Lights out for Hoover High School homecoming football game

Court rules on environmental, funding questions

SAN DIEGO - The Homecoming match-up between Hoover and Morse high schools was played just as hard in daylight as it would have been after dark.  The Hoover Cardinals coming out on top of the Morse Tigers, 22-0.

"It's not Friday Night Lights anymore here," said Hoover head football coach Jerry Ralph.

Stadium lights have been turned off at Hoover High until further notice because of a lawsuit -- an environmental challenge.

San Diego Unified School District issued this statement:  "Hoover may not use the lights until the EIR is approved.  While complying with the court's decision, the district will continue its efforts to provide first-rate facilities and athletic programs for all of its students."

Craig Sherman, the attorney for the neighbors, told 10News there is much more to it than noise or potential vandalism at night. 

He argues the Prop S funding, specifically designated for classroom improvements, was improperly used. 

"It's a big pool of money and the temptation to use it for whistles and bells and stadium and non-true science and corrective building problems is rampant. Not only within the San Diego district but throughout the state," Sherman said.

Ralph, though, sees it differently.

"From my standpoint it is one angry guy in the neighborhood and it is affecting kids," he said.

"I think it's unfortunate for the kids to be put in this situation by the District taking shortcuts on the environmental review and the prop spending that was brought to them years prior to their decision," said Sherman.

Cardinals captain Damonte Holiday told 10News, "It's not a big deal to me but it's also about fan support. Most of my family is not able to come because of the day game."

Cardinals linebacker Zyair Velazquez was prophetic before the victory. 

"It doesn't matter to me whether we play under lights or under the sun.  Either way, we're going to get the job done. Going to win the game for our crowd," Velazquez  said.

Deborah Sprewell is the cheer coach, as well as a mom and alumnus.  She wonders where the kids will go on Friday nights when there is no game.

"I have a lot of friends that are coaches and we all look forward to the nighttime, being here with the kids and motivating the girls to do this instead of hanging out," Sprewell  said.

"Our grades are fantastic ," Ralph said, "gone up for the biggest improvement of any school in the county last year.  We clean up the community every Saturday.  We've built tremendous relationships with people in Talmadge and City Heights."

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