Scoreboard lights up Geneseo football field

Amy Boldt
Geneseo High School’s new Scoreboard/Videoboard is up and ready to go for the start of the 2008-2009 school year.

Geneseo High School fans will get a treat and will also be a part of history as they walk into the football stadium for the first time this season. The much talked about new football scoreboard is up and ready to go for the first kick off.

The new scoreboard was officially put up last November and had its first trial run this spring. The scoreboard’s video board was used during a boys’ track and field meet and then was really put to the test during the 2008 graduation ceremony in May.

Geneseo’s new addition is an LED scoreboard with video capabilities and was designed by Daktronics in Brookings, S.D. In addition to the video board, other capabilities include indicators for timeouts, ball position and it can also show time to the tenth of a second for track meets.

“Part of the reason for the new scoreboard was the old one was 25 years old (installed in 1982) and it was still using the bulb system,” said Geneseo High School athletic director, Travis Mackey. “With the new technology we will use about a third of the electricity. It was just good timing and we were fortunate to secure sponsors so it didn’t cost the school district anything. There was a definite need for one and our goal is to have this one up for the next 30 to 40 years.”

Mackey also stated that the high school’s maintenance crew installed the scoreboard, so the only cost to the district will be the cost of electricity.

“We are very fortunate to have James Roodhouse as technology coordinator. From the technical standpoint he is capable of doing the maintenance,” said Mackey. “And Randy Bormann, maintenance supervisor, has people in place that can take care of the maintenance of the scoreboard so the company doesn’t have to come in.”

Geneseo High?School made history in the state of Illinois because GHS is the first high school in the state to display a scoreboard/video board.

“We always try to be a community of progression and this gave us the opportunity to have the first video board in a high school in Illinois,” said Mackey. “It just adds to what Geneseo has to offer.”

The cost of the scoreboard was under $100,000 stated Mackey, and the four sponsors are Springfield Armory USA, Becker and Becker, Central Bank and the Jay and Donna Ingram Foundation.

Mackey commented the whole process took about a year and the school board unanimously approved accepting the new scoreboard from the Geneseo School Facility Enhancement Foundation.

“Actually, we saw it as part of an opportunity to be involved in a great tradition with the football field and all the other activities,” said assistant vice president of Central Bank Denise Ward. “We’ve been the community bank for 100 years and part of our obligation is to support our community that has supported us. Give back to those who have supported you.”

“I think it is a neat thing to have for our school and it was a great chance to help out the school and advertise,” said Becker and Becker owner Barry Snodgrass.

“This was just another commitment and shows the support from the Reese families and Springfield Armory,” said Springfield Armory co-owner Tom Reese. “We decided it was something we wanted to be involved with and show continued support for the students, school and community.”

And while the scoreboard will be used mostly for football games, the school district wants to use it for all school activities such as Harvest Fest, track meets and graduation.

“We hope to use it for more than just football games,” said Mackey. “We want to make it as entertaining as possible. We were able to show pictures of the seniors during graduation this year and it was also used during a track meet this season.”

Another way to get most students involved with the new scoreboard is getting the students involved in what the fans see.

“We would like to incorporate the students to do editing of pictures and videos for the video board,” said Mackey. “We want to have them take some ownership in it.”

There had been talk about the video board and instant replay, but Mackey stated he doesn’t think the Illinois High?School Association knows how to establish a ruling on instant replay since Geneseo is the first high school in the state to have a video board. However, Mackey commented the school district is looking into the possibility of doing live feeds to show video of fans and graduates walking across the stage as their name is called.

“The scoreboard is up and running for this fall and we are looking foward to what we are able to present to the fans,” said Mackey. “People are going to be pleasantly surprised with what it is able to offer.”