When Clarke’s football team takes the field at home against Saydel this Friday, it will be in the shadow of a new, high-tech scoreboard. The players and fans alike will now be able to track the Indians on a wireless scoreboard that includes animated graphics, 25-second clocks on both ends of the field, and a digital display in the center of the board.
With Clarke Community Schools’ focus on becoming a model district, providing the highest quality programs for students and the community, it was evident to the school board and superintendent that the outdated, costly old scoreboard needed to go.
“We’re either gonna’ go big or go home,” said Superintendent Steve Seid. “Let’s put that scoreboard in there and make these kids proud to run onto the field!”
Replacing the old scoreboard was a decision that Seid believes had to be made as soon as possible. Finding replacement parts for the old scoreboard was becoming difficult and the upkeep was getting costly.
“I want this to be a place where everyone is proud to be. That, and our passion for Clarke sports will give us even more of a home field advantage.”
“Really, the old board cost more to maintain than simply getting a new one. The new bulbs are much more cost effective and it’s going to be a quality addition, all around,” said Seid. With the new football coach and evolving program, Seid, along with the school board, thought it would be a great compliment.
Once Ryan Sweeney, Clarke Activities Director and athletic boosters landed the perfect scoreboard, Robin Linskens, President of the athletic boosters started sending numerous emails to the community asking for donations to cover the $44,000 cost. At the same time, Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC) and Sweeny joined forces to contact surrounding businesses offering advertising opportunities benefiting to both the businesses and Clarke’s scoreboard.
“We found businesses that would pay an advertising fee to have their names as a permanent fixture on the board,” said Bill Trickey, Executive Director of the CCDC. “Those are all filled, and we’ve also had a lot of money donated through Robin’s fundraising efforts.”
After advertising fees covered the purchase of the board, the schools’ maintenance crew and local vendors will do the installation of the scoreboard This will save additional time, money as well as keep contract work local.
The location of the board will be changing too. The board will be located on the south end of the football field rather than the north for better viewing. “We strategically placed it so the visiting fans, the home fans, and those at the concession stand can view it,” said Seid.
With the scoreboard lighting up the stadium and fans cheering on their home team this week, Seid continues to focus on Clarke as a model district. “In the past it’s been ‘let’s just fix it to get by’ and that’s just not our philosophy any longer” he said. “I want this to be a place where everyone is proud to be. That, and our passion for Clarke sports will give us even more of a home field advantage.”