by Melis Coady
Alaska is big and so are our athletes. That is the slogan of longtime Talkeetna resident Loudon Wilson’s website and Youtube channel Alaskanathlete featuring videos and highlights of Alaska’s high school athletes.
Loudon is a huge sports fan. He grew up playing sports in Virginia and was a competitive athlete in basketball. In Talkeetna he has organized softball tournaments, done sports commentating, and coached Su-Valley basketball for years. Three years ago Loudon started what he hoped would be a crowd sourced website called “Talkeetna Famous.” There he posted photos and results of many of Su-Valleys athletic games. He then started to broaden his reach by providing audio files of commentary on athletic events from around the state. His service became very popular with students, parents, booster clubs, and coaches. Visitor views grew 8-fold between the website’s first and second year online.
Last year Loudon began experimenting with sports videography. He started with basketball and expanded to include volleyball and some football. He posted game highlights on his website and then created a Youtube channel because of the ease of the sites search engine optimizer. His videos are in high demand. Now parents, athletes, and coaches pay him to cover games. He does not include entire game coverage because it would be somewhat redundant with an online service called huddle- h-u-d-l.com.
Recently, Loudon has also been helping connect high school players with colleges. He creates recruiter reels for top tier athletes in the state, some of which have gone on to play on teams for division one schools. He said it is important that he can accumulate and edit footage from a coach’s perspective. While other people in the same field make flashy videos with soundtracks and highlight lots of slam-dunks, college coaches appreciate Loudon’s ability to show the diversity of an athlete and what he adds to a team.
Last year Loudon focused mainly on men’s athletics but this year he has already helped a few talented women commit to university teams. Across the board he believes Alaska has phenomenal athletes and he hates to see them get overlooked because of the expense and logistics of scouting rural athletic programs.
This weekend Loudon will be busy filming a basketball tournament for up to 12-hours a day. When asked when we might see him next at a Su-Valley Rams game he had to look at his very busy calendar. “It depends,” he said. The answer proved somewhat complicated.
He explained the performance of Su-Valley Rams basketball program and it’s history since the mid-90’s when the team took second in the state tournament. He went on to discuss the classification and reclassification of the school’s division placement over time. The last few year’s Su-Valley has been scheduling it’s own games independently and hosting it’s own tournaments like the Crowley Classic. Ultimately, Loudon’s ability to come back to Su-Valley to watch some ball will depend on the scheduling of the division 2a regional tournament and whether or not it conflicts with some of his commitments.