When Kirk Manns became athletic director at Seymour High School, he said one of the things on his bucket list was to have a large multi-sided scoreboard installed above the court in the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium.
“I remember my first few days working here when I started in 2016 talking with Mr. (assistant athletic director Dave) Urbanski and asked, ‘Why don’t we have a center board here?’ and he said, ‘We need one,’” Manns said. “It was in the conversation real early. I thought that would be something that would be a really nice addition to an already unbelievable, fantastic gymnasium. It was something that I was hoping to be able to do.”
Last week, a new $40,000 scoreboard was installed.
All four sides of the new scoreboard are the same size, 6-by-8 feet. The four Beatty Insurance panels at the bottom of the scoreboard are 2-by-8 feet.
Manns said the new scoreboard weighs less than 2,000 pounds.
“It will be used for all our indoor sports. It’s connected to our four corner boards,” he said.
The bottom of the new scoreboard is 24 feet above the court.
“You need no less than 23 feet for volleyball, and we went another foot higher,” Manns said.
The corner scoreboards, the scoreboards on top of the baskets and the new scoreboard are all connected and can be operated with one panel.
Lance Gentry, a former Seymour High School athlete who operates the scoreboard at all of the Owls’ home basketball games, got the ball rolling between his employer, Beatty insurance, and Manns and the athletic department.
“We just had conversations (with Beatty Insurance) through him, and one thing led to another,” Manns said. “We’re very pleased and feel very fortunate to be partnering with Beatty Insurance in this project and are very grateful for their sponsorship.”
Manns said there are some things to add a little later to enhance the board, and the school absorbed that cost.
“There is no place in here that you can’t see the scoreboard,” Manns said. “We have the corner boards for those that are sitting really low. As you get higher up, the centerboard is for the fans. It’s not for the players or coaches. Their information comes from the floor and above the baskets.”
Manns said when he visited other school gymnasiums for volleyball and basketball contests, he looked at their scoreboards and asked questions of coaches and athletic directors.
“I just observed as I went around. You’re in a ton of gyms, and you start looking and seeing which ones really look nice. It was nothing more than that, just being in gyms over 30 years or whatever it is,” he said.
“You just say, ‘This one will fit here’ and ‘This one will look nice here,’” he said. “I think we got the proper size. The scoreboard certainly draws your attention, but it doesn’t take away from everything else. It’s just a good part of it, of the entire gym.”
Also, a new lighting system has been installed in the gymnasium.
“This is the first year for the new lighting system. These are the two big ones,” Manns said. “In years to come, we hope to continue to replace and renovate some of our older facilities, our restrooms, our locker rooms, our concession stand areas and just try to upgrade the gymnasium the best we can.”
The gymnasium seats more than 8,100 people for basketball.
“When you look at our facilities, when you think about our soccer field and recently turfing that facility and football recently turfing that and the additions to our baseball field, putting a new infield in recently, we’re always trying to upgrade our facilities,” Manns said.
“Our gym is known statewide,” he said. “It’s a very popular gymnasium, and a lot of people have a lot of great memories in here through the years, and not just Seymour basketball, but the tournaments that we host, too. I want to try and do everything we can to add to that and keep the feel that the gym has and to continue to add to it and to hopefully improve it.”