West St. John Rams badly need new lights

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 8, 1999

L’Observateur / September 8, 1999

It’s really a shame, a disgrace and an embarrassment – that the state 2A football champions are forced to play in such deplorable lighting conditions. One would think St. John the Baptist Parish School Board wouldwant to highlight and showcase the talents of these hard-working student-athletes. Instead, as last season, the West St. John Rams againtrot out onto their playing field with extremely poor stadium lighting.

It reflects badly on our school system when visiting teams and their supporters attend games there and makes it all the harder for parents and other supporters to attend, when they cannot clearly see the field of play.

At the July 15 meeting of the School Board, an “emergency” measure was passed to provide adequate stadium lights for not only West St. John High,but also for East St. John High. This “emergency” measure won’t be inplace, according to Jesse Oubre, maintenance manager for the school system, until mid-October.

Hopefully, no delays will come up and the Rams will be able to play at least one or two of their 1999 season games in reasonable lighting conditions. However, this need not have been an emergency. It was knownlast season and even before then that the antiquated lighting system was not adequate. This could have been accomplished last spring, during theoff-season, and been in place by the time of the St. James season openerlast Friday night.

Instead, Rams fans will most likely sit and strain their eyes through the Sept. 24 Ridgewood game and the Oct. 1 Newman game before relief is insight.

It is a measure of the Rams’ ability that they were able to accomplish what they did last season, despite their playing conditions.

However, we need not sabotage our own children’s games with such needless and short-sighted delay.


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