San Marin High students 'heartbroken' over rescheduled homecoming game

NOVATO, Calif. (KGO) -- San Marin High School in Novato will not hold its homecoming football game on Friday night because of a dispute over the field's lights.

"I am heartbroken," Elizabeth Deruvo, a junior at San Marin High and the school's mascot, said. "I didn't know how to process it. At first, I actually started crying when I figured it out."

Some people who live near the school's football field say the lights are too bright. But last Saturday, after a year-long fight to light up the San Marin High football field, lights were turned on for the very first time. Roughly 2,500 people gathered in the stands to watch the Mustangs play.

"It was just amazing and breathtaking. Having everyone feel like we're all one, was just something different for our school," Robbie Rees, a Varsity football player at San Marin, said of the game.

But three days later, neighbors opposed to the lights went to court. A judge has since issued a temporary restraining order to keep the lights off, while he reviews an environmental impact report.

On Wednesday -- just two days before the game -- the students got the bad news: Friday night lights turned off; their homecoming football game rescheduled.

The judge said the district's decision to turn the lights on last week for the first time in four years was premature.

RELATED: Legal battle shuts down Friday night lights at San Marin High School

Ken Levin, who is part of Coalition to Save Marin, which is against the lights, believes the lights are too much money -- and a nuisance.

"Imagine not car headlights, but huge mega headlights focused on your home," Levin said of what it was like at his home on Saturday night during the game. "And the whole side of your home was lit up and you could easily read a book."

The Novato Unified School District and parents fighting for the lights believe they followed all the laws and stayed in compliance with environmental regulations.

"So we're not really sure at this point what else we could do," said Dennis Mancuso, whose son is a student at San Marin. "It's pretty solid and we proved it with a game Saturday night."

The fight continues, but not fast enough for Friday night lights.

"It was an amazing opportunity to play that one time, and if I don't get it again I'll be ok with that. I know San Marin will keep rallying and keep fighting for the lights," said Matthew Sargent, Varsity Football Quarterback.

"Friday night lights, just like out of a movie," Deruvo said. "We finally felt like we were getting that star struck experience and it was pretty painful to have that taken away from us."

The homecoming game will be held Saturday afternoon, instead.

The judge will make a final decision next month.
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