New scoreboards may offer career opportunities for Prairie du Chien students

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Employees of R&K Services of Eau Claire look over one of four new scoreboards for the fieldhouse at Prairie du Chien High School Friday afternoon.


By Ted Pennekamp


Four new scoreboards were installed in the fieldhouse at Prairie du Chien High School on Aug. 2. The scoreboards included two that are 6 feet by 8 feet, one 4 feet by 8 feet and one big one at 13x7.

The scoreboards were installed by R&K Services of Eau Claire which made the new fieldhouse one step closer to becoming fully functional. The bleachers are expected to be installed in October, which will make the fieldhouse ready to host athletic events in time for the 2019-2020 basketball, wrestling and gymnastics seasons.

The fieldhouse will have a capacity of 2,100, which will make the high school capable of hosting sectional sporting events for the first time in school history.

Prairie du Chien District Administrator Robert Smudde said a new sound system has already been installed, so the fieldhouse will have high-end equipment throughout.

The scoreboards and bleachers were paid for through donations by Prairie du Chien area businesses and organizations. The scoreboards will feature advertising space for the numerous sponsors. There will be space for 12 sponsors to be shown at a time, with each sponsor shown in a 48x41.62-inch format.

Having the capability to host big events such as sectionals should benefit the school and the whole community, said Smudde.

“We are a hospitality based town, so events such as sectionals will help local businesses,” said Smudde in citing increased income for motels, restaurants, convenience stores/gas stations, and other businesses.

The large, LED video scoreboard can serve the school in several ways. The scoreboard will allow the school to have both static signage and regularly updated messages. The updated messages could be a girls 3-pointer, sports/school trivia, upcoming events, wrestling weight class, halftime shows, and student-athlete of the month. These are just some of the possibilities with the video scoreboard. With the proper camera set-ups, instant replays might be something for future consideration.  

In addition, Smudde said Daktronics, the Brookings, S.D. company that made the scoreboards, will be partnering with the school to train some of the students in how to run the scoreboards and related software. Students who complete the training program earn certification which could lead to career opportunities such as operating the scoreboards at various venues, perhaps even at Badger or Packer games.

“We could always use the extra help,” said Smudde about having people to run the scoreboards. “Also, you don’t need to be an athlete to be involved in athletics.”

Another advantage of the new fieldhouse is that two games can be held at the same time at the high school, one in the fieldhouse and one in the current gym.

“There will definitely be times when we have two games going on at once,” said Smudde. 

Also, the extra space makes practice time better for everyone. “All of our practices now get done by 6 p.m., except one that goes until 7 p.m.,” Smudde said. In the past, some practices didn’t end until 9 p.m.

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