By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Chase County football players and fans will get to see the first Longhorn game played on the new East 9th St. football field this Friday night.
The Longhorns will play host to the Holyoke, Colo., Dragons, but a lot of the fans will likely be just as interested in the field’s lighting as the action on the field.
After several months of discussions and some disagreements on height of the poles, they went up without a hitch last Thursday.
A Pivot Electric crew reattached the top half of the four poles and the light fixtures, with assistance of cranes from Doak Construction of McCook.
All four poles, installed at four different heights, went up on Thursday, in time for Friday’s football team scrimmage.
Meanwhile on the field, the school’s head maintenance man, Kent Silvester, was quietly mowing the yard lines for the scrimmage the next day.
Head Football Coach Dan Lenners had nothing but good comments about the field lighting.
“The lights worked good, we had no dark spots. It was very bright,” Lenners said, after the team played there under the lights Friday.
“It was great being over there.”
While they didn’t pass the ball a lot in the scrimmage, Lenners doesn’t believe there will be a problem with lights in players eyes on the northeast section of the field, where the pole is the shortest.
“The guys were excited with the field and really enjoyed being over there,” he said.
Supt. Matt Fisher heard a lot of positive comments Friday about the entire athletic facility in general, and didn’t hear a lot of comments directly about the lights.
“We knew all along that there’d be more light over there,” he said.
Fisher noted all of the light fixtures had to be “re-aimed” before they were reattached to the top of the poles because of the different heights the poles are at now.
The school initially put all four poles up at 70 feet, but after requests from the airport zoning board, they were taken down in December, 2007.
Now the poles stand at 41 feet on the northeast, 52 feet on the southeast, 70 feet on the southwest and 62 feet on the northwest.
Other improvements fans will see when they attend the football game Friday night include the new bleacher seating and concession stand.
The track at the complex has been in use for several years since meets are held during the daylight hours.