Friday Night Lights: A Tradition in Bearcat Nation

Written by: Manuel

Edited by: Justin

Visual by: Gladys

On Friday, September 9, ISM witnessed the return of its famous Friday Night Lights (FNL), the blockbuster event where ISM hosts matches against other schools. FNL encourages students to cheer, support, and help ISM’s varsity and junior varsity athletes by showing their spirit in the crowd and letting the players know they are not alone. 

Before the event, FNL was widely advertised through social media reposts, HS Daily Announcements slides, and the Bearcat Council’s preview during ISSBA’s whole high school assembly. However, one might ask what the difference is between FNL and regular weekend games. The answer to that is more people stay later as the games take place right after classes, rather than weekend games wherein observers must make the trip to ISM on a Saturday. In addition to that, the games during FNL are usually against rival schools, which fires up the crowd as the game gets more competitive against rivals. With it still being Season 1, the sports showcased were Boys’ and Girls’ Volleyball and Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer.

Volleyball is one of the many sports ISM prides itself on, as its tryouts are one of the most intense and grueling processes. Firstly, the night featured volleyball matchups between ISM, Brent, and Faith. The Girls’ Volleyball team opened up the spectacle with a 2-1 win against Brent and a 2-0 loss against Faith. One Sophomore described how “it was a really nice chance to show school spirit and I am pleased with how we played as this is our first time playing at home ” regardless of the outcome which is exactly what FNL is for. The Girls’ Volleyball team had one of the best audience participation, especially as volleyball is a sport ISM prides itself on. 

The JV Girls also played against Brent and Faith Academy 

Moving on to the Boys’ Junior Volleyball team, who despite losing both games, showed incredible sportsmanship and perseverance. Here is what one of the junior varsity players had to say about the performance of their team: “Varsity overall performed really well. We got a solid win on our opponents despite losing 2 games.” The never-give-up mentality the JV boys demonstrated goes to show just how much FNL, and more importantly, playing for ISM means for these players. 

The soccer games were held outdoors on the HS Field. The Girls’ Varsity Soccer team emphatically won 8-1 and 4-0 in their two games against Faith. A winger compared the high-stakes, brimming atmosphere “similar to what we would see in IASAS”. IASAS season 1 sports start soon, and FNL is a great warm-up for the famous competition as IASAS is the highest level of athletic competition at ISM. 

The varsity Boys’ Soccer team’s games were, unfortunately, canceled, while the JV Boys were able to win 4-0 against Xavier. A defender shared, “There was still an amazing pre-game atmosphere despite the games not pushing through, and it was a great chemistry-building experience as I was with my team for 4 hours.” The games, unfortunately, got canceled because of lightning strikes happening near the campus. Hopefully, the Boys’ Soccer team will be able to play in the next edition of FNL. 

In conclusion, FNL was a major success as it was able to rally students’ support for the athletes who played with such pride and quality albeit some results were not in ISM’s favor. General feedback on the event was extremely positive, and now players and observers alike turn their attention to IASAS. The lively atmosphere witnessed in FNL must continue in IASAS if ISM wishes to etch its name into IASAS history.