When Hancock College moved its football games from Righetti High School to its campus in Santa Maria, the school used a donated scoreboard to keep fans updated on game details.
Now, two years later, the Bulldogs have their own scoreboard.
Workers began installing a new Nevco scoreboard on campus this week. Kim Ensing, Hancock's athletic director and associate dean, said she hopes the installation of the new board will be ready in time for this weekend's football scrimmage against Compton.
The new scoreboard, purchased with funds raised by Hancock College Boosters, Inc., replaces the board that was donated by Arroyo Grande High School. The old board, Ensing said, has been donated once again, this time to Valley Christian Academy in Santa Maria.
Ensing said the school's boosters and their marquee event, the Joe White Memorial Dinner and Auction, which is scheduled to be held Saturday at the Santa Maria Elks Lodge, were the primary benefactors behind the new state-of-the-art scoreboard. Ensing feels the new equipment spruces up the on-campus facility.
"It is a wonderful scoreboard that our football program will be able to find pride in," she said. "It's not just a scoreboard, it's a nice scoreboard suited for our college."
Jim Glines, one of Hancock's most ardent boosters, is quick to point out that when Hancock began playing its football games on campus in 2015 it wasn't a return home, but rather it was the first time the Bulldogs had ever played football on campus.
"There's been tremendous crowds, a great field and a state-of-the-art track," Glines said. "It's not complete without a state-of-the-art scoreboard."
Glines said the project cost in the neighborhood of $125,00 to $130,000.
What's next for Glines and the Hancock boosters?
"Right now, quite honestly, we’re very focused on getting that scoreboard paid for," he said. "We made the down payment and we hope to have it paid off by the end of the year with some help from our event Saturday night. Then we will take a look and see what the athletic department needs next.
"This has been a big, big project."
Glines said the new device features a video screen that will list statistics and player details, like height and weight. The board is also features the names of the primary donors, including Lemos Feed and Pet Supply, Plantel Nurseries, the Stuart Bartleson Family, Jerry and Delores Lewis, Farmers Insurance, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, NECA IBEW and Home Motors.
The new scoreboard will surely get a lot of use, and Ensing hopes members of her staff can begin familiarizing themselves with the new piece of equipment on Saturday.
"It's my understanding that it's on target to be ready to be used this Saturday and that gives us a little bit of time before our first home game," Ensing said. "There's a lot of componentry that we need to work with and the scrimmage is a wonderful opportunity to do that."
Hancock opens its season at Bakersfield on Sept. 2 before hosting East Los Angeles on Sept. 9. Saturday's scrimmage is scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. The Joe White Dinner begins at 5 p.m. There are still tickets available for the dinner and auction on Hancock's athletics website: athletics.hancockcollege.edu/joewhitememorial
"We would love to really to pack the house. There are some great auction items and a lot of new and exciting stuff this year," Ensing said of the Joe White Dinner and Auction.
Since 2001, the event has raised more than $700,000 for capital improvements to benefit Hancock athletics. The funds have resulted in the renovation and renaming of Joe White Gymnasium, renovation of the baseball facility and John Osborne Field, as well as the softball field. Funds have also been used to purchase new bleachers, scoreboards, floors, a sound system and scorer's tables on the Hancock campus.