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Fans, players love the video board 9/12/22

Fans, players love the video board

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


It’s hard to miss Alma’s new video board. Not just from inside Citizens Bank Field at Airedale Stadium, either. 


“It’s the first thing you see when you drive into the parking lot,” beams former Alma superintendent David Woolly. Woolly retired in June following a 50-year run with the school district. 


“When you turn right at Kiddie Kollege, you know where you’re at,” Alma athletics director Doug Loughridge said. “It’s great to see all the sponsors — that’s the first thing you see.”


Woolly and Loughridge began to tinker with the idea of the new video board back in April. 


Friday, there were plenty of smiles as the Airedales unveiled the new technology. 


“This is a credit to Mr. Woolly,” Loughridge said. “He got the ball rolling in April.”


The idea didn’t collect dust, either. 


“We had 11 donors just like that,” Woolly said Friday. “That’s the biggest thing; it didn't cost taxpayers any money.”


The biggest sponsor, Citizens Bank, coincides with the official name of the spiffy stadium — Citizens Bank Field at Airedale Stadium. 


But a lot of other people wanted in, too. 


“This is something special for the citizens of Alma,” Alma superintendent Dr. Bryan Duffie said, “Mr. Woolly really believed in this project. He got it rolling in the spring, and we didn’t have to call anyone. 


“This project is completely funded by the sponsors — it didn’t cost taxpayers any money.”


“It’s neat to look up and see replays, almost instantaneously, and crowd shots,” Loughridge said. “It’s going to cause quite a buzz.”


“There’s nothing else like it,” Woolly said. 


The board is 28 feet high and 40 feet wide, Loughridge said.


“First of all, it’s totally driven by the community,” Loughridge said. “There’s not anyone I talked with that didn’t want to be a part of it. It will showcase our activities and sports, and it’s a way to showcase their businesses.


“The sponsors are the full owners.”


In addition to replays and crowd shots on Friday, area merchants saw their commercials played on the big board.


“It’s just amazing to have community partners, who are sponsoring this video board to make it possible and not cost the school district a dime,” Dr. Bryan Duffie said. “It just shows how supportive our community is for our schools and for our kids.”


Logan Parnell of Lumber One, one of the donors, said the new video board will help the Alma school district compete with schools within the River Valley. 


“I think it puts us a step forward to compete in the area,” he said. “It’s going to be crazy to look up there and see live action.”