Bruce Smith Field in Faribault had it's lights on for 15 minutes Friday night in a showing of solidarity with over 100 schools across Minnesota.  Faribault High School Activities Director Keith Badger and Superintendent Todd Sesker were guests on today's COVID-19 Community update show.

The program replaced the Faribault Coaches Show a few weeks ago.  It is sponsored by G&H Property Management.  Royal Ross from G&H co-hosts the show and was in studio today while Badger and Sesker joined us via telephone.

Badger and Sesker were both at the field and I stopped by briefly to snap a few photos.  Badger told us when I asked about the number of schools participating in the lighting of stadium lights, "The last I checked the count was up to about 102.  John Millea of the Minnesota State High School League was keeping a tally throughout the evening of the schools were beginning to participate and it started out as a pretty small number and then it really just took off."

"So I think it was a neat gesture across our state."  There were scores of vehicles in the parking lot at the field and many did say during the entire 15 minutes the lights were on.  Other vehicles drove by slowly and then exited immediately.  The people did stay inside their vehicles so social distancing was observed.  I told Badger and Sesker the turnout was inspiring.

Badger agreed saying, "I think it was just a little shot of normalcy in our lives.  We all sat there and imagined that we were watching our student athletes play out there under the lights.  Even if it was just in our heads, but I think it was just a nice gesture to be able to let our seniors most importantly know that we are thinking about them and to let all of our other students that participate in activities, athletics, clubs and whatever else that we're thinking about them and that we miss them."

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz hinted earlier this week that school buildings will not re-open this school year which would mean no spring sports would be taking place.  Badger realizes that is the way things are looking but added, " I think the optimistic people like myself are still holding out hope that in some way this thing is going to turn around and we're going to be given an opportunity to play and practice and those things, but I think we are all planning for the opposite to happen as well."

Sesker was also impressed with the number of vehicles saying, "It was really cool to see.  We're going to try to come up with some other ideas too to honor our seniors."

They will forever be known as the COVID-19 Class of 2020.

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