The new lights at a South Lake Tahoe high school football stadium have transformed a simple game into a major community event. And it seems like just overnight, the little school that could has become the talk of the town.
The $80 thousand addition at Whittell High School went up at the end of August and the Warriors football team has responded by clinching their first playoff spot since 2001. And that's led to a big increase in attendance. Last year, the team struggled to get more than a dozen fans in the stands, but on Friday night there were close to two hundred. Head coach Dave Atherton says the Friday night games are also keeping kids out of trouble.
"For these couple of hours here at these games they're here," said Atherton. "They're out of trouble and that's a big deal. Those of us grown-ups in the community feel that's very important because now the enthusiasm is towards this school as opposed to doing something negative."
It's been a long road back to prominence for Whtitell. Just last season, the Warriors snapped a 26-game losing streak and now, they're headed to the playoffs. By beating R.O.P. 61-26, Whittell finished the regular season with a 6-2 record to clinch the number three seed in the 2A playoffs.