Friday night football coming back to Norristown Area High School

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Stadium lights were delivered to Norristown Area High School, where a night game has never been played at the school, which was opened in 1977. (Mark Schiele/MONTCO.Today)
By Mark Schiele
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Hit the lights!
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Friday night football is returning to Norristown Area High School. That’s right, for the first time since the Eagles left Roosevelt Field on Sept. 30, 2011, home football games will be played under the lights. This time at the stadium in West Norriton Township.
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The Norristown High football program has stood proud since playing its first game in 1909.
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And now, it’s going back to its roots.
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OK. Before we get back to the roots. NAHS taxpayers will pay ZERO for the new lights.
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“No taypayers paid for it,” Norristown High athletics director Tony Palladino said. “It all came from outside sources and fund-raising.”
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That said, the benefits are endless for a variety of Norristown student-athletes. That includes football, boys and girls soccer, field hockey and maybe event track and field.
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“We have a first class facility,” Palladino said. “All of, or a lot of them, will get to utilize it.”
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But as everyone knows, football comes first.
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“It’s a totally different feel, playing on a Friday night as opposed to a Saturday afternoon,” Palladino said.
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He’s not alone in those feelings. Second-year Norristown football head coach Joe Milligan recognizes it. And relishes in it. And can’t wait for the lights to come on when Norristown plays Cheltenham on Sept. 13.
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“We are bringing back a tradition,” Milligan said. “But we still have to win.”
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Milligan played under the lights at Roosevelt Field back in the day. There is nothing more special than Friday Night Lights.
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“I was there when they delivered them on Wednesday,” Milligan said. “I know what it means. More people, kids and parents, will come out.
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“When I played, there was nothing that beat walking out of the tunnel at Roosevelt Field under the lights. It was an amazing experience for a high school kid. Now, this is a chance to build new memories for them. To create a new legacy. I can’t wait for our first win at the new stadium under the lights.”
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The lights will be installed by the International Brothers of the Electrical Workers No. 98 North (IBEW98). For free.
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“I can’t wait,” Milligan said. “That first game will be a special night for a lot of reasons. We can bring the community back.
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“Nothing beats a Friday night home football game.”
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