For the first time in 40 years, Cotopaxi’s high school football team got to play under the lights on its home field last season. With six construction lights illuminating Tezak Field, the Pirates beat Sierra Grande during their homecoming contest.

The community packed in to see the action.

“It was amazing; that was the most people I’ve ever seen from the community show up,” said Brian Coleman, whose son plays for Cotopaxi. “The kids loved it.”

Coleman said some people didn’t even know the game was going on, but when they saw the lights glowing in the canyon they started showing up at the field.

Now, Cotopaxi is working to make Friday night lights a regular part of the experience.

The school already has lights and poles and is looking to raise $20,000 to pay to install them. The $20,000 will include any groundwork that’s needed as well as additional supplies.

The project is being done at no cost to taxpayers.

Coleman said the Colorado Department of Corrections donated some of its old lights previously used at its Buena Vista facility. The Ogden family donated the poles the lights will be attached to.

Sangre de Cristo Electric Association will donate 30 percent of its work to set them up, estimated to cost $9,500, and offered to take its big truck for free to help raise the poles, Coleman said.

The committee working on the project includes football coach Jeremy Cole, Dick Gerring, Ryan Christensen, Danny Ogden and Coleman.

They’re hoping to have the project completed by the time football season begins so fans can catch all five of the Pirates’ home games.

Since Cotopaxi is a four-days-a-week school, it has been playing its contests during the day on Fridays, making it hard for parents and community members to catch the action. Lots of them have also expressed support for the project to light up Tezak Field.

“So many people in the community are trying to help out; they’re pretty excited,” Coleman said. “Cotopaxi hasn’t had stuff like that.”

Anyone interested in contributing can donate through gofundme at gf.me/u/x8tiwq or send a check to the school, P.O. Box 385, Cotopaxi, CO 81223, with “for football lights” on the memo line.