HNHS Athletic Dept. strives to keep community in know

Huntington North High School Athletic Director Michael Gasaway stands in front of a large calendar of HNHS athletic events for the 2009-10 school year.
Huntington North High School Athletic Director Michael Gasaway stands in front of a large calendar of HNHS athletic events for the 2009-10 school year. Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally published Sept. 10, 2009.

The Huntington North High School Athletic Department has added a new tool and updated an existing one to keep the communication open between the department and the community.

Athletic Director Michael Gasaway introduced the Athletic Hotline at the beginning of the 2009-10 sports season.

"We talked about how could people find out the status of games without interrupting what (Jill Landrum, athletic department secretary) is trying to get done at the end of the day," says Gasaway, explaining how the idea came about.

He adds the department had an extra phone line, so it was pretty simple.

Landrum gets on the hotline in the morning, Gasaway explains, and records the day's events. She only gets back on if there is an update, such as a cancellation due to weather or any other change. Then people can call in and listen to the schedule, just like they would for movie times.

"So many times it was a game-time decision or end of the day at 2:30 p.m. before we decide if we would have to cancel a game or not. Parents, media and family members would call in all the time, saying, ‘What is the status of tonight's game?'" says Gasaway, adding now they can call in and hear what's going on even if no one is in the building.

The hotline complements an existing way of communication, Viking Connection, which has been around since 2003.

"I think the only difference between the Viking Connection then and now is that it gets sent out daily to all of our faculty," says Gasaway.

It also reaches the entire school corporation and anyone else who wishes to be on the e-mail list, which accumulates to about 600 people. People can unsubscribe at any time as well.

Viking Connection is updated and sent out daily, he adds. It includes recent events results and any updates for athletic projects taking place. It also includes any other athletic information.

Gasaway, since his hiring as athletic director a year ago, has added some things to the e-mail service as well, such as weather forecasts and trivia questions for prizes.

Being accessible is important because people always have questions, he says.

The two tools are linked on the Huntington North Web site, which people can access at any time.

Gasaway thinks what Huntington North does a good job of getting fans the information they need.

"In the North Central Conference alone, Huntington North is by far the best school (with) support from the community and fans and we want to continue to be that way. There's just a lot of interest on what happens with our teams and so I think it's just important for us to get that information out to them and keep them up to date."

The Hotline's number is 356-6104, ext. 1016. Fans are asked not to leave a message at this number.
Gasaway can be reached at 356-6104, ext. 1049; Dan Hildebrand, assistant athletic director at ext. 1051; and Landrum at ext. 1044.