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Clear Spring High gets stadium lights

October 02, 1998

Clear Spring gets stadium lightsBy KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer

by: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer




Gazing out at the Clear Spring High School soccer and track field, Principal John Peckyno checks out the recently installed floodlights that will enable the school for the first time to play night games.

"I never thought it could happen," said Peckyno.

The Clear Spring High School Athletic Boosters spearheaded the $35,000, three-phase project to upgrade the school's athletic fields and facilities.

Installing lights and making improvements to the fields had been discussed over the years, Peckyno said. Now, the discussions have become reality.

"We were lucky enough to get a group of people that were willing to move forward and they have," he said of the booster members.

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Led by booster President Roland Baker of Clear Spring and contractor LeRoy Myers, about 40 boosters, students, faculty members and school administrators worked to provide lights, a new sound system, scoreboards, a press box and concession stand.

The first to take advantage of the new lights was the Blazers girls soccer team, which took the field on Sept. 9. The Blazers lost that game to the Martinsburg Bulldogs 6-1.

The floodlights benefit not only the 430 students at the school but also the 200 participants in Clear Spring youth athletic leagues, Baker said.

"We knew it would take a unified effort by the community," he said.

The 1,500-watt General Electric lights were purchased at cost from Tri-State Electric for about $26,000.

To raise money, sponsorships were sold for $500 each and other fund-raisers were held, he said.

The six lighting units are mounted on 75- to 85-foot poles. It took volunteers an hour to wire and erect each lighting unit.

The lights were needed because without them teams could play only during daylight hours, Baker said.

Student athletes had to leave classes early to participate in games that started at 3:30 p.m. games so they could be completed before dark.

Parents and fans often had to leave work early to attend the games.

In addition, junior and varsity games had to be held simultaneously, which caused problems for parents with children participating in both, he said.

The Michael family of Clear Spring often found themselves in that situation last year. Their sons Justin, 15, then a freshman, played junior varsity soccer and Matthew, 17, who was a junior, played on the varsity team. Matthew is now a senior.

"It's a lot better than playing right after school, especially because JV now can play first and then varsity," said Justin.

He and his family pitched in to install the floodlights and to make improvements to the field.

The teen played under the lights for the first time last week.

"They're great," said Justin, a member of the varsity team.

Justin said his teammates also love playing in the evening.

"We had a practice the night before the first game and everybody went crazy," he said.

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