Two weeks ago a powerful EF-3 tornado ripped through parts of Eureka, leaving behind a trail of destruction.
The storm damaged 167 homes and 20 businesses.
It also hit the school and athletic complex, causing the district to make changes to some sporting events since players will not be able to use the field this upcoming football season.
“Everybody faces adversity,” said Jason Nichols, the head football coach. “You just have to fight through it. Things could have been a lot worse.”
That is the positive outlook Nichols is spreading to his players as they move forward with a very different season.
“Right now, we’re just doing our team camp this week, and we’re down at the baseball field,” he said. “It’s on the other end of town. We’re just practicing in the outfield.”
This will be a special year, especially for one player who had to sit out most of last season.
“I tore my ACL and meniscus in my right leg,” said Cade Burden, a senior quarterback on the team. “Being able to fully play this year, home or away, will be wonderful.”
The school says the field is just too dangerous for players.
“Whether it’s the cement, the wires, the glass, tons of insulation blown around, and it was not deemed able to clean that up,” said Andy Hughes, the athletic director.
The away team’s bleachers also had to be taken out because they were no longer usable.
The activity building where the locker room was is also a total loss.
But, like the town of Eureka came together during this difficult time, the school is hoping other communities will do the same.
“Right now, our option is probably to play our opponent at their site, and then ask them to reciprocate that the following year,” said Scott Hoyt, the superintendent.
“We’re going to get a lot of new things out of this,” said Nichols. “And, nobody was hurt. The community has come together, and you know, we’re just going to come together as a team.”
School officials are assessing the damages before they move forward with rebuilding.
They are also still deciding where the team will practice starting next month.