Friday night and high school football. The lights flip on, the crowd roars and magic happens.
“Under the lights, everyone out cheering for you. That’s what it’s all about,” said Hiram Johnson senior Nate Van-Asperen.
It’s a rite of passage many high school kids experience and cherish. But it hasn’t happened at Hiram Johnson High School in 10 years.
“There is no experience than playing under the lights. That’s what I want to bring to these kids, head coach Nick Martinez said.”
The lights went out on Friday night games because of fighting and other safety concerns, robbing 10 years of Warrior football players the Friday night experience. Home games were moved to Saturday.
“Most of our days out here early September, it was hot—102, 103 degrees. We really don’t fill up the crowd Saturdays,” said Martinez.
And school spirit took a big hit.
“There is no school spirit here. It’s really lacking this year. We have very low numbers: 20 on varsity and 22 on JV,” Martinez said.
TNT Construction’s light donation has done more than brighten the field. It has ignited the Warrior pride. Their war paint is on, their battle cry is loud snd the gridiron is ready for a homecoming faceoff with Vlley.
“You know and you feel the excitement of being and playing under the lights. It carries on throughout the whole day. You’re sitting in your classes excited. You’re probably not thinking about school work, your thinking about playing under the lights,” said junior Israel Smith.