A few years ago, as the Boonsboro High School football team was getting ready to play its home opener, its scoreboard went on the fritz and one had to be borrowed from the nearby Boonsboro Area Athletic Association, said Karen Seabright, former secretary of the Boonsboro Athletic Boosters.
Another time in recent years, the scoreboard’s sound system was out for the homecoming game, so the name of the homecoming queen couldn’t be announced, Seabright said.
This season, Warrior Stadium events have a different kind of scoreboard theatrics — the good kind.
A new, wireless scoreboard has been installed. It is approximately 24 feet by 25 feet, has a screen for the score and a color, LED screen that can display animation, Boosters President Jen Poffenberger said.
The scoreboard was ready in time for the Warriors’ home opener earlier this month, although there was a connection issue between the scoreboard and the computer that needed work, Athletic Director Susan Lowery said. Football players’ color pictures were up on the screen and some animation was used, she said.
The scoreboard was purchased from Daktronics of Brookings, S.D., for $154,325, according to a school system document. The entire project is expected to cost $203,000.
The new scoreboard, which is similar to one at North Hagerstown High School’s Mike Callas Stadium, cannot show replays, but comes with a sound system, Poffenberger said.
Unless fans were standing in a particular area, they couldn’t hear properly what was being said through the old sound system, Seabright said. It came out, “Blah, blah, blah,” she said.
Seabright said it was “embarrassing” to go to a Boonsboro baseball or softball game and not be able to see what inning it was or what the score was because its lights sometimes went dark.
The group started small, putting an electronic message board in the main gym to show announcements, in time for the 2009-10 basketball season.
For the last baseball and softball seasons, both of those fields got new scoreboards at a total cost of about $8,000, Seabright said.
There had been talk of replacing the scoreboard for Warrior Stadium, where football, soccer and lacrosse games are played, but that was going to be a costlier project, Seabright said.
About a year ago, the effort to replace the stadium scoreboard picked up momentum.
Getting the stadium scoreboard up in one year required cooperation and support from a lot of organizations, and could not have happened without the support of the school system and local business community, Poffenberger and Seabright said.
Funding came from a variety of sources.
The scoreboard has four sponsors, who are paying $20,000 each over a four-year period for naming rights, Poffenberger said. Naming rights are to be renewed on a four-year cycle.
Those sponsors are Thompson Gas, New Direction Utilities, Boonsboro Area Athletic Association, and a variety of businesses owned by the family of local resident and best-selling novelist Nora Roberts, Poffenberger said.
New Direction Utilities installed the scoreboard, an in-kind contribution, and Ellsworth Electric is donating up to $30,000 of in-kind work, including electrical work for the scoreboard, Poffenberger said.
Among the many donations from individuals and families was a person who contributed $10,000 and doesn’t want publicity, Poffenberger said.
The boosters are contributing $148,000 for the project, including a $20,000 loan the group received through the school system, according to a memorandum of understanding between the two groups. The project also received a $25,000 grant from the school system, the document states.