Pawling High School fall teams played four games in three days “under the lights” on October 17-19. Superintendent Kim Fontana reports the "series of Under the Lights games was an unqualified success thanks to the sustained partnership between the school and the community."
The Varsity Football team remained undefeated in a close game against Pine Plains with an 18-16 victory. Boys Soccer lost to Dover in a tight match 0-1. Girls Soccer powered their way to victory over Putnam Valley, 8-0. Field Hockey shut out Webutuck 4-0.
Ms. Fontana credits the Board of Education, which "endorsed this partnership during the last school year through the efforts of Bill Ward, our former Superintendent, John Bellucci, our former Athletic Director and the parent who led the community, Paul Meissner. Mr. Meissner worked with both the Pawling Community Foundation and the Tiger Club, our athletic booster association, to appropriately channel monies raised from our many generous local businesses and individuals."
“My wife Tammy and I wanted our athletes to have an opportunity play a home game under the lights,” explained Paul Meissner, who was instrumental in rallying support from the community for the event. “We decided a year ago to start fundraising for these events. With the help of the Pawling Community Foundation, Anjanet & Joe Riina, Missy Mann, Henry Shaber from Quick Stop this idea quickly became reality. It was a huge success for all three nights. The outpouring of support for our athletes was amazing from our community, parents, grandparents to Alumni cooking for our boys and girls. It was an amazing feeling. They definitely were nights to remember!”
To make the event a success, collaboration was key. Superintendent Fontana said, "This summer and school year, we worked through multiple topics and issues as a collaborative team with Mr. Meissner, our Director of Facilities, Glen Freyer, our new Athletic Director, Tamara Barbour, Interim Transportation Supervisor, Delos Luther, and our Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Neysa Sensenig, Pawling High School Principal, Helen Callan, and myself. The Board of Education (BOE) was also an important partner because it passed resolutions allowing certain exceptions to policy to provide for special acknowledgement of contributors and we also benefitted from coordination and support from the Town and Village as well as Sheriff Butch Anderson and the Sheriff's Department. In addition, the Tiger Club, and President Melissa Shay, really stepped up to ensure that all aspects of BOE policy and health department regulations were met. This was a lot of work on the part of the Tiger Club and the seriousness with which they took their responsibility is commendable. By prioritizing safety and student celebration, we had a flawless experience, one that will benefit our students as we look to sustain these events in the future."
Pawling spirit was heard in the stands and seen on the field with performances at half time. Ms. Fontana concluded, "It's all about the kids and it was rewarding to see the various teams and student organizations, including the band, twirlers, singers, and dance team, come out to support their fellow student athletes as well as the fabulous contributions of every aspect of the school and Pawling community, all under the stellar leadership of Ms. Barbour.”