CHATHAM, NJ - Tom Aloia and Jim LeMon of the Chatham Football Club came before the Chatham Borough Council on Monday to ask for another night of lights at Lum Field.
According to Aloia and LeMon another night of lights is needed because of the 20 percent increase in participation by Chatham youth football players. There were 173 players spread across the fifth-, sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade teams in 2013.
Tom Aloia and Jim LeMon ask for more practice time below in video
Currently, the Chatham Football Club has permission to use lights for their practices from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Aloia and LeMon suggested that adding Wednesday would help alleviate the crowding problem on Lum.
"It makes mathematical sense to add another night for the safety of the kids on the field," Council member John Holman said. "Teams are practicing on half a field and there is a risk of players running into each other. It's a safety issue.'
Council members James Collander and Jim Lonergan agreed that the football program needs more time to accommodate the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth-grade teams.
"Right now there are approximately 18 nights for a total of 32 hours of night for the entire year," Lonergan said. "That's about 10 percent of what is used at Shunpike in the township."
Collander noted that Chatham is squeezed for field space and needs to accommodate the youth football team, while respecting the neighborhood.