August 28, 2014 at 3:58 PM
The Methacton High School's athletes may have to wait even longer for their lights. As Worcester Township, the municipality in which the high school is located, is currently holding a number of Conditional Use hearings to determine the allowance of the turf and lights at MHS, there was zero wait for a set of younger Warriors.
Despite the challenges in Worcester, the younger Methacton Warriors donning green jerseys and uniforms will be lucky enough to have lights by the end of this Labor Day weekend.
The Pop Warner organization, which provides youth cheerleading and football to the township for those ages 5 to 14, was granted approval for the lights at the field’s inception, when the initial lease was agreed to between the township of Lower Providence and the Warriors.
“Lights were on the blueprints when the plans were initially drafted,” said Tom Leahan, Methacton Warriors’ organizational president. “It was always a part of the envisioned project.”
The project was made possible through community partnerships, as one private donor made a contribution to pay for and install the lights.
“With a grant, we were able to finish the fields,” said Leahan. “But it was an anonymous donor that gave the money in what I believe is the last major improvement for us.”
Though the organization was trying to save each year, the cost of upkeep and operations made it difficult to raise enough for the lights.
“As far as fundraising, we’ve always tried to keep money aside, but we’re always fundraising for the full facility,” said Leahan. With the anonymous donor, the lights could finally be added.
Leahan said he looks forward to the new addition.
“From a safety perspective, it is a much safer environment for the children, because we don’t need the portable lights,” said Leahan. “There is also a cost savings to the organization for the rentals. That will pay for the usage.”
Bob Maro, the 80-pound football coach for the Methacton Warriors, said the new installation will save the Pop Warner league money when it comes to practice times.
“This will save the organization thousands of dollars in rental fees every year,” explained Maro. “They would rent lights in prior years.”
Now instead of truck-hauled rental lights, running loudly with fuel-eating fumes, the player will have permanent lights throughout the year. Practice times can be more flexible, and some teams will now be able to have evening games.
“I am not sure how many night games if any we will have, but this is very good news for the organization as a whole,” said Maro of his 80-pound players.