TimeOut with Tambo: Friday Night Lights at Bulldog Stadium

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By Bill Tamburrino

Everybody knows how hard the players and coaches work to prepare for a varsity football game.Games are played on Friday nights in the fall but they are won in the weight room in the winter, spring and summer.

Some schools in the San Diego CIF Section and other areas around the country still play on Friday afternoons. There are several reasons for the afternoon games.  I won’t go into those reasons in this column in order to be politically correct. I did work at a school before I came to Ramona that had to quit playing night games due to gang activities in the neighborhood. The day games almost killed the entire athletic department. Football pays the bills.

The Friday Night Lights shine brightly in Ramona. Bulldog football is more of a happening than an athletic event. The entire community comes out and supports the football team and therefore the rest of the athletic department and other extracurricular programs.

“This community is ‘All in!’" said Coach Damon Baldwin, using one of his favorite motivational phrases. "Since I have been here I have never seen the community support that we get at any of the schools on our schedule. That is the main reason that I applied for and wanted the job of coaching football at Ramona. The community’s reputation for its support is known far and wide.

“No one person can put on a first class football game on a Friday night. Since I have been here several people have taken charge and done the job of coordinating all of the elements that it takes to turn on the Friday Night Lights.

“This year Nancy Sapper, our Booster's Club president, is the one pulling the strings.”

Sapper wanted to make one point clear: “We are not a football boosters club. We support all of the extracurricular and some curricular activities at Ramona High School. We are the Ramona High School Bulldogs Booster’s Club and we get volunteers from most of the other sports and activities to help us at football games. We also work at volleyball games, wrestling, basketball games and other events but football is the most visible and brings in the most money for all of the sports and activities.”

The Booster’s Club mans the snack bar at the games and is in charge of the football programs that are sold. Every game has a completely new program with updated stats, new pictures and is one of the best in the county.

“Lorri Rieve and Laura Vigneau have taken on the task of producing the program. Doug Sooley and Alan Rhoads roam the sidelines at home and away games, taking great action shots of all of the action on and off of the field. Lisa Burger has stepped up and is in charge of the snack bar. She shops, buys and coordinates the menu. She has completely remodeled the interior on her own to make things easier on game days. Karen Vaughn is our treasurer and sells the tickets for the snack bar. She is one of the superstars of our executive board. Joan Snelling lives in the ticket booth and sells season tickets. The board of the PTSA sells tickets on game days and they have two gates to man; one for those who buy tickets on game day and one for those with season tickets and passes.

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