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Illuminating the game
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USD 428 Maintenance Director Dirk Davis holds one of the new 1,500-watt metal halide light bulbs installed at GBHS Panther Stadium Tuesday morning. - photo by VERONICA COONS, Great Bend Tribune

How many people does it take to change a stadium light bulb?  Four — two in the air, one in a truck and one on the ground.
It’s no joke.  That’s what technicians were up to Tuesday morning at Great Bend High School’s Panther Stadium.  It was part of the preparations for the 2013 Panther season opening football game scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday evening.  The Panthers will go head to head with the Hoisington Cardinals in a county match-up game that’s sure to draw a huge crowd.  
The absence of even a slight breeze that morning made for perfect working conditions for the two workers who flew 80 feet in the air in a bucket truck to extract and replace 37 old bulbs with new 1,500-watt metal halide bulbs and clean lens covers.  The new bulbs produce an intense white light and each will be 143 times brighter than a 100-watt light bulb.
The last time this was done was at least 15 years ago, according to Paul Pack, owner of P&S Electric, the contractor.  In that time, the bulbs have lost nearly half their brilliance.  
GBHS Athletic Director Dave Meter was pleased.   “At our scrimmage last Friday, the end zones had very little light,” he said.  
Dirk Davis, USD 428 Maintenance Director, said one of the units used to light the west stands would be moved to replace a unit damaged on the east side.  
The crew arrived at 6:30 a.m. and was scheduled to be on-site performing the installation through the morning.  They planned to return Tuesday evening after dark so they could adjust the bulbs for best lighting conditions on the field.