The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


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The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


DGS scores a mustang-makeover.

Juliana Conyer
The large gym scoreboard at DGS.

As the second semester continues at DGS, talk of new developments for the 2024-25 school year have begun. Students and staff have heard news of brand new infrastructure being planned for construction over the summer. The talk consists of new scoreboards for both stadiums, jumbotrons’ and a new track and turf installation.

Teacher and football coach Mark Molinari has been involved in the organization of these renovations and is excited to share new information.

“It’ll be a nice upgrade for both of our facilities- both DGN and DGS are getting jumbotrons and they’re going to be some of the largest ones in the state of Illinois for high schools,” Molinari said.

A jumbotron allows for events to be shown to crowds in a new way- through an up-close view and with the addition of opportunities for on-screen entertainment for crowds. Venues that hold professional-level events have done this to involve a viewer more, attempting to draw more attention to the main event occurring. This also has been applicable to decisions surrounding the scoreboards.

“Both Downers North and Downers South have scoreboards that are over 30 years old, so they definitely were needing replacing,” Molinari said.

New technology for scorekeeping is seen throughout the sports world and continues to grow. The scoreboard replacement may help keep the schools look up to par with the recent renovations to the building, as increasingly modern versions are being developed.

While the scoreboard and jumbotron developments are meant to modernize DGS, the track and turf is an update that is mandated for safety purposes.

“The turf fields only last for 10 to 12 years.Our current one was installed in 2012, so it’s actually at the very end of its life,” Molinari said.

Other schools near DGS have also discussed such renovations, causing the news to appear exciting to those who may utilize them. This includes student-athletes, coaching staff and students interested in camera work or broadcasting,

Junior Sienna Thurston is on the girls soccer team at DGS and believes the project would be beneficial to the school.

“I definitely think we need the new track. I think that hosting more track meets can make us a ton of money, just because of concessions; we’ll have all the schools there and a bunch of other people,” Thurston said.

A larger track would allow for DGS to host sporting events that include a larger number of schools, unlike we’ve done before. Thurston supports this idea, but she had mixed feelings about the scoreboards.

“I think our scoreboards are fine. It wouldn’t be much of an improvement,” Thurston said.

When asked about the jumbotron, Thurston found it to be more sensible when considering the new opportunities it brings for student-athletes like herself.

“That would be nice for film, especially for students needing materials for college recruitment. I’ve seen some of my friends go through the recruiting process and it can be a lot, so having that videotape could be helpful to them,” Thurston said.

Despite the positive reactions to the news, many have wondered where athletic programs that use these facilities will be practicing during the construction process. Molinari weighs into this question, as he organizes these kinds of events.

“For those of us that are used to practicing on turf, we have lots of grass and a lot of the coaches work well together. We’ll probably have to just kind of move and displace to a different spot temporarily,” Molinari said.

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