On Friday, May 1, Keyser High School, along with Frankfort and the majority if not all schools across the state, participated in the Shine for Seniors 2020 event.

By Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
On Friday, May 1, Keyser High School, along with Frankfort and the majority if not all schools across the state, participated in the Shine for Seniors 2020 event.  
A brainchild of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, schools throughout the Mountain State were urged to turn on their Friday night lights or even front lawns to honor the graduating class of 2020.
The event kicked off at 8:30 p.m., and in Keyser’s case, the lights of the football, softball and baseball stadiums all stayed illuminated for two hours until 10:30 p.m.  
With all three fields illuminated, the night sky above Keyser High School served as a beacon of hope for he future, and an acknowledgement of the great accomplishments of the class of 2020.
One unique thing about Keyser’s Shine for Seniors 2020 event is that the students, parents, teachers, coaches and administrators were given the chance over the two-hour period to take pictures on the respective fields, individually or in groups. Proper social distancing protocols were practiced of course as participants gathered throughout the evening.
On the softball field at KHS, the Golden Tornado softball program honored their five seniors with their senior banners at their position on the field. It was a thoughtful gesture that meant a great deal to the senior girls, their parents and teammates.
Battina Myers, mother of KHS senior softball player McKenna Myers, stated the following on social media, “It was very special. A huge thank you to Chris Shoemaker and Colton Jones for your time and hard work for making the best of a difficult time. You’re the best!”
Missy Guy, mother of KHS senior softball player Marissa Guy, echoed Myers’ sentiments, “Ditto what Battina Myers said. It was very much appreciated and so thoughtful. Thank you.”
Coordination, preparation and many of the logistical efforts surrounding the overall event can be attributed to Keyser High School athletic director Lori Wilson, as always, with the help of her family.
“We did this because we really wanted to recognize our seniors in the county.  Our county office, county superintendent Mr. Ravenscroft, he is very supportive of whatever we can do for our kids. The administration here at Keyser High School, we’ve been thinking of ways that we can give the seniors a great memory, because they’re losing so many lifetime memories,” Wilson stated.
According to Wilson, “We feel like we can create once in a lifetime memories, they’re just going to be different. Lighting up the football field, the softball field, the baseball field, it’s just to honor all of our students and give them an opportunity to come up and take pictures and make a memory.
“We left the gate open so that kids can come up and take pictures.  We’re leaving the lights on for several hours so that people can socially distance and there’s not a crowd,” Wilson explained.
While a large crowd never gathered all at one time in a specific area in the vast expanse that is the Keyser High Athletic Complex, with the event being spread out in terms of time and area, a large number of folks did participate safely in the event.
To commemorate and document the event, Lori Wilson asked her sophomore son Dylan to video and take aerial pictures of the event with his drone. In addition, Wilson’s own daughter Haylea is a member of Keyser High School’s class of 2020, so the event was personal as well for the Wilson family.  
One senior parent, Jennifer Smith, noted on social media, “Erin had an amazing time seeing a few of her friends. The smiles on the kids’ faces and hearing them laughing was truly heartwarming.”
In nearby Morgan County, Paw Paw School, absent of any outside athletic fields with lights, took a different approach to the Shine for Seniors 2020 event. To honor their seniors, as many as 50 vehicles showed up with their lights on in parade-like fashion.  
At the other end of Mineral County, Frankfort High School, who had a light the stadium event prior to the WVSSAC’s Shine for Seniors 2020 event, again participated by lighting Falcon Stadium.
Times are no doubt tough for the graduating class of 2020 as they miss out on so many traditional senior activities association with the end of high school days.  In response, however, so many have stepped up to the plate to make as many memories as possible for the seniors in these atypical times, all with their own touch.
Frankfort did it their way.  Keyser did it their way.  Both were highly successful and greatly appreciated.