First, there’s the wow factor.

Then, the educational aspect that comes from two massive new scoreboards inside the gymnasiums at Blue Springs and Blue Springs South high schools.

“You know what’s going to happen?” quipped Blue Springs activities director Kelly Donohoe. “Kids are going to come to Blue Springs and Blue Springs South and see those scoreboards and go back to their schools and ask why they don’t have them.

“I’m glad we got them first.”

So is Blue Springs District Activities Director Mark Bubalo, who saw similar scoreboards last year on a visit to St. Joseph Benton High School.

He returned to Blue Springs, contacted Superintendent Jim Findley, and talked about the possibility of upgrading the scoreboards at the two high schools.

He received the OK – with one caveat.

“We had to raise the money through donations and not take a cent from the school district budget,” Bubalo explained. “And we were able to do it – in a much quicker fashion than I ever imagined.”

Cosentino’s Price Chopper, St. Mary’s Medical Center, Siege Sports/BSN, Country Financial and the Bill Wrisinger Sonic Group came up with the funding and now, a 14-by-10-foot and 8-by-10-foot Scorevision scoreboard hang on the walls of each high school – and they are spectacular.

“What’s really going to be exciting,” Donohoe said, “is when we really get our students involved and show highlights from the game or show highlights from past games when our basketball, volleyball or wrestling teams are entering the gym that night. I can’t wait to see what type of learning tool they turn out to be.”

Bubalo said that was a major reason to purchase the new scoreboards – as Blue Springs’ Matt Marble and South’s Pete Grigsby will have their broadcasting/television classes turn the scoreboards into their own personal canvases.

“We have such an amazing group of students at the two high schools,” Bubalo said, “and with Matt and Pete, we will get the optimum amount of technology for their classes. They will produce highlight reels, commercials, graphics – you name it.”

The scoreboards now offer a mugshot of a player following a key play, updated statistics and commercials from sponsors.

“It’s funny,” joked South volleyball coach Dave MacLean, but I always have this desire to go to Sonic and get some ice cream after each game. It must be subliminal.”

A Sonic ice cream commercial was shown several times during his team’s victory over Blue Springs earlier in the week.

“The kids love the scoreboards, the fans love them, they’re great,” Tim Michael, the South activities director said. “They’re cutting edge give us a great opportunity for students from both schools to work with them and develop a variety of video productions that will enhance the learning process.”

While the first five sponsors made the scoreboards a reality, Bubalo said the two schools are actively seeking advertisers for the high-def screens.

“It offers such an exciting dynamic for advertisers,” Bubalo said, “because with the technology we have today, the ads can change on a regular basis. I’m really excited to see how we utilize the scoreboards, because the sky’s the limit.”