Fall Sports Kickoff Event Highlights New Lights

WAYNE – Friday night was a night for volunteers to sign up for Booster Club events, meet the student-athletes while hearing from the coaches (coaches comments) and the evening also featured the brand-new lights at Wayne Community Schools.

From Kern Track and Field, community members, parents and students joined in on the socially-distanced 2020 Fall Sports Kickoff.

Booster Club President Kevin Peterson led the evening before the fall sport student-athletes were each introduced. Executive Director with the Wayne Community Schools Foundation, Brandon Foote was also on hand to explain the new lights.

Foote, in his second year with the Foundation, said it was quite a process closing out this project.

“So, it’s been trying to find some donors,” said Foote. “Which we’ve had several businesses in the community, organizations and different individuals who have really donated to this to help get this project to the finish line.”

The Kern Track Light project has been going on for a handful of years as the goal of $250,000 was reached.

Normally athletic events have to start around 4 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. so the event is over before the sun sets, according to superintendent Dr. Mark Lenihan.

“We’re looking at moving some of our lower-level games that take place and track meets also in the spring to begin a little bit later,” Dr. Lenihan added. “So, we can play games into the evening and not worry about it getting dark and we’re hoping that helps people get to our games.”

Athletic Director, Dave Wragge and the athletic department are currently working on this process of moving game times to a later time.

The new lights have been put to use right away with morning practices and community members are invited to walk around the track early in the morning until about 10 p.m. as some lights can be switched on.

Foote mentioned two lights on each pole will put out enough light on the track to exercise before the sunrise and after the sunset.

“Then there’s a yellow light down at the end of the main stretch,” Foote mentioned. “Right there, there’s a new panel and there’s a light on top of that will start flashing when there’s five minutes left. So, if somebody wants to keep working out and they have time, they can just go up and hit the button again and it will reset the timer for them.”

Dr. Lenihan said Board of Education members first turned the lights on in June and everyone was really impressed with the LED lights.

“There’s really not a lot of spill-over light,” Dr. Lenihan mentioned. “In other words, the light directs to the track and the field and that’s it. That was something that we felt was very important. We didn’t want to distract the neighbors too much.”

Thanks goes out to the Foundation, Booster club and all contributors as all money was raised through fundraisers. Wayne Community Schools didn’t have to front any money for installation or equipment.

The Foundation has several projects in mind but will wait to see how the pandemic shakes out before moving forward. Visit waynecommunityschoolsfoundation.com or email Foote at brfoote1@waynebluedevils.org for more information or if you’d like to donate.