WAVERLY, Tenn. (WTVF) — It was a return home like no other.
And one that didn’t come easy.
“You can’t rattle these kids. Last year going to practice on the baseball fields in the community just anywhere we could find grass is what we used to say," said head coach Randall Boldin.
Boldin said his team has the resilience to make it far.
Lots of excitement: pic.twitter.com/8wxf3easnM— Araceli Crescencio NC5 (@aracelireports) August 19, 2022
“They’re going to be emotional," he said. "We’re going to be emotional. The fans are going to be emotional, but we’ve got to find a way to take those emotions and lock into what we have to do because we have a job to do,” he said.
Boldin said this season is special and his the evidence is in the numbers.
“Look at the amount of support that’s here for you," he said to the players. "This is why you work as hard as you do. It kind of gives you a reason why you’re here."
Last year, all but one game was played on the road. Former player Ryan Edwards said it wasn’t easy.
“All summer, we practiced in the front yard of the school. All last season, we had nowhere to go,” he said.
Now returning as a coach, he said there’s nothing quite like hearing the voices from the community cheer.
“Everything you get walking on this field or the practice field, you know it’s going to be a good day. I would do anything. I would sleep here on this field every night if I could," Edwards said.
In a town that’s been through so much, a glimpse of normalcy was so greatly appreciated.