The bright lights will soon shine in Washburn

The school and community of Washburn are going to be installing lights on their soccer field, which will be a game-changing experience on many levels. Lights are going up in the coming days and the teams will begin playing games immediately once the project is finished.

Trekking through the snow to get this project going

Installing the lights began back in February when the field was covered in snow, but officials needed to get proper measurements and blueprints for the completion of the project. The poles were put into position last week and now are waiting to be raised and turned on. As the project nears completion the town and players are excited to be able to play under the lights, at home.

Light poles are set ready to be raised in Washburn
Light poles are set ready to be raised in Washburn

 Making soccer an entire community event 

Lit soccer fields can be a game changer for small communities like Washburn. The school can now schedule games in the evening hours, making it easier for many working parents and grandparents to attend the games. This will also free up practice time on days that certain teams from the school are not playing. The impact of the lights goes beyond the players' chance to shine at night, it makes an impact on the entire community and program.

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The proof lies within one of the Beavers rivals

Nearly 20 years ago lights were installed at Central Aroostook high school in Mars Hill and over time the community saw the support for the sport of soccer rapidly increase. The lights made soccer games that were once only attended by parents and students, a community event. I am convinced that the lights took the soccer program from mediocre, to eventually winning a state championship.

Enjoy it, kids

Let's face it, the high school sports landscape in Aroostook County has changed in recent years. The popularity of soccer has led to increased attendance of fans at all levels. I anticipate that the lights in Washburn will have a similar impact as they did in Mars Hill, and has shown in Easton. Small towns can now offer evening games for many parents to see. The change may not come the first time they flip the switch in Washburn, but let's revisit this in 2030.

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