Friday Night Lights: Campus Looks Forward to Night Games
by Logan Troy on Friday, October 16th, 2015
At the mention of Friday night lights, most Milton students respond in one of two ways: by exclaiming how much they loved that show or by looking slightly confused as to how Friday night has anything to do with lights. For that second group, the term “Friday night lights” refers to the tradition of American high school football games played under floodlights on Friday nights. Many people remember these games as a quintessential part of the high school experience, a chance for the entire community to come together and support its football team in a high intensity showdown. Anyone, whether a newcomer to football or a hardcore fan, who has yet to experience a Friday night football game won’t regret attending one.
Milton’s football team plays a single Friday night game every year. On Friday, October 30th, the team will travel to St. Sebastian’s school to seek revenge after a disappointing loss to Sebs early last season. Even without the added intensity that night games naturally incite, this rivalry game has the potential to become a Milton football classic. In last season’s loss, extraordinary kicker Justin Yoon (‘15) fractured his back after getting kneed while recovering an errant snap. Players who were on the team last year will no doubt remember this infraction. Owen Martinson (II), a new member to the team last season, encourages “anyone who wants to watch a gritty, physical, intense high school football game [to] come out to support the Stangs.”
The game itself will certainly thrill the crowd, but, almost invariably, crowds love Friday night games for how unique an experience they are. For starters, the atmosphere bristles with an energy not felt elsewhere. While stuck in the stands, spectators become a part of the game by ratcheting up the noise to interfere with the opposing team’s communication. Nothing seems to matter much besides the game itself. Additionally, the number of fans often triples for night games when compared to regular Saturday games as more parents and students are free from other commitments on Friday night and no other teams play in that time slot. An increased fan base inevitably drives the energy level up several notches.
Some schools, even with the incredible support Friday night games enjoy, have canceled Friday night games in response to student misconduct. For example, Hingham High School indefinitely suspended Friday night games because of the actions of a small group of students at the game. Amazingly, however, within a week the administrators lifted the ban. Perhaps night games are just too important to get rid of. Here at Milton, it would appear our Friday night games are already scaled back. Because our field doesn’t have any lights, Milton’s football team plays only one Friday night game a season; this policy doesn’t exactly inspire the type of hard-core fandom that some other schools with consistent night games garner. Nonetheless, that one game has the potential to play an important role in the fall sports season.
So get hyped and make the short trip to St. Sebs for the one and only Friday night game of the year. Blowout or nail-biter, exhibition of top tier skills or clunker, one thing is certain: you will remember it.
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