New scoreboard installed at Don Seipkes
By Chad Koenen
Friday night lights will be a bit brighter in Henning this fall.
A new scoreboard was installed at Don Seipkes Field and will replace an aging scoreboard that was not only difficult to read, but could no longer be repaired.
“This scoreboard really came about because one game, us coaches were literally trying to figure out if we had 20 or 26 points because there bulbs were burnt out. At the end of that game we went right to Randy (Misegades) and said next spring we are going to do something about that. The old one could not be fixed or parts ordered for any longer,” said Henning Elementary teacher and assistant football coach Ryan Emter.
New scoreboards were recently installed in the Henning School gym, as well as the baseball field, so Emter explored the possibility of installing a new scoreboard at the football field as well. The previous scoreboard was close to 30 years old.
After speaking with Henning Activities Director Randy Misegades on several occasions about the idea of a new scoreboard, Emter reached out to Chad Koenen about his thoughts on the idea.
“The lights weren’t working and Randy and I started talking and I just came to (Chad Koenen) and tried to get it started,” said Emter.
The group briefly discussed a smaller scoreboard that was similar in size to the one that was already in place. However, they quickly realized with some additional support a much larger scoreboard could be purchased. The larger scoreboard would provide a substantial upgrade for a new generation of Otter Tail Central football players and fans.
Several options for the scoreboard were discussed, before a group of volunteers opted for a 17’x25’ scoreboard. By comparison, the old scoreboard was just 8’x18’. The new scoreboard, which dwarfs the size of the previous scoreboard, sits in the same location near the end zone at Don Seipkes Field. The big difference is that the numbers, letters and lights are all substantially larger than before, which will assist people to see the score of the game and time left in each quarter.
The new scoreboard was made possible by the support of both the community and the school district as a whole. Emter reached out to several local businesses about sponsoring an ad on the scoreboard to help offset the cost of the project as a whole. Eight sponsors were contacted and almost immediately all agreed to sponsor an ad on the new scoreboard.
The eight sponsors of the scoreboard included: First National Bank, Healthy Balance Chiropractic, TNT Repair, In Front Ag, Oak Hill Ag, Markuson-Baer Insurance, Pro Ag and the Citizen’s Advocate.
“By getting an extra four sponsors we were able to get a huge upgrade in scoreboard so it made the most sense. Sponsors were all great to work with and so good about getting us whatever we needed. The sponsorships filled up quicker than I ever expected,” said Emter.
In addition to the eight business sponsors, a raffle was held last fall and the Henning School District picked up the remaining cost of installing the approximately $35,000 scoreboard. Emter said a special thanks goes out to Luke Dilly from Oakwood Supper Club and Golf Course, John Young at Balmoral, Andrew Martinson at Thumper Pond Resort, Gerome Hagenmiller and the Parkers Prairie Sportsman’s Club, Josh Rod and the Henning Rod and Gun Club, Jeff Froslee and the Otter Tail Central football boosters for their contributions to the scoreboard raffle.
Emter also thanked the Henning School Board and administration for approving the final costs associated with the scoreboard, as well as the Henning and Battle Lake communities as a whole.
“There is a huge excitement about the kids to be the first to put points up on the new scoreboard,” said Emter.
Don Seipkes Field has underwent a major enhancement over the past few years with the addition of new lights and a paved track around the outside of the field. The large hump in the middle of the football field was also taken out and the field was made more level.
Emter said the scoreboard sponsors, as well as those who helped to make the new scoreboard possible, will be recognized at the first home game in Henning this fall.
The OTC Bulldogs will return a good core of players from last year’s team that finished 9-1 overall and advanced to the semi-finals of the section tournament.