O'Connell daytime football action

The bright sunshine of daytime football is a pleasure. (Photo by Dave Facinoli)

For decades, most public high-school football games have been played under the lights on Friday nights. So it’s a pleasure when occasionally such a contest takes place during the daylight hours, instead.

That was the case in Arlington and Fairfax counties on Saturday, March 13, when the Yorktown Patriots hosted the Washington-Liberty Generals in a neighborhood showdown and the Oakton Cougars played on the road against the Centreville Wildcats.

Washington-Liberty took a 7-0 lead, later tied the clash at 14, with Yorktown eventually winning, 27-14. Centreville won in a rout, 48-6.

But forget the scores.

The best thing about that daytime football action, or any sport played before sundown for that matter, is it’s so much easier to see all of the action a lot more clearly. So many high-school football fields have average to poor lighting, especially in the deep corners and along some sidelines. That makes seeing the detailed activities, and determining a player’s uniform number (often too small and the numbers squeezed together far to much) a challenge compared to games played in the sunlight.

For photographers, even the best professionals with the most expensive equipment can sometimes struggle with focus issues on those gloomy gridirons. But not during daylight. Wow, how they love that opportunity, especially during that “golden hour,” whenever that is. 

The Sun Gazette has often suggested that every public high-school varsity football team’s regular-season schedule includes at least one daylight game, whether played on Friday afternoon or Saturday.

All of the football tradition, anticipation and excitement of high-school “Friday night lights” is awesome and will never change. But experiencing a  daytime contest under the sunshine every so often is an enjoyable pleasure,  as well.

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