Allen Football Stadium Competition

It seems as if Carthage won’t settle for being known merely as the setting of Richard Linklater’s recent film, Bernie. Not to be outdone by Allen high school’s $59.6 million, 18,000-seat high school football stadium, the town’s Bulldog Stadium is adding its own attraction, one that will aid devotees of the cult of Texas high school football in their worship: the largest high school stadium video screen in the state.

The video screen, which is a part of a behemoth $750,000 Jumbotron scoreboard measuring 26 feet high and 44 feet wide, will measure 1,200 square feet when it makes it first appearance at the season’s opening on August 31.

“It is the best one we have installed,” David Paslay, director of engineering of Illinois-based Nevco, said of the scoreboard in the Longview News-Journal. “It is the Cadillac for sure.” Paslay also emphasized that though the video screen itself is the largest in Texas, the overall scoreboard it’s a part of is not; that distinction belongs to Allen ISD’s monster stadium.

And with 800,000 LEDs, Paslay said, the high school’s screen is on par with that of any national stadium.

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I was most surprised to find that Carthage is just a 3A school, I’d expect something like this from a 5A or even a 4A.

Some folks think there’s an education benefit:

The Jumbotron-type scoreboard features four cameras that can be used to video live action, provide crowd shots, display information or show replays of the game.

Carthage High School television and broadcast students will be among the eight people it takes just to operate the new scoreboard.

“To me, one of the biggest enticements is the learning opportunities we get for our kids, our high school television and broadcasting department,” said Glenn Hambrick, Carthage ISD superintendent.

Students, he said, can parlay their skills learned operating the scoreboard directly into a job in the industry, or to get college scholarships.

“That is the thing I like about it. It is expensive and it is a luxury, but there are some benefits to it. It is more than just a showpiece,” Hambrick said.

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