MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Montclair Mounties will make history Thursday, Oct. 2 with their first-ever night home football game. Montclair High School (MHS) will square off with Nutley at 7 p.m. at Woodman Field.
Mounties football has never played a night game on the field in the past because of insufficient lighting. Lighting issues have been resolved, and school officials feel that now is the perfect time to begin a night game tradition.
Locals react to the news with mixed reviews. While some support the night game concept when it is on a weekend, others are concerned about student academics if students are spending time in the middle of the week out late at night. However, with rare exceptions, virtually all high school football games are scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays in New Jersey. MHS alum Adrian Reeves, who plans on attending the game, said, "Awesome, can't wait!"
Montclair High School alum Willis Petrie weighed in, saying, "I had to adjust to Friday night games. I get it...it's at the end of the week, but don't kids have school the next day? ...I think sports is becoming too commercial."
Update: On September 30, TAP into Montclair caught up to Coach John Fiore who wanted the community to be aware of the reasoning behind the night game change.
Fiore expressed that the night game during the week is a rare event. He said, "We are concerned about our students academics and understand that it comes first, but made a schedule adjustment for this one game to observe the Jewish holiday that takes place on Friday and Saturday this week. Most schools across the state of New Jersey also had to make the adjustment to their football schedule, as well."
Fiore also expressed that study hall for student-athletes is provided on a consistent basis throughout the year to ensure that athletes remain academically-focused.