GONZALES — In an effort to improve the lighting for football and soccer games at Gonzales High School’s Dick Force Stadium, 190 watt LED lights were installed last week just in time for the football season.
The lighting at the stadium became an issue after the light post that stood in back of the home stands was removed forcing the school to rent portable lights during football games to make up for the lost light.
The remaining five posts that held metal halide floods lights did not provide enough light to safely play the games. The new light fixtures were mounted on the four outside light posts that will be replaced by new post and the LED lights.
“We are excited about the collaboration with our district and maintenance to improve our facilities and our football program,” said Gonzales High Athletic Director Todd Buller. “Getting lights in place that follow the requests of our league and referees establish pride in our school and program. The lights also provide a concrete fix to a deficiency we had at our site in accordance to CCS (Central Coast Section). If lights were not updated we were going to have to play Saturdays. It was important to myself and our athletic department to keep tradition alive with Friday night football.
“With a new coach an rebuilding program, I wanted the Gonzales culture around football to be vibrant and supportive. I feel that the produce our team will put onto the field will be reflective of what our town has to offer,” Buller said.
“The well-lit environment promotes safety, pride, and collaboration the Gonzales Unified School District is trying to support in all aspects of a student-centered environment,” Buller added.
The original six light posts that stood have stood at the stadium since the 1965 football season. The old bulbs that were in place were bright enough to cover the field and were visible miles away.
“Our class (1966) was the only class to play football on both football fields at Gonzales,” said Spartan alumni and former Principal John Macias. “We played that first season on the new stadium in 1965. The lights on the old field had six lights posts and were pretty bright.”
Gonzales head football coach Arthur Berlanga is pleased that the lights were mounted in time for the upcoming football season.
“Having our games on Friday nights is important to our hard-working community and all the clubs and activities that benefit from concessions and fundraising,” said Berlanga. “There is a lot of pride at this school and attending the night games is part of it.” We are pleased that the teams will play under a good, safe, light source.”