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Friday Night Football Still Undecided

Joliet West High School Band Booster president attended meeting Tuesday to request the reinstatement of Friday Night Football.

Joan Schultz, president of the Joliet West band boosters submitted a dozen letters to board members Monday night, asking that the board consider returning football games to Friday night.

"In a weeks time, I received a dozen letters from parents and students," Schultz said.

The letters were all in support of reinstating Friday night football.

The board first considered the issue at its September meeting. Among the challenges in reinstating football on Friday nights were security concerns, logistics and facility limitations.

"I understand and agree that the safety of those (involved) must be a primary concern," Schultz said.

Schultz asked the board to consider adding two Friday night games to the schedule in 2013 and requested that one of those be the Homecoming game. This year, the Homecoming festivities - the parade, football game and dance - were held on a Saturday. Schultz said that made for a long day. Students also did not turn out to cheer the team on in the way Schultz thinks they would have if the game was on Friday. Joliet West High School band booster secretary Margaret Kientop said she thought changing the game to a Friday night would make a big difference.

"I think it would go a long way for the school spirit," she said.

Later in the Tuesday night meeting, Chris Olsen, the district's director of activities and athletics and a member of the committee to research the possibility of bringing back Friday night football, gave the board an update.

He said that the district has a meeting set with RETA security on Oct. 30 and plans to meet with the Joliet Police Department shortly after that.

Board member Paige Vanderhyden has two children at Joliet Central High School. One of her children is a senior, so the change would not effect him. But, her younger son is a sophomore, so implementing the change in the next couple years could mean he plays football on Friday night. But, she does not want to rush the process.

"I just want to make sure when this does happen that we've crossed our Ts and dotted our Is," she said.

She asked Olsen if he had a time frame for possibly adding at least a couple of Friday night games. He said he will have more information after his meeting with the security firm on Oct. 30 and the meeting with Joliet Police Department.

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