Roby Dome scoreboard clocks out

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By Jesse Osbourne

After several problems throughout this season, the scoreboard at the Roby Dome officially clocked out on Friday night during the Knights game against Taylor County, leaving the teams in the dark about the score and time remaining.

"This is my third year as athletic director and I've never had any clock issues as a coach or an athletic director," Stacey Hall, Marion County High School athletic director, said. "I've had floor issues but never clock issues."

The clock has had its share of minor glitches over the course of the season but never before has it left the teams without a scoreboard.

During a tight game between the Marion County High School boys basketball team and Taylor County High School, the clock continuously looped from 39 seconds to 30 seconds. Not able to stop the clock from looping the incorrect time, officials unplugged it and tried to reset it.

The clock malfunction began at 9:15 p.m. with 41 seconds to go in the third quarter. The score was 31-23, with both teams playing very physical basketball.

Hall and other officials tried multiple times to reset the clock while fans and players grew restless during the break. Student sections of each team chanted creative cheers back and forth. Players talked to their friends in the stands.

Play resumed again about 15 minutes later at 9:30 p.m. but the scoreboard was turned off. Officials decided to continue the game using the announcer, Jerry Reynolds, as an audible scoreboard.

Reynolds announced the time remaining and the score periodically, along with his other duties of announcing substitutions and play-by-play.

At 9:51 p.m. the game was settled and the clock was still dead.

Afterwards, Hall had a closer look at the clock's inner workings.

Hall said he took the clock to the stage, took the top off and discovered Pepsi inside the clock. The machine had short-circuited.

Hall said while handing notes to Reynolds a Pepsi was knocked over and splashed onto the clock. Hall said it wasn't apparent at the time that the liquid spilled anywhere besides a counter top but obviously it became a problem.

The athletic director and former coach said he called Monday to order a new clock and get the old one serviced, giving the Roby Dome a back up if such a problem were to ever arise again.