Saturday Night Lights

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thomas Edison invented the light bulb with the hopes that, "we will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles."

Every day we are prone to take for granted how easy it is to flip a switch and immediately have a room illuminate. Saturday's Homecoming matchup with Stetson, set for a 6 p.m. kickoff, will not be a day that Jacksonville University takes lighting for granted. The third matchup in the series will be the first football night game played at D.B. Milne Field. The lights were installed last August with new seating stands and a press box makeover.

"We knew we wanted to play a night game going back to last year," said Senior Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations, Dave Farraday. "Having a night game is something new and will be the culmination of a lot of Homecoming activities."

The lights not only are key to hosting an evening contest, but they also benefit for practice usage and student activities.

"When you add lights, it added an additional six to seven hours of usage during the day," said Farraday. "It also gave us some cooler temperatures for practices."

The night games will be limited in Jacksonville's future scheduling because of the location of opponents within the Pioneer Football League. Stetson, being local from DeLand, Fla., does not have the burden of a flight's cost or being forced to pay for another night at a hotel.

"The issue with PFL teams is that none other than Stetson are in Florida, and other than Davidson and Campbell none are in the Southeast," said Farraday, who also noted the possibility of future evening non-conference games.

Doug Frye, Director of Sports Medicine and longtime Jacksonville staffer, credits the first night home game in program history with a 52-13 win against North Greenville College. The contest, dated October 27, 2005, was played at The Bolles School in Jacksonville.

Saturday's Homecoming game plans to be the brightest attraction to conclude the festive weekend.

"A night football game takes people back to their youth. There's a certain ambience about Friday night lights. It's not coincidental that they make movies about it and there's a certain lore about that night time football game," said Director of Athletics Dr. Donnie Horner.  "It's festive, collegial, fun, and a slice of Americana."