LH installs interactive Wall of Fame
PEARCY — Sports fans at Lake Hamilton now have a new way to learn about and celebrate the school’s Hall of Fame, state championship teams and more with a Wall of Fame just inside the east entrance to Wolf Arena.
The Wall of Fame is a digital, interactive display that allows fans to look at photos and rosters of the school’s state championship teams, read the biographies and view photos of Hall of Fame members, and look at athletes who were All-State selections.
“Jeff Scott’s our assistant athletic director, and he came to us earlier this fall with the idea of having an interactive display where we can showcase our Hall of Fame members, our All-State athletes, our state champion teams, our Academic All Stars,” Brian Bridges, Lake Hamilton’s director of communications and public relations, said.
“And we thought it was a great idea, so Jeff took it from there.”
Scott said the idea has been in process since the school initiated its first Hall of Fame class in 2019.
“Initially, we talked about just having a TV screen out in the lobby that just scrolled through and rolled through all of our Hall of Fame recipients,” he said. “We have so much information for each one. We decided it would be a neat idea if we could select one of them and look at all their bio, and then as it grew, we had more and more information. So that’s kind of how it started.”
The Wall of Fame is a work in progress that is constantly being updated.
“This initially was just going to be for our Hall of Fame recipients, and it’s just grown into now what it is and what we’re showcasing, and it’s not complete,” Bridges said.
“This past year, we’ve really focused a lot on preserving the history of our school. We focused on preserving the history of our school through our yearbooks. We digitized all of our high school yearbooks since our very first one in 1947 earlier this year with a company out of New York. And then this is another way to preserve history of our athletics, as well.”
All-State athletes were honored for years thanks to former athletic director Richard “Bubba” Payton, who was also part of the inaugural class of the school’s Hall of Fame, putting
up pictures of those athletes in the lobby of Wolf Fieldhouse, but the program stagnated in recent years.
“Schools simply run out of room,” Bridges said. “We run out of room; we run out of wall space. We run out of ceiling space for banners, recognizing championship teams. And a banner is wonderful, but a banner doesn’t showcase those individuals on the team that made that banner and that championship happen as well as the coaching staff.
“And so the way this is set up, it’s just truly a way to honor all of our history, all of our past, and to recognize all of those that gave and put forth work and effort to build the foundation of greatness because we have great programs here. And this way you can go to that screen, and you can see that state championship team. You can pull up the picture; you can look at the roster. And I think all of this was possible because we have been working on preserving our history.”
Bridges said the funding for the project came from both the technology department and the athletic department.
“Our technology department was able to purchase that through our technology funds,” he said. “They had funds in their account that were able to cover that cost. Then we hired a company called Magna IV out of Little Rock, and they did the wall graphic for us. That looks really nice, and that is being covered by our athletic department.”
The software is provided by a company headquartered in Boston.
“That company is Rocket Alumni Solutions, and they’re on the East Coast,” Scott said. “They’ve been very helpful on giving me more ideas. They give a lot of examples of past jobs they’ve done. They’ve done stuff for colleges, several high schools, so they were very good on helping us do what we wanted to do.”
Bridges said the school is hoping to get a sponsor for the display, and he anticipates this will be the first of several schools moving to a digital product for preserving history.
“We’re hoping that there’ll be a sponsor that’ll sponsor the wall for a set (amount) of time,” he said. “And like I said, the sponsor name can be interchangeable with the design that we did, but everything was planned out. And I think this is going to be a trend. I think once other schools see what we did here at Lake Hamilton and how we’re recognizing and preserving the history, I think this is going to be the new trend because … schools aren’t going anywhere.
“Time keeps moving on, and schools keep winning these awards and accolades, and you just simply run out of space for the banners and the pictures. But this allows you to still showcase, and I think this is going to be the trend moving forward.”
Banners, Scott said, are approximately $250-350 each, not including installation, and Bridges said they can get pricey when there are a large number of state championship teams.
“We have over 50 state champions so far since the history of our school, and so if we wanted to do a banner, multiply that times $250 to $350 plus installation, you’re at what we were out there,” Bridges said.
“Now, you’re not just able to see the banner. You’re able to see the individuals and the coaches and the names of the people, and that’s what’s important. It’s the people, and that’s what we’re all about, the people here at Lake Hamilton and our people.”