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Students prepare for Falcons' scrimmage on Friday
Concession sales go to support athletic department
Joshiah Bowers, left, and Ryan Casper, Gainesville City Schools physical education support staffers, pull strings to keep the yard lines straight for their paint machines at Bobby Gruhn Field Wednesday in preparation for the Atlanta Falcons’ Friday Night Lights scrimmage. - photo by NAT GURLEY

Kia Motors Friday Night Lights

What: Atlanta Falcons preseason scrimmage, along with a fan fest, interactive inflatable games, autograph session, fireworks

When: 6:45 p.m. Friday, with gates opening at 6 p.m.

Where: Bobby Gruhn Field at City Park Stadium, Gainesville; parking available at First Baptist Church on Green Street

How much: Free

More info:

Bobby Gruhn Field may be turned over to the Atlanta Falcons Friday for their preseason scrimmage, but Gainesville students will have their own mark on the event.

“We’re already getting ready, all over the week,” said Gainesville City Schools Superintendent Merrianne Dyer. “We met with the Falcons on Friday to finalize some things, and then to revise some of the (preparation) schedule.”

The Kia Motors Friday Night Lights event allows fans to come get a look at the team before the NFL season begins.
The City Park football field has been mowed, and the stripes and markings have been painted. Falcons representatives are expected to arrive today to paint the team logo on the field.

The high school will be providing concessions, with proceeds going to the school’s athletic department to be spread among the different teams.

Parents of Gainesville High basketball players will sell hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches and pizza.
While they are expecting a packed house, it’s hard to say how much they may raise.

“There really is no precedent,” Dyer said, adding that they really didn’t have a set number in mind. “It is an opportunity for them to get a head start.”

Students also will be involved in the event.

Gainesville High senior Caroline Correa will sing the national anthem, and high school students will be featured in a football-throwing contest during one of the scrimmage breaks.

Gainesville High Athletic Director Wayne Vickery warned that security will be tight.

“You’re not going to be able to go where you want to go,” he said. “You’ll be restricted.”

He said he’s not sure how many people to expect, but that free admission is a perk for everyone.

“If it doesn’t rain, it will be great,” he said.

“This is just going to be great for the community,” said Gainesville High Principal LaCrisia Larkin. “We’re just looking forward to seeing our kids on this stage, at this level. It’s a great way to start the school year.”

Gates open at 6 p.m., with the game beginning at 6:45. The football team is expected to arrive around 6:10 p.m., and there will be time and space set aside for autographs.

Parking will be available at First Baptist Church on Green Street with a shuttle service.

Admission is free, and there will be a variety of activities and games, including fireworks and a performance by the Falcons cheerleaders.

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