News 12 at 11 / Friday, August 23, 2013
MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW) -- The crowd cheers as the Augusta Prep Cavaliers make their first run through their tunnel under their brand new risers.
The sounds of Friday night football are reaching new heights at Augusta Prep. Tonight the Cavaliers are breaking in their brand new stadium.
"I feel like it'll attract more spectators. A lot of times without the stadium there was an issue with being able to see the game because everyone was on the same level," cheerleader Sandra Ford explained.
Now instead of lawn chairs and their old, small risers, the Cavs will play next to big, shiny new risers, which they're hoping will bring more fans.
"It's going to be a new experience for our football players, looking up to a stand and to see their family and their friends cheering them on," said Preston Sparks, Augusta Prep Communications Director.
"People get loud. I know we're a small school so you wouldn't think it, but we get so many fans, and they just all start yelling their heads off. It's fantastic," football player Nolan Brandon said.
The idea of late night noise isn't scoring any points with nearby neighbors. Pattie Rimbey lives right through the treeline at the back of the field.
"I can read balls and strikes, home, visitor. It's right there," Rimbey said as she pointed through the fence in her backyard.
She's concerned the school's growing athletic program could be a growing problem for hanging out in her backyard.
"I'm going to have to plan my events here in my home around the sports seasons of the school. Stadium grade lighting is bright It's not as bad now because of the foliage, but football season being in the fall when there is none, the lights are intense. It is daytime in the backyard," she said.
It's a problem the school has tried to address by angling the lights to focus on the field. Players hope to solve other problems with this offer.
"I can understand their concerns about having a giant stadium full of yelling fans at 9 o'clock at night, but I would really encourage them to come to the game and just experience the energy that were going to have. I mean, once they come, they'll get infected with that spirit," Brandon said.
If they do, they'll just have a short walk home. Those neighbors might be happy to hear Augusta Prep can only play a certain number of night games each year.
The new equipment is was a big upgrade for the school. Students tell News 12 they used to bring lawn chairs to watch the game. Now, the old, small risers are the designated student section behind the end zone.