LEHMAN, WYOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The coronavirus pandemic has left students across the country unable to pursue their academic, athletic, and social endeavors.
This has been especially difficult for seniors with the conclusion of their high school experience up in the air so on Friday, communities across Pennsylvania, including Lake-Lehman High School, came together to support the Class of 2020.
The scene at the home of the Black Knights was a common one throughout the area on Friday. The football stadium was lit up as part of the Be the Light campaign, honoring high school seniors and frontline healthcare workers in the fight against coronavirus.
The score was listed as 20 to 20 on the scoreboard representing this year’s senior class and 4th and 19 was also displaying, signifying COVID-19 is on its final down. Stadiums everywhere throughout our area joined in, including at Scranton Memorial.
“People would be going through meets and games at the at stadium and it hurts the seniors the most. It hurts everyone but definitely the seniors because your last meet is just gone. But to have everyone in the state doing this, it shows the community really cares about each other,” West Scranton senior Ryan Bresser said.
“Just knowing that there are people that still care for us and that they’re rooting for us even though there’s no meet or tennis match or baseball game — that they’re still cheering for us here at home,” West Scranton senior Yasmin Ramirez said.
The support extended into Schuylkill County, including at Tamaqua, where just like every other school, important events for seniors face an uncertain future.
“Prom and graduation are yet to be determined. Then your spring sports. To pay tribute to us, it feels good that a lot of people are getting together and showing some support,” Tamaqua senior Nate Boyle said.
“I think it’s really nice that people are putting the time in to give us one last tribute because they knew we couldn’t do what we wanted to do. So I think it’s really great,” Tamaqua senior Jen Frederickson said.
North Schuylkill is going a step further, lighting its stadium every Friday through the end of May for 20 minutes and 20 seconds per night.
“Regardless of how any school is doing it or what their plans may be, any gesture is a great show of support. It’s just great that all the schools came up with an idea like this, a plan, and we’re all together on it,” North Schuylkill athletic director Jim Gross said.
And that’s the idea behind this celebration. We may be far apart, but we’re becoming closer to one another and the Class of 2020 will always have that legacy.
“We’re all in this together, all across the world, because nobody has the easy way out, we’re all going through the same thing,” Bresser said.
“We made light of what was going on. We didn’t let it get to us. We worked around it and figured something out,” Frederickson said.
“We stuck together and did what we were supposed to do and still made time and cherished the moments when we were in high school,” Boyle said.
“Moving forward, you just have to appreciate and you have to live now for sure. Just live in the moment,” Ramirez said.
This movement to honor high school seniors originated in Texas, quickly making its way to other states and there were many other local schools that participated that we didn’t have time to show you so certainly a fantastic show of support and a special night across Pennsylvania for the Class of 2020.