Fan-driven SD Scores app surges in popularity: SDSU student applies sports, software engineering into creation
DE SMET -- Adam Aughenbaugh turned his passion for sports and software engineering into sdscores.com.
A 2016 De Smet High School graduate, Aughenbaugh and his teammates longed for a resource that generated statewide sports scores and postseason scenarios when they played high school athletics.
After graduation, Aughenbaugh majored in computer science engineering at South Dakota State University, which is where the now-popular SD Scores app was born.
“I decided in the spring of my junior year that I would work on this as sort of a side project that interested me and provided a real-world solution,” Aughenbaugh, 22, said.
The app depends on fans to punch in scores during prep football, volleyball and basketball nights. It also has records, standings, schedules and rosters, among other features.
It started as a website in 2019, with Aughenbaugh launching it during the Class B state girls basketball tournament in Huron. He was in Brookings and his father, Tim, tested out the live-scoring feature on his phone during the tournament.
“It seemed to work pretty well and then over that summer, I developed it into that web app and had it up running here for last year to start with,” said Aughenbaugh, who is a current SDSU student and hopes to get into software development after he graduates.
SD Scores gained steam last fall with football and volleyball, with the momentum continuing into basketball season. Aughenbaugh set up a mock SoDak 16 feature for boys and girls basketball, which proved popular among fans on game nights.
Last fall, it was available on desktop computers and while fans could access it on their phones, it was just through Safari or other internet browsers. The free and user-friendly app officially debuted this fall for football and volleyball.
“I decided to actually go and have it available out on the app stores to try and kind of get that traffic to be recurring,” Aughenbaugh said. “If it’s downloaded on your phone, you are coming back to it more often than you are going to go shell out to your Safari browser and search sdscores.com.”
He said he used national sports apps like ESPN, NBA, MLB, The Score, Yahoo! Sports, MaxPreps and ScoreStream while designing SD Scores.
“I looked at some of those and tried to kind of pick apart some of the better aspects of each of those and form it into SD Scores,” he said.
The app has been downloaded by thousands of users across the state, Aughenbaugh said, and it’s already surpassed last year’s viewership numbers. Local businesses can buy ads on their team’s pages, which includes rosters and schedules.
To update a score, fans can click on an individual game and tap the yellow Update Fans button. For football, fans can punch in the score, time, down and distance and who has possession of the ball. Fans can submit set scores for volleyball in real time.
While fans can submit scores on the app, Aughenbaugh also scans social media platforms and websites on busy nights for scores. There are YouTube links to games being broadcast that night, while he added a feature this fall that compares results between common opponents in a particular game.
“I think I’ve been most proud with how intuitive it’s turned out to be and how quickly people have been able to grasp the concept of updating their games and coming and seeing all the features that we have on there,” Aughenbaugh said.
He’s partnered with LiveTicket.TV -- a Winner-based livestream network -- that runs a ticker at the bottom of each game, sourcing scores from the app. Other schools have expressed interest in using the service on their video feeds.
As for the future, Aughenbaugh has considered expanding it to other states.
“But for right now, I’m just working on trying to pack in as many features that I can come up with that I think are useful to the fan and just have this product be working pretty well for South Dakota,” he said.