After night game attracts ‘record’ crowd, STHS eyes permanent lights |

After night game attracts ‘record’ crowd, STHS eyes permanent lights

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor
Steve Yingling / Tahoe Daily TribuneSouth Tahoe High's first night home game against Lowry on Sept. 11 attracted an estimated crowd in excess of 1,000.

Now that the community has shown enormous support for Friday night lights at South Tahoe High, the school’s athletic director says it’s time to take the next step.

“Friday night lights, let’s make it happen,” said STHS Athletic Director Don Borges, who strongly supports permanent lights at Viking Bowl.

Borges said more than 1,000 spectators turned out Sept. 11 for the first night game at South Tahoe High.

“That was the largest crowd I’ve ever seen,” Borges said.

“Our gate was the biggest that we’ve ever had, and that includes any homecoming that you want to put out there.”

Even South Tahoe’s great teams of the early 1990s didn’t have that much support, according to Borges. Fans, including actress Loni Anderson, once sat in lounge chairs along the road leading up to the school when the stands swelled with spectators.

The school’s Quarterback Club covered the $1,000 cost of renting portable lights for the game with Lowry. Borges is hopeful stadium lights will be in place by next season.

“We want to have it, and I’m hoping the community wants to have it,” Borges said. “We’re trying to get the lights there by next year. That’s the goal, to make it happen.”

Borges is hoping that a community member will step forward to lead a fundraising drive for permanent lights. The total cost for the lights, materials and labor to install them is estimated at $300,000, according to Borges.

“We have the information out there. We need somebody to run with the ball,” Borges said. “If we had the cash today, we’d be able to start.”

The school ran into some coordinating obstacles with the portable lights. After receiving six banks of lights the night before the game, the last two didn’t arrive until 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. the day of the game. One was retrieved from Reno and the other from Elko.

“It all came together, and we’re happy, but it’s labor-intensive,” Borges said.

The night game brought out students and children in record numbers.

“I’ve never seen so many kids,” Borges said. “We actually had a mosh pit, where you have so many people in the stands where there is no more room.”

Borges said that if the lights become permanent, the larger attendance totals in football will help the school cover the costs of paying for officials in all of its sports.

“We haven’t been able to pay for it the last few years,” he said.

If you are interested in fundraising for the lights or want to make a contribution, phone Borges at 530-541-4111, ext. 226.

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