Wooster Football Raising Awareness, Money For New Lights

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The Wooster Colts have one of the most successful football programs in history - with eight state championships on their resume. But they're the only school in their district without any lights.

On Thursday night more than 40 years of tradition under the sun came to an end as the team practiced under temporary donated lights.

"I think it's really exciting that this is gonna happen," said former Wooster head coach Joe Sellers, who the field is named after.

The ultimate goal of Thursday's practice was to raise enough awareness and funding for a permanent replacement.

"Kids play football to be in the spotlight," said Gray Levy, Wooster's head coach. "And it's real hard to do that on a Saturday afternoon."

"It's like every high school kid, they love to play on their stadium with lights," said Colts senior Jake McCall. "And we've never been able to do that. It'd be nice to do."

Not only for the players, but also the fans and ultimately the program. Once a powerhouse under Sellers, last season's Colts went just 1-9. A few lights and more bodies in the stands could be the spark the program needs to return to glory.

"We feel that if we can get the lights it's just going to improve the whole atmosphere around our program," said Levy. "And probably lead to more kids wanting to stick with things and be a part of it."

The desire is there, but the money isn't. So far, Wooster has only raised $10 thousand of the $150 thousand needed. The school is selling off bricks etched with donors names to help the team meet its goal. Levy says realistically, the field won't have permanent lights until 2010 at the earliest. But he and the rest of the staff remain committed; one brick; one dollar and one bulb at a time.

"One way or another we are going to get it done sooner or later," said Levy. "I'd love to get it done sooner, but we're going to keep working on it til it gets done."

For more information on how you can help Wooster meet its goal, go to www.woosterlights.com