Football Lights

Wahpeton turned the lights on at for 50 minutes on Tuesday, April 7. The first 30 minutes symbolized the togetherness of the community while honoring the healthcare workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. The last 20 minutes were to honor the Class of 2020.

Wahpeton joined the long list of schools across the countries participating in the “Be the Light” movement on Tuesday, April 7. The lights at Earl “Skip” Bute Alumni Stadium were shining for 50 minutes in an effort to give the people of the community hope during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We just want the kids to know and the community to know that we’re all in this together. It’s a tough time, but we’ll get through it,” Wahpeton Athletic Director Mike McCall said.

A large reason for the schools across the country taking part in this activity is for the athletes who are being kept out of competition this spring. The last 20 minutes were dedicated to Wahp’s Class of 2020 who might not get the sendoff they deserve.

“We don’t know know if we’ll be back in the halls before the year ends. We don’t know,” McCall said.

Along with the students, the healthcare workers are also being honored by the glowing lights.

“It’s a way to say thank you to our community heroes and the things that they’re doing as a whole,” McCall said.

People who stopped by were supposed to practice social distancing and several other community members chose to walk or drive by.

Larry Lasch, who is a teacher and coach of the cross-country and track teams, said he hopes this pandemic will be a wakeup call to athletes who were affected in the pandemic.

“I think if anything with this whole coronavirus shutdown, I hope it sends a message that you have to embrace today,” Lasch said. “Some kids think, ‘Oh, I’ll try it next year,’ or ‘I’ll take a year off,’ and shoot, everybody’s taking a year off now whether they want to or not.”

McCall agreed and said it also stretches to everyday life outside of sports.

“I think that all of our kids need to look at it that way for all grade levels in anything,” McCall said. “There are no guarantees and this is just to shed a little brightness on things hopefully and let everybody know we’re in this together.”

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