New gym monitors were installed over winter break which were granted by the East Fund. The jumbotrons are two large screens on either side of the main gym used to replay plays, advertise, and show introduction videos of the players before games and during time-outs.
Through donations and advertisements, East has been able to acquire something few high schools have. The jumbotrons will make the gym a more dynamic and professional setting at games and pep assemblies. It is both a bonus to athletes, as well as students interested in multimedia.
The decision to buy the jumbotrons was made at the annual East Fund auction in Nov. 2015 by the East Fund committee. After examining the application for the grant, it was decided that the jumbotrons would allow for a positive effect throughout the East community. Through advertisements, the East Fund raised enough money to have them installed over winter break.
Girls’ varsity basketball coach Lauren Lawrence believes the new gym monitors will benefit the whole student body. East is one of the first schools to have the jumbotrons, and she believes they will bring in more than just spirit at basketball games.
“They are not just impacting the 10 players on the team, or the 20 players in the program, or however many people are in the gym,” Lawrence said. “We can use them for pep assemblies and advertisements to bring in donation money, which is great for marketing purposes.”
To apply for a grant from the East Fund, one must fill out an application encompassing the goals and objectives, plan of action, need, evaluation of impact, and budget of the project they are asking to be funded. For the East Fund to accept the application and supply the money, it must have a significant impact on the student body itself.
“It not only impacts our athletes, but it’s a sense of school pride,” Lawrence said. “It’s great that Shawnee Mission East is one of the first to do this.”
As for the players, they are still adapting to seeing their face on the big screen every time they look up at the score board. Varsity girls basketball player junior Josie Clough feels the difference in crowd involvement just after two games of playing with them.
“It’s kind of funny seeing you and your friends up there,” Clough said. “It’ll take some getting used to definitely, but it was a good investment to be up to date with technology because colleges have them too.”
The ultimate goal for the jumbotrons are to bring more spirit, donations, and people into games and pep assemblies; for they not only affect the sports teams, but the East community as a whole.