Wednesday, 10 July 2019 21:39

Raider Stadium leading the way in technology with new LED lights, video filming station

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The new Musco Lighting LED stadium lights being installed at Raider Stadium on Wednesday. The new Musco Lighting LED stadium lights being installed at Raider Stadium on Wednesday. Kyle Pillar — The Richmond Observer.


ROCKINGHAM — To go along with its seven state title banners, Raider Stadium is now becoming one of the most innovative and technologically-advanced high school sports venues in the state of North Carolina.

The 47-year old stadium is undergoing renovations for the second-straight summer, using the remaining funds from a $200,000 grant awarded to the Richmond Senior High School football program by former state representative Ken Goodman in 2017.

Last summer, Raider Stadium got a painting overhaul and saw new college regulation goal posts and nearly 100 hedgerows planted along its walkways. This summer, the largest project is helping make the home of the Raiders one of the brightest spots in North Carolina.

Walter Holmes Electric, Inc. out of Dunn, N.C., has spent the week installing new stadium lights around the exterior of the playing field. A representative of the company told ROSports it was a Musco Lighting LED system, and makes Raider Stadium one of the first high school football venues in the state to have the top-of-the-line layout in place.

According to its website, Musco Lighting has done recent LED lighting installments at such sporting venues as LoConte Family Field at Clemson University, Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati and Frawley Stadium, the home of the Wilmington Blue Rocks, among others.

Most of the high schools across the country that have similar lighting systems in place are located in Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

Crew members work on installing the new lights at Raider Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

“We had several things we could have used the grant money for, but we saw that updating the lights as the biggest need,” third-year head coach Bryan Till explained. “Last year we had some problems with the lights, and any time you have something to worry about something other than football on Friday nights, you want that taken care of.”

The new Musco Lighting system is entirely LED, which Till said is not only start-of-the-art, but will also help the program, RSHS and Richmond County in the future.

“Because they’re LED lights and not heat generated, this new system saves on wear and tear,” Till said. “The lights will be pointed down at the field, making it a lot brighter. LEDs also save a ton of money because they don’t require as much energy.

“Now we’ll have the consistency of new lights,” he added. “We’re trying to take a lot of pride in what we’re doing, and we talk about culture a lot in this community. From that perspective, we want to do things the right way and that goes a long way and keeps a continuity for the county. It should have a really positive effect.”

Aside from saving money and being more energy efficient, Till added that the new LED lights will have the ability to change colors. That means Friday nights in Richmond County will now have a green and gold glow above the stadium, while other colors can be used for school and community functions.

Till noted that the Richmond County Schools’ maintenance department is “helping fulfill” the project’s completion.

Also new on the sidelines this fall will be a video filming station. Using some of the grant money received from the NFL Foundation and Richmond alumni Melvin Ingram, Till upgraded his players’ viewing ability by having the station built.

Wayne Stevens, whose son Bryan is a rising sophomore on the team, constructed the video replay station. The two television monitors were supplied from Carolina Jewelry and Pawn, while Shawn Weigman Designs, LLC. and TRG Sign Company contributed a steel Raider diamond and “Make Your Link Strong” graphics, respectively.

“The new filming station provides bigger screens, which will benefit our players greatly,” Till said. “Our iPads will be connected to the TVs through the Hudl sideline system and give us a better understanding of recognizing mistakes and making adjustments during the game.”

Richmond will compete in the seventh annual Powerade Invitational 7-on-7 tournament at the Sportsplex at Matthews on Friday and Saturday. Till closed by encouraging fans and community members to check out the new lights during Richmond’s season opener against Clayton High School on Friday, Aug. 23.

Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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