How to Gear up for Friday Night Lights


Makayla Bast, Journalist

Friday night lights are here! After a year of absence from the home crowd, Mountain Ridge is eager to open its stands to Ridge Army. 


Freshmen, welcome their first chance to belong in the student section as high schoolers. Sophomores, get their first shot to see a football game in real life after covid fumbled their opportunity last year. And Juniors and Seniors, get to relive the experience they had been promised and sampled over a year ago.


With a year off from taking the mantle as the home crowd, it is suiting to be reminded of the important steps that make game day glorious. Following, is a list of ways to prepare prior to kick off under the lights. 


Get the Gang Together: Come game time, who wants to be a part of the roaring crowd alone? To beat this to the punch, get your friends together before you all leave for the game. That way you have your group to cheer with in the stands. 


You all can make some of your best high school memories as you cheer in the packed bleachers. All forms of collectiveness will benefit our team. Home crowds, whether it be by chanting in unison, singing the fight song after touchdowns, or taking group pictures, are a huge part of the high school atmosphere. This bonds the community, brings classmates together as we all cheer for those on the field. 


With all this in mind, start texting friends and get them together for home games so our crowd can roar and help our team to victory. After all, Mountain Lions hunt in packs.


Dress Up in Swag: This is essential to football games so the bleachers know who you rep. The forest green and burgundy should bleed off your outfit and be the only color visible from a birds eye view. This uniformization of color can be a tsunami of support for our players battling it out down on the field in front. If they ever doubt our support, the colors that fill the stands can remind them of who’s side the fans are on.


Ultimately, some game days will present a theme of dress wear, which can exempt the Ridge gear you should flaunt in the stands. Whether it be a white out, Beat OC gear, or a normal Ridge swag, the dress code should be held by all those looking to fill our home stands.


Our first home game versus Fairfax is set to be a Red, White, and Blue game so come decked out and ready to bring your support.


Be Ready for the Student Section: Simply one of the best parts of football games, maybe besides football itself, is the infamous student section/ Our Ridge Army fills the stands and allows us to come together as a student body for the common goal of victory. This is a place to prepare for in advance as your voice will be drained and your school spirit revamped.


Be ready for impromptu chants, song singalongs, and lots and lots of cheering. This is the place where you can meet some of your best friends and collectively join together as you root for the home team until the clock strikes zero.


Know How to Get In: This is very important to recall prior to the Friday night games. Varsity games are played at 7. Junior Varsity is played Thursdays and Freshmen takes the field Wednesdays at 6. 


Tickets this year will not be sold in person due to the implications of Covid. Tickets can be purchased online, prior to the game, on the MRHS athletics website under the football tab.


It should be noted that no cash or punch cards are being used this season, only the website tickets. Students or Senior Citizens must pay $4 to enter, Adults are charged $5, and children under 10 or military are admitted free of charge and do not need a ticket.  


Keep all this in mind, and tell your friends, since no ticket purchases can be made at the door, like prior years, pre pandemic.


Teach Yourself Football on the Way There: Very essential final step. You know what to expect in the student section, how to appropriately dress for the occasion, and how to get in, but do you even know the sport you are set to watch for over an hour.


Whether you google it on the drive there or in the stands as it happens, the more power to you, but here are the must know basics so you aren’t completely wasting your money to be there.


The basics include: that there are four 15 minute quarters of play, with a halftime in the middle (where band and spiritline/cheer perform or snack time, whichever you prefer). The offensive goal is to score touchdowns which are worth 6 points and then an ezra point is kicked for the 1 point to total the usual 7 for a score. Other times, a team can try and earn more points by going for 2 after the initial 6 score, which is one way more points are earned. A field goal can be kicked on offense and earn 3 points too.


Defensively, the goal is to not allow touchdowns. The offense has 4 downs to gain 10 yards before it is renewed (usually only use 3 downs and if it is too far away to get on the 4th, they punt the ball, since it’s a turnover if you don’t get a first down on the 4th attempt). They say defense wins championships so it is a highly valued position.


This is the simplest thing to know, but football is a complicated game, so if you have to pull out your phone and search for some answers as to what you are watching in front of you, there’s no shame in it.


Football season is a token of the high school experience. Get your friends to go to the upcoming home games with you, know the theme for the game and dress up, get your tickets online, find the student section, and enjoy the game you may or may not be ignorant too. Have fun at the games of the season, students, and make sure your support isn’t lacking so that the players have something to feed on during the crunch time of the games!