WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — David Tubman, a senior football captain for the Westborough Rangers, has played just one Friday-night home game in his career, and he's excited to play one more.
"I think it's definitely the atmosphere that's a little different on Friday nights," Tubman said, noting that he's looking forward to the second Week Of Lights scheduled for Oct. 22-26. "It's more of a traditional football game. I personally feel that's how it should be played."
Westborough's biennial nighttime sports week was first held in 2010. It includes boys and girls soccer, field hockey and varsity and JV football played under portable lights at Joseph R. Mewhiney Field. The Week of Lights was spearheaded by the Westborough High School Athletics Boosters. The lights are provided by Pro Equipment Rental, and the $7,000 cost is covered entirely by community donations.
"It's a big deal because a lot of the schools around us have lights," said Maura Shunney, of the Boosters. "It's really a great community event, and more than just students come."
Athletic director Johanna DiCarlo said residents living near the field have been informed and promised that the lights will be turned off early enough to avoid being a problem.
Additionally, the threat of Eastern equine encephalitis is on the minds of DiCarlo and Shunney. DiCarlo said a decision will be made on Monday, Oct. 15, whether mosquitoes will force the event's cancellation.
"I've talked to a couple of town officials and they don't think it's going to be an issue," Shunney said.
Fans are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to the game for the Westborough Food Bank.
"This is the week we start to get students rallied around the community service project and the biggest week as far as building up excitement for it," DiCarlo said.
The varsity schedule (below) includes games against Fitchburg and the finale vs. Wachusett.
- Monday, Oct. 22: Girls JV soccer vs. Algonquin, 5 p.m.; girls varsity soccer vs. Fitchburg, 7 p.m.
- Tuesday, Oct. 23: Boys JV soccer vs. Algonquin, 5 p.m.; boys varsity soccer vs. Fitchburg, 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, Oct. 24: JV field hockey vs. Fitchburg, 5 p.m.; varsity field hockey vs. Fitchburg, 7 p.m.
- Friday, Oct. 26: Freshman and JV football vs. Wachusett, 5:30 p.m.; varsity football vs. Wachusett, 6:45 p.m.
Tubman said that while he's played Friday night games on the road, there's something special about playing them at home in front of droves of fans.
"I think if we win under the lights with all the support of the whole school community coming out, that would be huge for the guys. It will get them completely energized for the rest of the year," Tubman said. "I think it's huge for the athletics programs and for the whole school."