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Friday Night Lights just got brighter!

A maintenance crew paints the light poles silver at Johnson County High School’s Paul McEwen Stadium. The Stadium received new lights this past week. Photos by Joey Icenhour

By Beth Cox
Sports writer

The future is looking a little brighter for football this year, at Paul McEwen Stadium, thanks to another facelift last week. The old stadium lights were replaced with new up-to-date LED lights. The old lights have been lighting up the Longhorn football field for well over 50 years. The new LED lights will be brighter, which has been a concern for many over the past few years.

Dr. Stephen Long is happy with the new updated stadium lights. He explained the change was needed for safety reasons.

“Maintenance was done on the lights a few years ago; at that time, we were told the cross beams to which the lights were mounted were deteriorating. We were assured that action was needed within the next three to five years.”

The Johnson County School Board approved the stadium light project in May with final approval for installation in June. The money for the new LED lights was allocated through the school’s General Purpose Funds.

“We are thrilled with the appearance of the lights, both the way they look and the way they light up the field,” Long said. “However, they were replaced for safety reasons more than anything else.”

Coach Don Kerley is delighted with the new lights and feels the LED lights will make a huge difference for his players on the field.

“No other program around has stadium lights like these, other than Johnson City,” he said. “It will hopefully give us a hometown advantage.”

The new stadium lights won’t be too bad for sports photographer Joey Icenhour either, “This is a sports photographer’s dream come true. The lighting on the field is great.” LED stadium lights are relatively new to outdoor venues across the country. Research has proven, LED stadium lights are more cost-effective, easier to maintain, and provide fans with a greater sports experience.

One Longhorn fan said the players are going to “love the new lights. They can see better across the whole field. There has always been a spot on that field that is so dark. I always wondered how the players could see out there. I know I couldn’t.”

The future is looking a little brighter for football this year, Out with the old, in with the new and brighter stadium lights at Paul McEwen Stadium at Johnson County High School.

New lights shine bright at Johnson County High School’s Paul McEwen Stadium. After more than 50 years, the old lights have been updated with brighter, more cost-effective LED stadium lights. Photo by Joey Icenhour