Lights battle forces Point Loma High School to move homecoming game from night to day

School Embroiled in Lighting Controversy

SAN DIEGO - The continuing battle over stadium lights at Point Loma High School forced the school to move its homecoming football game from night to day on Friday.

Robert Pejovich, who set up the lights at Point Loma High night games for the last seven years, said, "My initial response was just, 'Oh, no,' you know? A real sense of disappointment."

It was the first time in eight years the game was played in sunlight rather than under Friday night lights.

"We always kept it as a real nice event. It never got out of control, and I'm really disappointed," Pejovich added.

Hundreds of students felt the same way.

Last month, 40 students were arrested during a walkout in protest of Point Loma High Principal Hans Becker's announcement that the game would be moved to the afternoon.

"I didn't want my kids, my students here, being a part of what was becoming more and more political, so I decided the way I could take care of things was make it a day game," said Becker.

Political because many neighbors say night games bring problems, including heavier traffic and more trash on the streets.

The San Diego Unified School District is also conducting an environmental impact report. They're hoping to get the go-ahead for some "modernization projects" at the school, including adding lights to the stadium. 10News has learned that report should be ready next month.

Many of the neighbors with homes that surround the stadium say they want what's best for the school, but they also want to protect their neighborhood.

"That's the primary concern is that after the students go home around 7, after their practices, that it would be rented out to for-profit sports leagues and adult soccer leagues," said Jennifer Dariani with the neighborhood's "Pro Point Loma" group.

Pejovich said he hopes the school can continue to grow together with the community.

"We really need to support our schools. It's very important to give these kids the best possible experience," said Pejovich.

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