barta pitched the idea to Principal Gregg Shoultz and Athletic Director Craig Huegel.

“They presented their business model to us and explained … that it would cost us no money, have no work for us and the parent wouldn’t have to pay. We thought okay, that didn’t seem like a big downside for us,” said Shoultz.

The app, simply called “Iowa City West High,” is meant to be a one-stop-shop for all West High athletic related news. It also corrects inaccuracies from the website because it pulls from the the sports management platform “R school today”. “R school today” is always updated, unlike some other calendars or announcements that get put out, so it is the most accurate source.

“You can’t over communicate when things are and with athletics, given the weather we’ve had recently, it changes all the time,” said Shoultz.

I’m a Younglife leader for West High, so I hang out with high school kids a lot. They all have the app and a couple of them play sports and they’re all like, ‘Dude, Luke this is just like ESPN it’s awesome’ because they can go in and see their name.”

— Luke Barta '16

Within the app there are schedules for all the in-season sports, announcements from coaches, rosters, directions to schools and a link to buy athletic merchandise.

“So far every kid that I’ve talked to that has it thinks it’s awesome,” said Barta. “I’m a Younglife leader for West High, so I hang out with high school kids a lot. They all have the app and a couple of them play sports and they’re all like, ‘Dude, Luke this is just like ESPN it’s awesome’ because they can go in and see their name.”

He’s currently working with Hy-Vee, the biggest sponsor of the app. Barta plans to implement campaigns with other businesses as well in the future. His goal is to raise ten thousand dollars in ad revenue for each school that has an app.

The West app was the first of it’s kind to be launched on Aug. 22, but there are also apps for City High, Liberty High, Clear Creek Amana, Solon, Regina and West Branch, which were released Aug. 30.

“We’re [going to] try and bring [the app] as widespread as we can, but we [have to] get this area locked in first and ready before we can expand,” Barta said.

 

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About the Contributors
Natalie Dunlap, Online Feature Editor

Natalie Dunlap is a junior and the Online Feature Editor. This is her second year on staff. Outside of the newsroom Natalie enjoys trips to the Java House,...

Gwen Watson, Photographer

Gwen Watson is a sophomore and this will be their first year on staff as a photographer. In their free time they enjoy most things music related and being...

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A new app for athletics