HACKLEBURG, Ala. (WIAT) – On April 27, 2011, an EF5 tornado ripped through the small town of Hackleburg, Alabama, destroying everything that stood in it’s way. That included Hackleburg High School that was leveled, forcing the students into temporary mobile units for the last three years, and with no real place to call home.
“Its been rough we’ve had so many adversities that we’ve had to overcome but people don’t see the backstory,” said junior Summer George. “We’ve had to travel for practices, for games, I’ve never truly played a home varsity game on my own field.”
The high school still has a long way to go before it is complete, however the athletic facilities are close to being done. This comes as a huge relief for the Hackleburg softball team, especially the seniors who have just one year left to play.
“Even if I don’t get to step foot in that new school, I will be able to step on this new field and that means a lot to me,” said senior Ashton Smith.
At last, a place to call home. WIAT42 and Hibbett Sports wanted to celebrate this moment with them as they stepped foot onto their brand new field for the very first time.
“I feel like it means a lot more to these girls, more than it would a lot of other schools,” said Hibbett Sports store manager Amber Barnett. “They’ve lost some of them their houses and everything they had and to have brand new stuff is great. I feel like it is going to give them the confidence to go out on the field and do great next year.”
At one point, all hope seemed lost but head coach Mike Watts compared his team to a Phoenix as they have risen from the ashes.
“We may not have a school, no field, but we got each other and we got the game,” said Watts.
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