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Sunday, 18 October 2020 20:00

VIDEO: Senate members talk homecoming, honor late preacher

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Raider Stadium sits under a glow of green and gold light during Friday's homecoming show. Raider Stadium sits under a glow of green and gold light during Friday's homecoming show. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — The green glow above Raider Stadium was mixed with the yellow shirts of dozens of students and family members on Friday night.

Richmond Senior High School’s senior senate held its latest edition of “Friday Night Lights” to honor the late Pastor Ricky Jacobs, as well as celebrate what would have been the school’s homecoming game.

The weekend light show using Raider Stadium’s state-of-the-art MUSCO Lighting system has become a regular occurrence during the coronavirus pandemic. The class of 2020 made it popular during the spring when in-person instruction and athletics were suspended.

Without the traditional student pep rally, homecoming parade or homecoming game, Friday’s event gave students and fans a reason to come together. Cars filled the field house parking lot, as participants practiced social distancing.

“The senate came up with the idea for the homecoming because they wanted to do something to commemorate the moment,” Arthur Gilliam, the senate’s adviser, said. “They knew that there would be no football game, no pep rally and no parade due to COVID. But they weren’t satisfied sitting back and doing nothing at all. That was completely unacceptable.”

Homecoming week usually consists of several “spirit week” days where students and faculty dress up for different themes. This year’s senate decided to replace it with “kindness week” and sold shirts that said “spread kindness, not COVID.” Part of the proceeds from the sales were donated to the Richmond County Aging Services.

Rev. Jacobs, who died earlier this month following complications with COVID-19, was a staple on the sidelines at Richmond athletic events for over two decades. Gilliam said it was important to the members of the senate to honor his impact on the community.

“They wanted the first Friday Night Lights of the year to be dedicated to Rev. Jacobs because he meant so much to not just Raider football, but the entire Raider community and our county,” he said. 

“The students felt that it was only right to dedicate the entire night to his memory and legacy. I think it being homecoming weekend makes it that much more special.”

Senate president Alex Yates, second vice president Noah Aiken and secretary Jaiden Tillman spoke about the light show, as well as the lasting legacy of “Preacher Ricky.” Another Friday Night Lights is planned for Oct. 30.

VIDEO: Click photo to watch Friday’s light show and hear from Richmond’s senate members.

Last modified on Sunday, 18 October 2020 20:04
Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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