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The student news site of Beachwood High School.

The Beachcomber

The student news site of Beachwood High School.

The Beachcomber

Booster Club Makes Move for Stadium Lights

The BHS stadium is the only one in the CVC that does not have lights. Photo by Jeffrey Zuckerman


The BHS stadium is the only one in the CVC that does not have lights. Photo by Jeffrey Zuckerman
The BHS stadium is the only one in the CVC that does not have lights. Photo by Jeffrey Zuckerman

By Brandon Rotsky, Staff Writer

There have been many attempts in the past to bring lights to the BHS football stadium. These have come to nothing. The current efforts of the Beachwood boosters are more likely to be successful.

Herb Schoen, part-time football coach and booster President since May of 2008, has been doing everything in his power to bring the artificial sunlight to Beachwood. The boosters have made a lot of progress, and seem to have more administrative support than in the past. 

The lights would cost $125,000. So far, the boosters have managed to raise $30,000. $25,000 has been pledged by University Hospitals, the single largest donor in all of Beachwood booster history. Last summer, University Hospitals wanted to donate temporary lights for one home game of the season. With this opportunity to give all of Beachwood citizens a taste of a Friday night home game, the Boosters quickly agreed. Yet for a variety of reasons, the school board rejected the idea of temporary lights, and insisted on using the money for permanent lights, “It works out better for us. It generates excitement for permanent proceeds to go to permanent lights,” said Schoen.

There are many other ways to raise money for the lights. Schoen believes that if 250 alumni are willing to donate $250 then the boosters will be a lot closer to their goal. A website is also being created which will include an “economic barometer.” This will allow students, parents, alumni, and any other Friday night light supporters to see who has donated, how much the Boosters have raised, and from what class the donors have graduated. 

Ryan Peters, the new Athletic Director for BHS, believes “the changing of the times will help.” Out of the 19 schools in our athletic conference, 18 of them have lights, leaving Beachwood as the standout. Some students and alumni will argue that a Saturday afternoon game is a tradition in BHS. David Shapiro, a sophomore starting linebacker and fullback, says “there is no better feeling” when playing football under the lights. “It will boost up our [school’s] reputation.” 

Kaulin Hooper, a captain for the boys’ soccer team, agrees that playing a night game rather than an afternoon game has a different feeling. “There is definitely an energy boost and a different kind of feeling because the whole atmosphere gets you excited to play. You feel like the center of attention and everyone is watching you. It’s a great feeling.” 

Lights could also attract more fans to games and could benefit the band and cheerleading programs. Graham Atherton, a freshman drummer, believes the issue of lights would affect them as much as the athletic program. “I think we should have Friday night [games] because Saturday games are inconvenient. It’s in the day and you have to wake up on Saturdays because it is in the afternoon,” he said. 

Given the level of support for stadium lights among BHS student athletes and coaches, some may wonder why stadium lights have not yet been installed. Athletic Director Ryan Peters says that there have been rumors that residents of Richmond Road and some Orthodox have been opposed in the past.  His impression now is that neither group is opposed, based on public comments that have been made.

“One of the reasons that this is more likely to be successful is because we have the Superintendent’s backing. I don’t think we’ve ever had that before.  Also, the times have changed.  We’re one of four schools in Northeast Ohio that don’t have lights,” Peters said.  He also pointed out that, “Friday night games would generate a lot more money for the athletic department.  Other CVC schools bring in as much as $10,000 for a Friday night game, as opposed to Beachwood, which brings in less than $2,000 a game for admissions.”

There is definitely a new momentum regarding Beachwood’s fall sports. Between the football team’s quick improvement–going two wins and eight losses last season to six wins and four losses this past season and the soccer team’s impressive season winning their conference. 

Given this new energy surrounding Beachwood sports, and given the increased level of support for stadium lights, it seems more likely that Beachwood will be able to host a night game at some point in the future.

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