Rio adds temporary lights to soccer field, brightening up students’ games


Girls’ varsity soccer team practices with new lights on.

Jack Fedota

Rio has made improvements to the lighting on the football field, and there are now six temporary lights for the upcoming soccer season. The lights will stay on the fields until the beginning of the lacrosse season in March. With Daylight Savings time, it has started to get darker earlier in the day, making it difficult for our six soccer teams to practice and play games. However, by the time the lacrosse season comes around, lighting no longer presents itself as an issue, leading them to be removed. 

Athletic Director William Taylor worked hard to get these lights, and with the help from generous Rio parents, he was able to get the district to provide the soccer teams with lighting. Taylor acknowledged the generosity of both the district and parents. 

“The district actually provided us with four of the eight lights, but the big thing is that these lights run on diesel fuel,” he said. “A Rio parent is actually paying for the gasoline through their company. It’s estimated that by the time the lights leave, the parent will have donated over $4000 for diesel fuel.” The parent noted that they wanted to stay anonymous and just let the kids play and practice whenever they needed to. 

Although the lights allow the soccer teams to practice later on in the evening, there have been some complaints from the players and the coaches. The lights are able to illuminate the entire field, but they don’t shine very high into the sky, leading to problems when the ball is kicked high on plays like goal kicks. This is a major reason why home games start at 3:00 PM latest. Even though the lights weren’t there for the football season, Taylor didn’t rule out the possibility of having them for “early morning practices” next season.