Under the able leadership of stalwart John Kelleher, BRYC’s Friday Night Lights program, meeting at Woodson Aux turf field 8 – 10 pm with the support of both the Rec and Elite programs for field use, lights, permits, and general coordination, will celebrate the start of its 8th year in Sept 2016. The program has exploded with popularity. When the program started seven years ago with a handful of U19 players who had aged out of the league, John was happy with the crowds of 30-40 young men and women who would gather … with occasional larger groups of fifty. This spring the FNL program routinely attracted groups of 75 … several times approaching 90 players.
That popularity has only sustained and increased. One night in early June John reports there were 12 teams of 8 – 9 players rotating in and out of four small-sided games – easily the largest crowd ever with over 100 players! The rotation plan was a recent change to accommodate the large crowds and keep the game competitive while limiting crowding on the field, with the players unanimously favoring this approach even if they must take breaks off the field. The rotation moves and breaks on the sidelines are limited to 20 minutes.
Fairfax County’s friendly field monitor, Gene Scales, stopped by to check on things that night and remarked about the value of this program for this high school and mostly college-aged crowd. The players routinely express appreciation for the opportunity to play on an excellent turf field. John talks to them about conduct, keeping the field clean and being good neighbors to those residents near Woodson.
FNL was originally envisioned to be a program in the summer/winter between seasons but has sustained such popularity that it now operates virtually year round, every Friday Night. John always extends thanks to BRYC but the real thanks are due to John Kelleher, a most deserving former winner of the Fairfax County Champions of Character award, a true asset to the community...and to BRYC.
Friday Night Lights Facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/200590000218/