On October 8, 2012, Mountain View High School’s Board of Trustees decided to allow MVHS to host a night game at home, set to take place on October 26. This will be the first night game that MVHS has ever held on campus. The students are already pumped and the game hasn’t even started.
The meeting was held to discuss the pros and cons of having lights on the football field, an idea that students have campaigned for since 2010, and desired even past then. Parents, students, and teachers met with the neighbors and board members to debate the topic, and whether or not the decision to have lights on the field would ultimately be beneficial to the school.
There were many supporters for the idea, but also many against it. Superintendent Dr. Barry Groves made the recommendation for the night game, and fully and enthusiastically “supports [the board’s] decision”.
Student and ASB member Dean Trammell, who attended the meeting, feels the same way and hopes for the future. “I agree with the decision on lights for one game…” Trammell says. “Hopefully this will lead to the discussion about permanent lights that we deserve.”
Besides the obvious reasons – such as being able to host night games, which is a traditional part of the high school experience (NBC’s ‘Friday Night Lights’ anyone?) – one of the pros of having permanent lights on the field is that they would increase school spirit overall.
“There are students with after-school sports that [prohibit them from attending] the games… at home.” Trammell states. “Also, the night atmosphere makes everything seem more up-tempo. At the foothill homecoming game we all could really feel the spirit blasting from the Mountain View side as we demolished Los Altos.”
As there always is in a debate, there was a opposing side. Community members against having lights had much to say too. Their most popular argument was that there would be students hanging out in the streets after the game and getting into trouble.
“People living around the school shouldn’t condemn teenagers because they were in high school once too and they should know that not everyone goes to football games just to drink and be loud [and] do drugs” Kim Caltagirone, a junior, said.
“There will be adults in the area watching over the students to make sure nothing dumb happens.” Trammell added.
A neighbor tried to prove that students could easily get into trouble at games by bringing in a pipe to the meeting, claiming that she found it on her property. She was angry that she had to explain to her children what the item was, and stated that having lights on the field would lead to an increase in drug activity. Disagreement came from students and staff members alike.
“I do not believe that having a night football game will increase drug activity. I have not seen any data that this happens.” Mr. Groves stated.
“I think [her argument] is completely irrelevant,” junior Oren Merry, a member of ASB, said. “It cannot be proven that [the pipe] was used on MVHS property or that MVHS students had anything to do with the pipe at all. If she saw students smoking… on MVHS property or had actually witnessed the pipe being smoked, that’s a different story.”
Junior Jamie Bindon had a strong point to add. “I think the fact that the woman brought the pipe is actually a great reason to promote having permanent lights at the school. Think of it this way; if the students have a way to spend their Friday night at a school-spirited, fun, and exciting night game, then they would be less likely to spend their Friday nights with a pipe.”
Another reason that neighbors were against having lights is that they fear their property values will decline. People in the surrounding neighborhood are afraid that adding lights to MVHS would increase light pollution, noise pollution, and traffic when there are games, thus making the surrounding areas less ideal. The game with temporary lights on Friday, October 26, will test that theory.
Students and faculty alike are excited for this new experience of a night game with temporary lights, and hope it provides an opportunity to discuss getting permanent lights in the near future.