New scoreboard being installed at Case Field

By Doug Brenneman, JOURNAL Sports


Not only will there be a new head coach along the Washington High School sideline at Case Field during the upcoming football season, there will also be a new scoreboard beyond the west end zone.

The old score board has been replaced, thanks to the contributions of numerous businesses, the athletic boosters and others.

The old scoreboard had incandescent lights in it and were becoming harder and harder to replace as were other parts of the innards of the electronics.

?It got to the point where if it broke down we would be stuck,? Washington athletic director Brett Van Weelden said. ?The thing would blink occasionally during games.?

There were also times during games when the horn would not work.

?There were just a lot of things starting to go wrong with it,? Van Weelden said. ?I don?t know how old the other one was but I think it was 20 to 25 years old.?

Last year, after the football season, Van Weelden started talking with Dektronics about the cost and availability of a new one.

?We have got all of our scoreboards lately through them,? he said.

The new board has video capabailty on a 9-foot-wide by 16-foot-tall screen, but only video that is already available can be played on it, so instant replay is not a possibility.

The board also provides the ability to be used for track, displaying times and instant feedback of the positions runners finish in a race.

?That will be nice for everybody to know the results immediately,? Van Weelden said.

It does not do instant replay of races. Everything that is put on the screen must be pre-recorded. Although there will be live results from track,  that is a different process. That will just be numbers, not video.

There are four businesses displayed on the bottom of the board and the Washington Athletic Boosters. They provided the majority of the cost to replace the old one.

Those businesses, Federation Bank, Washington State Bank, CBI Bank and Trust and the booster club, each contributed $20,000 while the Washington County Riverboat Foundation provided a $50,000 grant.

?With that, they get lifetime advertising on the scoreboard,? Van Weelden said. ?That covered the majority of the cost.?

Other people and businesses have donated money as well, Mose Levy and Mahaska among them.

?They will be recognized in advertising that we do,? Van Weelden said.

Van Weelden was impressed with Washington Athletic Boosters, which has the saying ?proudly supporting our athletics? on its advertising space.

?We have a great booster club here in town,? he said. ?They always do whatever they can for us.?

The scoreboard is 35 feet in the air. It is 10 feet off the ground.

There?s a video productions class at the high school that will have a big part in determining what goes on the board.

?They will play a big hand in getting video up there,? Van Weelden said.

There won?t be as much on the video board at the beginning of the year as there will be at the end of the year.

?There will definitely be a learning curve for us as far as operating it,? Van Weelden said.

Media Quest has helped get the board installed. They were able to put it up in two days. They had to dig new holes for the posts. But the installation is ongoing.

It is not wired yet. Fiber optic cables have yet to be laid for it to be operated. The press box will also need to have Internet.

?We are excited about it,? Van Weelden said. ?It should be ready to go for the first football game.?