Friday night lights

By Geoff Lee

July 7, 2016 12:00 AM

The installation of night lights for Armstrong Field at Lloydminster Comprehensive High School starting this week, puts a spotlight on a community partnership.
Having lights installed for the track and playing field will also improve access to practice times for LCHS athletics, the Barons football team and other community users.
“As an organization we just couldn’t be happier about the addition of the lights to our facility and look forward to what this will mean to athletics programming,” said Todd Robinson, director of education for Lloydminster Public School Division (LPSD).
It was Robinson who launched the lighting project with other officials at Armstrong Field June 30.
“We are really excited in particular for our football program here,” he said.
The project is a partnership between the Barons Football Alumni Association, community partners and LPSD.
Robinson said lighting the field will allow the Barons to play some night games under the lights,  which creates some excitement and buzz in the community.
“We’re looking forward to that,” he said.
“It will also allow us to attract other events to our city that perhaps we haven’t been able to in the past, so a bit of a community benefit spinoff as well.
“We want the facility to be a community base—we believe strongly in that.”
Robinson called the project another example of the relationship between LSPD and specifically Lloyd Comprehensive in the community.
The field lighting project follows the completion of a field house and change room facility this year at LCHS for the Barons and other user groups.
Barons football coach Aaron Harper was amped by the news and suggested the lighting would level the playing field so to speak with the Raiders at Holy Rosary High School that has night lighting.
“I think it will give us a competitive equality at least and an equal playing field,” he said.
“We will have a chance to play a couple of night games hopefully every year and get a bunch of fans out and get that real experience of building excitement all day, all week, then kicking off the ball under the lights.”
He said when the team gets into October and November it will give them an extra hour or so to prepare for those big games come playoffs or provincials.
“It will be huge,” he said.
The Barons will hold a camp Aug. 15, then play their first exhibition on Aug. 27 before their season opener Sept. 3 in Wainwright with the lights ready to use.
“Come October, in those really important games at the end of the year, I think that’s where they will really pay off,” said Harper.
The lighting project was spearheaded by Barons alumni Kevin Musgrave who was unable to put a dollar figure to the volunteer-based project.
“At this point it is difficult to finalize the cost because we’ve had so much contribution form the community,” he said.
He said that came in the from of lots of volunteer labour and volunteer equipment.
“Everybody we contacted just said ‘you can count on me,’” he said.
Asked how he felt about the project as an alumni, Musgrave said it is exciting because things are really starting to change at the high school.
“Things are improving with the new locker room, the new lights, everything as a community has really changed,” he said.
Alumni Larry Sauer said the lighting allows parents to come out and teams won’t have to miss any school time as well as other community organizations that use the field, especially in the fall.
“It gets dark so fast, so we’re very happy to be a partner in this speaking on behalf of the alumni,” he said.

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