BERLIN - Berlin High School calls it Redcoats Pride.
So now, each week during the winter season, the athletic department will be looking to bring a little more of that pride to its sporting events through its Spotlight Game of the Week, which allows Berlin students to get into the selected games for free.
“It started with our Upbeat Program, our student community service program,” Berlin athletic director Jeff Mauri said. “I met Sarah Crabtree, one of the student coordinators, at the beginning of the year and we talked about how to increase our school pride and school spirit, which is something you always want to have. Through those talks, we came up the Spotlight Game of the Week.”
After the idea was formulated and perfected throughout the fall, the athletic department officially put it into effect in the middle of December. Poor weather cost the school two of the first three spotlight games, but there are still seven games over the next seven weeks remaining.
Boys swimming against Northwest Catholic at Maloney High School on Friday at 3:45 p.m. will the next game on the list. It will soon be followed by the ice hockey team vs. WMRP at Newington Arena on Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.; the girls basketball team facing Middletown on Friday, Jan. 19 at 6:45 p.m.; wrestling against Plainville on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m.; boys basketball facing Farmington on Feb. 3 at 4 p.m.; boys swimming against Suffield at Platt High School on Feb. 9 at 3:45 p.m.; and finally the ice hockey team squaring off against Hall-Southington at 6:05 p.m. at Newington Arena.
For Mauri, selecting those games came down to which events had a draw, either due to a rivalry or looked to be an interesting matchup. He also didn’t want to over saturate the schedule with too many games.
“When we pulled up the schedule, we just wanted to do a game a week,” Mauri said. “If you do two, it tends to get whitewashed and you lose the purpose of the event.”
As for his expectations for each game moving forward, the athletic direction made it clear what he hopes for each spotlight game this season.
“We’re looking for full houses,” Mauri said. “Kids are so buy these days with all of their academic demands. So we want them to come out, show their school spirit and hang out with their friends as well and have a good time.”
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org