Friday Night Lights

John Jay Celebrates Senior Athletes and the Class of 2020

"Welcome to Friday Night Lights!” said Chris McCarthy, director of health, physical education, athletics and wellness at the Katonah-Lewisboro School District. He was standing on John Jay High School’s Contest Field alone, under the lights. The green turf and signature purple track made stripes behind him. Above him, the scoreboard beamed 20:20.

Friday Night Lights is a quiet spectacle sweeping across America this spring. Many high schools are lighting up their athletic fields for twenty minutes each Friday evening beginning at 8:20 p.m. That's 20:20 in military time. The initiative honors the Class of 2020, which has been unable to celebrate so many of the traditional milestones.  

John Jay Takes it a Step Further

“We decided to personalize it a little more,” said McCarthy. Each evening is dedicated to senior athletes on specific teams, with McCarthy hosting a short tribute from the lit field, recorded by his wife Tamra. Coaches are also there to give shout outs. 

Senior athletes send in pre-recorded video reflections. One sings the National Anthem. The parts are woven together by FNL editor-in-chief Geoff Curtis, one of John Jay’s baseball coaches. 

The plan is to release each video on the Katonah-Lewisboro School District’s Facebook page at 8:20 each Friday evening. 

The schedule: May 8: Softball and Baseball  |  May 15: Lacrosse  |  May 22: Track and Field  |  May 29: Golf and Tennis   |  June 5: all senior athletes.

"What I will miss the most ..."

“When I was younger, I always loved to watch my older siblings play, and I always wanted to be like them,” said softball outfielder Sarah Antunes in the May 8 tribute to the diamond sports.  “I love the game and working with my teammates on the field.”

“They tell you when you make the team that these four years will go by in the blink of an eye,” said George Lombardi, John Jay’s pitcher. “Most people usually think that is not true and that they have plenty of time left. However, it couldn’t be more true. Before you know it, you’ll be playing your last game. Take advantage of every opportunity you get and enjoy your time in baseball while it lasts.”