Last October, a flyer was dropped off for the West Central Online newsroom describing the different sponsorship levels available to help out the newly formed Kerrobert Football Association and their initial project of "Friday Night Lights".
The new committee led by President Don Snell represented an eager bunch, and they certainly proved it as the group's capital project to install permanent lights at the football field in Kerrobert cost over $100,000, and was completed in under a year.
This is something that couldn't have been done without tremendous community support. A grand opening was held last week as you can see below:
We reached out to both coach of the Rebels Troy Snider, along with the head organizer Snell to discuss finally putting a bow on the project. The later games may have finally kicked off in Kerrobert, but organizers know there is still some money that needs to be raised as Snider shared what Snell had to say as he addressed the crowd back on Friday night.
"Don said it really well. I think we are on the 86 yard line, and we have 24 yards to go," relayed Snider, "I think we have just about over $20,000 left to raise, so the bow isn't on it financially, but (the lights) are up and we are using them and it has been awesome."
From a coaches perspective, Snider just appreciates the fact that football will be more accessible for everyone. Parents, players, and other fans from all around West Central.
"All three programs, the coaches and players are so grateful for the opportunity to play under the lights. It allows our community, and other communities to come watch football, when maybe they wouldn't be able to get here for an afterschool game? It also allows us to practice in the evenings, which again allows for more players to play, and more coaches to help out."
Snider really wasn't kidding when he said everyone wants in on the under the lights action.
"We have players in Grade 1 playing flag, and they want to play under the lights. I told them, 'sorry but we turn the lights on after your bedtime, so you are going to have to keep sticking with football if you want to be under the lights. Have to keep it up for a few more years'."
There is reason to believe the Kerrobert Football Association could only continue to get bigger and better. Its members consist of parents of current players, former players, and even the future of Kerrobert Rebels football. Snider knows they are already thinking of the next big idea.
"There are (members) with kids who aren't even old enough to play football in Grade 1 yet," he said about the nice mix of people, "With Don's energy, and the (association), it's a real motivating group. The list of projects is long and I'm excited to see where it goes in the next few years."
The football program is being set up for success in the future with all of the young players moving up the Rebels pipeline. Helping make football fun, affordable, and something players are proud to be apart of at all levels were the main goals for this initial team of volunteers.
Installing the lights was a catalyst to forming the Association, and Snider laughed about how quickly they were sold on the idea.
"We were playing a game in Macklin, and it was about to end when I yelled across the field to the other coach and said, 'can you think of any reason we should stop playing?' He couldn't, said let's go, and put 15 minutes back on the clock because it was just a perfect night."
The idea was in front of them. They had a tremendous resource to use in a local company that installed Macklin's lights. The rest is history.
"The team got home that night, and (Snell) said, 'we have to get lights'."
The novelty of the lights isn't expected to wear off anytime soon, but the team is quickly learning how they will be able to utilize them instead of just being in awe.
Snider has organized things so the field is free after school, the junior team practices from 5:00 until 7:00 pm, and then the seniors go from 7:30 to 9:30 at night.
"These guys are still able to work, get homework done, and then come back to football," he said as the coach is forever thankful for the work done to the field, as he is typically one to exhaust all of his time working with the players who take it.
Snider tries sticking to the x's and o's whenever possible, and he respects the fact that Snell has decided to take time away from the game itself, to do things at the field such as painting and other important tasks to get the field ready.
Snell is the one to talk to about all of the work behind the scenes to erect the lights in Kerrobert in such a short amount of time. He provided us some comments as the project (almost comes to a close) in the West Central community.
"October 6th, 2021, we decided to start our Kerrobert Football Association," started Snell, later describing the mission statement to help out all facets of Kerrobert Rebels football for years to come, "With the overwhelming support of our surrounding communities as well as Kerrobert, we were able to achieve the goal of getting the lights up, and we are well on our way to paying for them."
As already quipped they have 24 yards to go before reaching the project's goal line, but Snell cleared up the exact numbers for the project.
"We have currently raised just over $90,000, and our goal is $114,000."
The original goal was only $110,000, but as anyone putting together a project knows, estimates are just that.
Still they were able to pay it off easily thanks to their various sponsorship opportunities at different levels, and also a terrific idea where residents themselves could "Buy a Light" and cross at least one of the 25 bulbs off the list. These sponsors were happy to help, and should be a part of the Kerrobert Rebels gameday experience moving forward.
All that matters now is the fact the bills are paid and things are moving forward. None of it would have been possible without community support. Snell didn't go into specifics, but when looking at the people who pitched in, you have to cast a wide net to fit them all in.
"We are so appreciative of our oilfield, agriculture industry. Students. Local businesses from Kerrobert, Kindersley, Luseland and area, it's just been fantastic. And then many many individuals as well."
The entire year long saga of the project and its fundraising was documented through the Kerrobert Football Association's Facebook page, and anyone who attended last Friday's home opener was able to hear Snell thank them first hand as the ribbon was officially cut to open the 'Friday Night Lights' era in Kerrobert.