Viking Field gets new Friday night lights


Aaron Tolentino

New LED lights brightly lit on a sunny day at Viking Field in Pleasant Hill, California, on Thursday, August 23, 2017. (Aaron Tolentino/Inquirer)

Aaron Tolentino, Sports Reporter

In light of the upcoming season home opener of Viking football next Friday, new LED lights have been installed in Viking Field this August.

According to Diablo Valley College (DVC) athletic director Christine Worsely, the stadium lights were in dire need of an upgrade. The previous lights had been the same since the school’s inception over 50 years ago.

Three years ago, the Contra Costa Community College District (CCCD) approved a district wide budget to improve facilities in all three colleges. Upgrades in school wide facilities, especially athletics, have long been overdue but finally came to be with the approved grant. The approved grant was made possible by Measure E, a 2014 Contra Costa County June ballot measure that raised taxes to fund 4CD improvements.

“The new Measure E money has now (been) allocated to update a good number of our facilities, not all of them, but a good number of them,” said Worsely. “The entire (Viking Field) area has been the original structures since they were originally built.”

The new LED lights will last longer and be more efficient, avoiding frequent and rather dangerous light bulb changes in years past.

“Electricians would have to get a lift and go up before graduation and replace 20, 30, 40 light bulbs,” said Worsley. “Initially, they would actually climb the poles with straps. It was really dangerous.”

According to DVC electrician Steve Carriger, the LED lights will indeed be more reliable and self-sustaining.

Worsley confirmed that DVC’s head electrician, Fred Jafari, for years, had proposed to the district for these changes. This summer Jafari’s proposal finally came to fruition and within a span of a few months the new LED lights were installed.

“It’s a good thing that people at DVC care about their football team and program,” said offensive lineman Jason Dickson. “Actually put in money to help us out and maybe that’ll boost our inspiration to go undefeated for the season and win state.”

Dickson and the football team plan to take full advantage of the new upgraded LED lights.

“When the opposing team kicks a field goal, we are going to turn the lights up and blind him,” joked Dickson. “That’s a plus for us.”