Led by what coaching staff describes as a “natural football player” with incredible ball-handling skills and an aggressive defense that just wouldn’t give the Lady Eagles offense from West High School any breathing room, the Lady Mustangs flag football team took victory over West by a score of 12-7 netting them the first CHS flag football championship since 2008.
“She is simply amazing,” Marilyn Campnell, CHS head flag football coach said of Chasity Horn, the team’s freshman quarterback who many expect to be a driving force in local high school flag football for the next three years. “She knows when to hold; she knows when to run. She really fires up the team on offense and on defense.”
Horn rushed for both CHS touchdowns and ended the game with a total of 223 yards passing and rushing.
“We were able to capitalize on the runs to the outside and that helped us as well as sticking together as a team,” Horn told The ECHO News.
Despite her performance that any boys’ football quarterback could easily envy, Horn gave credit to her team and coach saying, “I just couldn’t ask for a better team. They supported me all season through the ups and the downs and we couldn’t ask for a better coach. She definitely pushed us to our limit all season and she believed in us.”
Even in the Sat., Oct. 15 game that began with a scoreless first half featuring a stripped ball in the end zone on what would have been a CHS touchdown, Campnell said she kept telling her girls that this was their victory.
It didn’t matter that they as the fifth seed were playing the third seed Eagles. It didn’t matter that CHS had a record of 10-7 going into the game versus East’s record of 13-4.
What mattered was the play during the game and the score when the final whistle blew.
CHS was first to score in the second half with a five-yard run by Horn early in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Horn added another touchdown to the Mustangs score with a nine-yard run.
Overall, she completed eight of 16 passes for 97 yards and carried the ball 18 times for 126 yards. An interception by Horn while playing on defense was negated by a penalty.
West scored a touchdown in the final two minutes of the game on a 16-yard pass from Rebecca Syrup, Eagles’ quarterback to Myah Brennan.
Yet it wasn’t enough to snatch a victory from the Lady Mustangs.
West Coach Travis Cantrell told media after the game, “We just ran out of time. We just couldn’t stop her,” he said in reference to Horn.
Campnell admits Horn is a dynamo. She plays with heart and with personality, the head coach in her eighth year at CHS said. She’s not sure she’s seen any player quite like Horn.
Admittedly, Horn has poise and is unpredictable, Campnell said.
She is also full of unending school spirit. Fans of boys’ football came to expect her at games wearing face paint and a jersey and sitting in the front row in between running up and down the front of the bleachers revving up the crowd. She is a basketball player and her antics are expected on the hardwood this coming season.
She cheers loud, but if you ask her who to credit for her love of being an athlete, she readily lists her coach, her parents and her grandmother – the latter who hasn’t missed a game.
“Even when it got super cold, she was sitting through it just to cheer me on and be there for me,” Horn said.
That feeling of camaraderie on and off the field is echoed by Eva Palmer – a CHS flag football nose guard and wide receiver with five pulls in the championship game against West – who said she believes the Lady Mustangs were victorious because of Campnell’s leadership.
“She knew that our team could accomplish anything we poured our hearts into,” Palmer said.
That includes community service: The Lady Mustangs celebrated their victory by volunteering as scary clowns, dragons, werewolves and zombies at the Boo at the Beach on Oct. 15 sponsored by the Chugiak-Eagle River Parks and Recreation.
“We are out scaring people,” Campnell said via a cell phone call.