McMullen Middle School gets gift of state-of-the-art football scoreboard

| Saturday, June 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Sometimes following the action of a football game can be a daunting task in itself, but when a school does not have a scoreboard, it can be nearly impossible.

For many years, the students of A.J. McMullen Middle School have used handheld boards and individual timers to keep track at their home games, but next year, they will start their football season with a brand-new, fully functional, state-of-the-art scoreboard.

“My children both play football, and my husband goes to all the football games, even the away games, and he mentioned that our school was the only one that did not have a scoreboard,” said Dr. Rebecca Wingfield, a parent and chief of staff at Woodlands Animal Care Center.

Wingfield, along with parent and general manager of Wooflands Pet Resort and Spa Erin Miller, approached the owner of the facilities at which they work, Joe Hardy, to see if he would be interested in helping with the project of acquiring a new scoreboard for the school.

“We had a meeting in the fall, and everyone just jumped at the idea,” Miller said. “Mr. Hardy thought it was a great idea, so we started the process.”

The parents then began the process of acquiring all the needed information, quotes and details that were needed to present the project to the school district, with Hardy sponsoring the scoreboard himself.

“We are so impressed with Mr. Hardy and his generosity,” A.J. McMullen principal Joe Galie said. “They received the information, and he made it happen.”

After the plans for the new scoreboard were approved, ground was broken for its installation, which was completed by Mark McDonald Construction, LLC of Middletown, N.J.

“It was so confusing for everyone before we had the scoreboard,” Galie said. “It was really difficult for the parents to follow what was going on.”

The school has been playing its home games at the stadium located at the Uniontown High School but will now be returning to its own field with its new board.

“It was difficult for the players,” Wingfield said of their playing at the high school. “The games didn't start until 8 p.m., and it was hard on everyone. This way, they can just play right here.”

The new scoreboard is fully operational, showing all necessary game information, and was also designed in the school colors.

The new board has already been used during physical education classes for game scoring.

“This is such a great thing for them to do, and it now gives our students a sense of pride,” Galie said. “These people made this happen. There are people who just talk, and there are people who do, and these folks and Mr. Hardy made this all happen. And for that, we are grateful.”

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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