‘I love my senior class’: Horry County high schools celebrate class of 2020 with #BeTheLight night

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – Horry County Schools had a special way to honor the class of 2020 on Friday night.

When you hear the phrase “sharks circling,” you don’t exactly expect to see vehicles driving inside a football stadium.

That was the scene at St. James High School’s football stadium, as the seniors celebrated their final year.

“It’s awesome and I love it,” said senior Terrance Terrell. “I love my senior class.”

“I think it’s a great opportunity for all the seniors to be able to ride through the high school one more time,” said senior Gabriel Goettler.

HCS took part in a national movement called #BeTheLight to give a special memory to students who lost out on so many due to the coronavirus pandemic. All nine high school football stadiums turned on their lights for 20 minutes at exactly 8:20 p.m., which is 20:20 in military time.

St. James High principal Vann Pennell says it was great to be reunited with the seniors.

“We miss them so much,” he said. “It just does us so good to see them come back and then waving, seeing each other. It’s just a great thing for us.”

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans even joined in on celebrating the soon-to-be graduates by lighting up TicketReturn.com Field. People were asked to turn on their porch lights at home at the same time and students drove by their stadiums to see the displays.

At St. James High, they actually went on the track and around the athletic complex.

“I won’t get to play baseball here anymore, so it’s kind of cool to see the field for one last time,” said senior Randy Smith.

While this isn’t how any of the 400 graduating Sharks expected to finish high school, they say this is one moment they’ll never forget.

“I think it’s actually pretty cool that they would give us the opportunity to do something like this, considering it is a big part of our high school experience,” said senior Liza McCoury. “It’s really nice to just be able to get out and see some people.”

After HCS students across the district petitioned against virtual graduations, the school board is expected to discuss possible options for in-person ceremonies at a meeting Monday night.

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