Rebuilding for Friday Night Lights

By Danielle Woods — June 12, 2008 1 min read
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Parts of the Midwest experienced the worst of Mother Nature’s temper in the past several weeks. A tornado ravaged the 1,900-person town of Parkersburg, Iowa—less than 100 miles away from where another tornado took the lives of four boy scouts and injured dozens Wednesday night—with a violent force the state hadn’t experienced in over 30 years. Despite the ruin, one teacher insists on saving tradition and picking up where he left off, reports The New York Times.

The storm killed eight people and leveled hundreds of buildings, among them Aplington-Parkersburg High School. Minutes later, Aplington-Parkersburg teacher and football coach Ed Thomas walked to the school to rebuild his historic football program amid the rubble. The former NFL High School Coach of the Year expects to have “the sacred acre” ready in time for what he is calling the biggest game in the school’s history—September’s home opener.

Home to state championships, playoff games, and four NFL players, the field, which bears Thomas’ name, will be ready for the season’s Friday night lights, cheerleaders, and roaring fans, according to at least one resident. Said Parkersburg’s mayor Bob Haylock, “If Ed Thomas wants it, Ed Thomas will make sure it gets done.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.