Fight Over Friday Night Lights in Mountain View, Los Altos - NBC Bay Area
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Fight Over Friday Night Lights in Mountain View, Los Altos

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    Fight Over Friday Night Lights in Mountain View, Los Altos

    A light fight has broken out in Mountain View-Los Altos area, where two high schools are among the few campuses in Santa Clara County without football stadium lights. And now that the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District is considering installing lights to allow for night games, it is stirring a debate within the community. Ian Cull reports. (Published Monday, Aug. 20, 2018)

    A light fight has broken out in Mountain View-Los Altos area, where two high schools are among the few campuses in Santa Clara County without football stadium lights.

    And now that the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District is considering installing lights to allow for night games, it is stirring a debate within the community.

    Players and coaches want lights installed so they can have practices and games at night. But some residents in the neighborhood say that would bring a whole host of issues.

    "You look around, and there's really only two schools that don't have lights," said Stephen Matos, Mountain View High School's quarterbacks coach. "That's us and Los Altos."

    Players and coaches are fighting for those Friday night lights to attract more fans and so parents don't have to take off work to see them play an afternoon game.

    "Every kid when they become varsity players deserved to have that right to play under the lights at their home field," Matos said.

    It's not just about the football team.

    "What's actually a bigger issue is with sports like soccer in the winter," said Gustav Vu, a Mountain View High junior. "There's four teams: JV, varsity, boys and girls. They don't have enough time because it gets dark. There's only so much field time they can have."

    The school district is considering installing LED lights at the Mountain View and Los Altos high fields. But there's no set timeline.

    A district spokesperson said the district is considering all points of view. The board of trustees requested the district look into the issue after being approached by parents.

    "The task force is yet to be formed so there is no timeline, but we are committed to inclusion and transparency," the spokesperson said. "This is just the beginning of the conversation."

    One neighbor who did not want to be identified voiced her worries about the lights and sound.

    "It really is the PA system that's paired with that," she said. "We're really concerned about how the speakers and sound amplification will be controlled."

    As the football season kicks off, the fight will continue on and off the field.

    "It's once a night for the week, and the lights are only on until 10," Matos said. "I think there could be some sacrifice there."

    Occasionally, Mountain View does host games with temporary lights it brings in. Coaches argue it's just not the same, and the district says it can be costly.

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