There’s nothing like high school football on Friday nights under the lights.
And it’s bound to get even better in Lancaster with the additional pizzazz of a just-installed $22,500 scoreboard for the high school’s Redskins football team, complete with bright and LED bulbs. It replaces the original scoreboard, which dates from 1960, the year the field opened.
“This is a huge deal. The football program goes back to 1919,” said Athletic Director Brian Wild, who is also an assistant football coach.
The black-and-white scoreboard makes its official debut Friday – also Alumni Night – when Lancaster takes on visiting West Seneca West.
The new scoreboard, installed in late August, was first used Aug. 24 during a new tradition, dubbed the Red & White Game, a varsity intersquad scrimmage. “It was to generate excitement for this year’s season, and it was really to show off the new scoreboard,” second-year head coach Chris Dickson said.
Perched on top of the football team’s field house at the far end of Foyle-Kling Field above 16 championship medallions hung on the building, the new sign sports Lancaster’s slogan – “Pride, Tradition, Spirit.” It has “Lancaster” on it instead of just “Home.”
In many ways, the new scoreboard closely resembles the old one in appearance and its 18-foot width. But it also sports a few new features, including displaying details such as the line of scrimmage.
Wild said the old scoreboard was beginning to show wear, with rust building up on it, and it also had outdated bulbs.
“It means a lot to the Class of 2014. It’s a special group of kids,” said Dickson. “It is bright. I haven’t seen it at night yet, but am looking forward to seeing it. Our old scoreboard was nostalgic and it worked, but I’m very happy to have a new scoreboard.”
The district’s top officials have expressed their gratitude to the two remaining members of the Lancaster Redkins Boosters Club, which solely funded the new scoreboard.
The boosters club raised the money back in 1997, when it was scrambling to save the fall sports program that was in jeopardy that year. The club raised $225,000 at the time – much more than it needed to cover the $60,000 shortfall for sports programming needs that fall.
Over time, as the funds raised were spent on various needs and kept in savings, there remained nearly $25,000 this year – a little more than was needed to cover the cost of a new scoreboard.
Booster Club President Patrick Farruggio, the club’s 24-year leader, and its treasurer are all that is left of the club that once numbered about 60 members.
Farruggio decided the time was right to buy a new football scoreboard.
“I wanted one of those digital ones, but we didn’t have that kind of money,” said Farruggio, a 1969 Lancaster graduate. “The money had been sitting around for a while in a CD, and we wanted to put it to good use. I just thought it was time to change it. It needed to be updated and add some new life to it. It’s cleaner, fresher, brighter.”