School districts across Suffolk County are planning a tribute Friday night to honor the high school student-athletes who lost out on their final senior seasons.
The theme is “Turn the Lights On” for the Class of 2020.
The Riverhead Athletic Department is asking families and businesses in the Riverhead School District to take 20 seconds “to recognize senior athletes by flickering their lights on and off and making as much noise as possible by yelling, ringing cow bells, blowing air horns or honking car horns, so the athletes can feel the love of the community.”
The school district will be posting a tribute on social media at 20:20 (8:20 p.m.).
At Greenport High School, the stadium lights will be turned on at 8:20 p.m. And the scoreboard will be turned on with 2020 displayed.
“This is an organized tribute by school districts across Long Island to recognize all the high school senior athletes, seniors and students who have lost so much this spring,” Greenport athletic director Chris Golden said in a message to the community.
He asked that people refrain from going to to the fields to see the stadium lights and scoreboard as public gatherings are prohibited and social distancing policies remain in effect. A video will be posted on the district’s website and social media.
The Southold School District will be assisted by the Southold Fire Department, which will sound alarms on the firehouse and trucks as they pass the school. The scoreboard will also be lit up with 2020 and painted red in light.
Congregation at the school is also not allowed.
“A special thank you to the Southold Fire Department, Southold Police Department and all of the First Responders who are always there for us, our students and our community,” elementary school principal Ellen O’Neill wrote on Facebook. “Thank you!”
Section XI officially canceled the spring sports season last week as school closures were extended through at least mid-May. Further clarification on the school year was expected soon from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association canceled the spring sports championships that would have typically been held in early June. Section VIII in Nassau County also canceled its spring season. The remaining sections in New York may still have an abbreviated spring season depending on if schools can reopen.