New scoreboards on school’s wish list
ROCK FALLS – Rock Falls High School is hoping local businesses will help score some new technology for Hinders Field.
Activities Director Rich Montgomery is asking businesses to donate to an effort to buy new LED scoreboards.
He put out a call for sponsors in the Rock Falls Chamber of Commerce’s September newsletter.
“It was a ‘hear ye, hear-ye’ to local businesses,” he said.
The baseball and football scoreboards are at least 20 years old, Montgomery said. They work, but they use old-fashioned light bulbs and aren’t very bright.
LED lighting “would be a major upgrade in technology,” he said.
Each scoreboard would cost about $25,000, and donors would get their companies’ logo on board, Montgomery said.
At the football field, which also is the track field, Montgomery said he would like to have a timing scoreboard for track meets.
Eric Bontz, boys track and field coach, agrees.
“Having a scoreboard would be great,” Bontz said. “You’re able to celebrate in the moment.”
Track athletes often don’t get their finishing times until the meet is over, and “to me, that takes away from the kid who’s just run a personal best time, because he doesn’t see it.”
Some local schools have track boards that post timings to the hundredths of seconds, along with runners’ names, schools and rankings, he said.
“In my opinion, it just brings a little something more to the sport,” Bontz said. “There’s no guesswork.”
A new scoreboard also “would do a lot as far as bringing in more people,” he added.
Kevin Schmitt, president of Rock Falls High School Athletic Boosters, said the club isn’t involved in the fundraising effort, but might help at some point.
Boosters money comes entirely from fundraisers and concessions, and games and meets at Hinders Field draw few out-of-towners because the school is in the Big Northern Conference West Division and lots of opponents are far away, Schmitt said.
“We just don’t have the funds to be able to help right now,” he said. “That’s our dilemma. The thing is, we have to get people to come out there. We have to have concessions running.”