Install lights, they (players) will come

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In her Letter to the Editor of another local paper, Elizabeth Anthony correctly points to that paper’s lack of objectivity and one-sided coverage in regards to the Malibu High School field lighting issue. The paper’s editor’s note states, “The Newspaper’s objective is fair and accurate coverage, but”…

But just contradicted the previous statement and proved Elizabeth’s point. The editor’s note goes on to give opinions about proponents waxing lyrical about school spirit and possible reasons (injuries, lack of wins, parental concern and even fatalities) for why the football team may have only signed up a small number of players. Maybe, it’s because we don’t have lights. Many parents, myself included, have to work and making it to afternoon games is difficult if not impossible. Maybe, it’s because we lose talented football players and other athletes, to schools that do have programs and communities that support the combination of education and athletics.

In 10th grade, I played football in New York for my high school, which had over 3,000 students. We didn’t have lights. We struggled to get 50 players and had even fewer spectators. In 11th grade, I moved to Minnesota (I thought my life was over) and played football for my high school, which had less than 800 students. We had lights. We consistently had 80 plus players and packed the stands at every game with over 500 spectators, even in zero degree weather. When Malibu had temporary lights, my family as well as many families without kids on the team attended games on Friday nights. We had spirit and could make it to the games.

We are not native to Malibu, my family and I have only lived here for nine years. We love the natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle that Malibu affords its families. We are truly lucky and blessed to be able to experience the wildlife in Malibu, seeing hawks, owls, coyotes and other animals on a daily basis as well as the occasional mountain lion. A limited number of nights with limited hours of lights is not going to change this beauty.

Frank Churchill