UPDATE #2 October 13 at 2:55 p.m.
Pierce College acting president Aracely Aguiar said one solution would be to have replacements.
“We need to be more proactive in meeting the needs, not only of athletics, but of all facility requests,” Aguiar said. “If we have an event planned, but due to time changes it gets dark a bit earlier, then we will need to have a back-up plan with someone ready to help us.”
Aguiar said athletic director Susan Armenta, dean of student services Claudia Velasco, the vice presidents, one of the other deans and herself will also have access to the lights.
“Administrators are responsible for making sure our students are safe,” Aguiar said. “I expect this issue to be resolved by this week.”
UPDATED October 8 at 11:12 a.m.
Facilities manager Paul Nieman said he was unaware of the issue.
“Athletics changed the start time of the game from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and never informed the facilities of this change. Had the facilities been informed, the planned lighting would have been adjusted accordingly to avoid a such a problem from occurring,” Nieman said.
Someone told factory facilities to update the stadium lights schedule because daylight saving time is almost over and the team can’t play at night in the dark.
The lights at John Shepard Stadium abruptly went out on Friday during the football game against Oxnard College, delaying the second half by 20 minutes and leaving teams and participants in the dark.
At 7 p.m., the only things that lit up the stadium were the scoreboard and the crescent moon in the sky.
Head coach Adolfo Perez said in his 21 years at Pierce College it was the first time he had seen this happen.
“Instead of resting for 15 minutes, we rested for 45,” Perez said of the extended half. “It kind of caught the tempo of the game.”
Athletic director Susan Armenta said the lights are programmed on a schedule where they turn off automatically.
“You can’t just flip a switch and turn on the lights,” Armenta said. “It could be easier, but some departments make it more difficult.”
The staff present at the game were unhappy with the situation.
Dean of Student Services Claudia Velasco said the administration should give control and access to lights to the athletic director or dean.
So much time had passed before the issue was resolved that players from both teams could be seen in the dark having to warm up a second time.
Central defender Layla Richwine said she talked about turning off the lights with his team, and they were worried that if the lights didn’t come back on, the game would be delayed.
“Obviously we didn’t want the game postponed – we had a 2-0 lead,” Richwine said. “But we were happy they came back so we could finish the game strong.”
Not to be overshadowed by the spectacle of lights going out mid-game, the Brahmas beat the Condors 5-0.
The Brahmas ended the first half with a goal from striker Heidi Ricketts and another from midfielder Arianna Vigil.
Ricketts also scored a goal in the second half.
Left winger Livia Pereira scored the third and fifth goals of the night.
“Today was a great game with an excellent score of 5-0 for us,” said Pereira. “I scored two goals so I’m even happier.”
From S.ao Paulo, Brazil, Pereira also said they are now in a conference where every team will be good.
“I want to help the team with the abilities I have,” Pereira said.
Richwine said she thought the Brahmas started passing more after the lights went out.
“We just needed to communicate and get that ball out there,” Richwine said. “I think we started to accomplish that and once it came to mind. We locked ourselves in and that’s when we connected.
After the game, Richwine praised the Condors for the way they played.
“Oxnard was a good opponent, especially with the way his defense played,” Richwine said. “They did so well.”
With the victory, the Brahmas emerged from the first defeat of the year last Tuesday.
Perez knew they were going to come out and play better on Friday.
“The next game will be a war against Ventura,” Perez said. “They finished first last year and we finished second.”
The next game is against the Pirates at Ventura College on Friday, October 7. Kick off is at 5:30 p.m.