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Week 1: BPS football notebook

Posted by Justin Rice  September 9, 2013 10:16 AM

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The new digital scoreboard at White Stadium was christened Friday night during Latin Academy’s 22-0 victory against East Boston. (Justin A. Rice /For the Boston Globe)

The new digital scoreboard at White Stadium was christened Friday night during Latin Academy’s 22-0 victory against East Boston.

Complete with a brand new sound system, the $70,000 scoreboard replaces a decrepit and outdated scoreboard and sound system.

“Last fall we started talking about some things we need to do at the stadium, and one of the things that these guys are always complaining about, the fans and players, is the scoreboard and sound system,” said BPS assistant chief operating officer Sam Depina during Friday’s game. “It was really bad and poor quality. So we scrounged, we looked at our budget internally, and I said, 'Look, there has to be a way for us to come up with some money to pay for it.’

“So we literally combed through the budget.”

It was installed over the summer.

“We got it ready all year and planned it with the city guys, the facilities department did a great job putting it right in time for the game,” Depina said. “It’s clearer, sounds good, and it’s digital, so it has the different team names on the screen so you know what school has what score.

"It’s brighter, the flagpole is a lot nicer so you can see it. It just looks a lot better. More modern than anything. The kids deserve it.”

The school district is also in the process of replacing the lights at White Stadium after one of them was knocked over by Hurricane Sandy last fall. The lights are projected to be finished by the end of October. Suffolk Construction owner John Fish, who also runs the Boston Scholar Athletes program, is also planning a $45 million makeover for White Stadium.

After his team posted the first 22 points onto the new scoreboard, Latin Academy head coach Rocco Zizza called the scoreboard “pretty” as he ducked his head into the tunnel leading to the White Stadium locker room.

History in the making

Latin Academy’s win against East Boston Friday marked the first time the Dragons defeated the Jets in program history, according to Zizza.

Zizza said the school, which was known as Girls’ Latin School prior to 1977 when Boston Latin was an all-boys school, only started playing football about 30 years ago. From everyone he’s talked to about it, he believes Latin Academy never defeated East Boston, a traditional football power, during that 30-year span.

“East Boston, we know it’s a hard team, we haven’t beaten them in school history, so it means a lot beating them for the first time in school history,” senior quarterback Kyle Dance said.

Riley returns

After missing almost the entire season last year with a torn meniscus, senior wide receiver DeVaughn Riley returned to the Latin Academy lineup Friday.

Riley, who caught four touchdown passes before getting hurt against Burke in the second game of the season last year, picked up right where he left off. He caught a 37-yard TD pass from Dance in the fourth quarter Friday night.

“It felt great,” he said. “I missed the game so much.”

Cream of the crop

After coming into training camp this summer competing against two fellow seniors for the starting Boston Latin quarterback position, Roy Bahnam got the start in a 34-14 victory against Brookline Saturday afternoon.

Bahnam was 4 of 9 passing for 55 yards. He threw a 2-point conversion to Peter Honzik in the second quarter and a 22-yard TD pass to Mike Parham in the second quarter as well.

Justin A. Rice covers Boston Public School athletics. He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.

About Boston Public Schools Sports Blog

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Several reporters, editors and correspondents contribute updates, news and features to the BPS Sports Blog:
  • Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
  • Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.
Also expect updates from Boston.com High School sports editor Zuri Berry and the Globe staff.