CHILDERSBURG, Ala. (WIAT) — The Childersburg High School football team is saying goodbye to John Cox Stadium, after half a century of Friday night lights.
On Thursday, the Tigers played their last home game against Dadeville. The event brought out many former players, cheerleaders, and alumni, all of them saying their goodbyes to a stadium that held generations of memories.
“It is a big cornerstone of my life of Childersburg football and what all it has meant to a lot of people, and to me particularly, and just so many great memories come from that field,” said William Kallenbach, whose name is on the field house. He graduated from Childersburg, went on to play football at Alabama under Bear Bryant, then returned to coach the Tigers for over 40 years.
“A lot of legends have come through these parts of years,” said former mascot Reid Slaten. “Now it’s the last game, that shows an example of how special this stadium is to everybody.”
For many people at the last home game, it’s a bittersweet moment, knowing this is the last time the football team will take the field.
“We had lots of friends, we’ve lived here a long time,” said Joyce Duvall, a former cheerleader. “It is sad, but then again, it’s all good.”
Childersburg residents say it’s “all good” because the Tigers are getting a brand new stadium, not so far from the old one. The current students are excited to break in the new home for the football team.
That’s the case for students like cheerleading captain, Alexus Wilson.
“They get to experience a whole other better field,” Wilson said. “They’ll have more room, they won’t have to worry about the problems we have on this one, and it’s a new beginning.”
See John W. Cox through the years in our gallery below, made up entirely of photos submitted by Childersburg residents.