Tradition continues under the lights
Lights Week returns to Granville for the fifth time Sept. 21 to Sept. 25 with a schedule of games under the lights for outdoor varsity sports.
Gas-powered lighting units owned by the Whitehall Recreation League will be rented and brought to town for nighttime competition by four of the varsity teams at Granville Jr./Sr. High School.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since we started this whole thing,” Ben Bernard said last Thursday.
“As a former coach and now an administrator in our district, I have really come to appreciate the value of Lights Week. It has become a tradition in our school and it pulls together our students and allows teams and the student body to support one another; Lights Week feeds our school spirit and has become a rallying point for our district,” Granville High School Principal Dan Poucher said.
Bernard said one of the most rewarding things about getting involved in bringing portable lighting units to illuminate what are otherwise dark fields is the fan support seen at all of the night games.
“The response has been great. The community has really come out and supported (night games),” he said.
“It brings the community together; it really shows that it can work. I’m just glad to be a part of it,” said Bernard, the owner of Bernardo’s restaurant.
The excitement in the community, even outside of the school, was one of the things Bernard said he looked forward to most.
“I think it shows. The kids, that’s who it’s for, to experience that – it’s just great,” Bernard said.
“It adds some spark to the community, something is going on every night and everyone gets involved, not for just one team,” he said.
Jim Zappone at Zappone’s Chrysler Dodge said: “As I said in the past a lot of fun; it’s great for the kids and we have a ball doing it. I love going to the games and seeing all the people out supporting the field hockey, soccer and football teams. It’s as much fun for us as it is for them.”
The final details are still being worked out, but Bernard said he had some events in the works for half time of the Granville Golden Horde versus the Salem Generals varsity football game Friday night.
The week begins with Granville’s boys soccer team hosting Cambridge under the lights at 6:30 at the Telescope Field Monday night, Sept. 21.
No varsity game is scheduled under the lights for Tuesday night.
Starting back up Wednesday, Sept. 23, the varsity field hockey team will square off against league rival Greenwich at 6:30 p.m. behind Granville Elementary.
Thursday, Sept. 24, also starting at 6:30 p.m. will be the varsity girls soccer team taking on Hoosick Falls.
“I know all of the kids enjoy it because they get a chance to come out and support each other,” Bernard said. “I’m greatly encouraged by these events and I’m sure they’re greatly anticipated by our entire community.”
“I want to encourage everyone in the community to come out and support out student athletes at this time,” Poucher said.
Lights Week is brought to the community through donations by Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Bernardo’s, Bongo’s Burgers, Cosey Fuels, Subway, Camara Slate and Manchester Newspapers.