Blue Ridge looks toward football season on new field after last year’s tornado destruction
Blue Ridge, Texas (KXII) - Last December, a tornado tore through Blue Ridge, dealing serious damage to a lot of the town, including the football field and fieldhouse.
Senior outside linebacker Isaiah Gaddis said he was shocked to see the damage.
“We were in the elementary when it happened, so as we walked out, we saw all the damage, like everything that happened,” Gaddis said. “It was crazy. I didn’t think we were going to play on this field again, but here we are.”
Interim athletic director and head football coach Chance Rodriguez said that the damage was severe, but that he was thankful that no one was hurt.
“The turf was torn up, the track was torn up, the bleachers were destroyed, the press boxes were gone,” Coach Rodriguez said. “The scoreboard actually was across the street in the cemetery.”
Clean up got started right away, and construction on the new field started shortly after.
For the Tigers, the road back has been long.
“I can’t say enough about the kids in Blue Ridge, man,” Coach Rodriguez said. “They are tough, resilient. Mental toughness was tested throughout the spring and the summer, and I think they passed that with flying colors.”
As of right now, the field is down and ready to use. In fact, players have been practicing on it for most of the summer, but there are still some hurdles to go through before games are ready to be played there.
“We’re waiting on fencing, bleachers and press box to be completely complete, and scoreboard,” Coach Rodriguez said. “It has been a process.”
While it’s still unclear how many games Blue Ridge will get to host this year, players like junior quarterback Micah Dickerson are excited for any opportunity to play in front of their home fans.
“When you play at home, it’s just a better feeling than playing away,” Dickerson said. “People are there for you, not for the other team, and it’s just what a high school kid wants: to play at their home field.”
For the Tigers, simply being back on their home field is a win.
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