NASHVILLE, TN — For the first time since a tornado hit the school, the Donelson Christian Academy football team played a game on their home field.
The field was badly damaged during the March 3 tornado. The entire field had to be replaced, as well as the fencing, scoreboard, goal posts and lights. As a result, the Wildcats started the season on the road.
"You can see there is still a lot to do," said Head Coach Paul Wade. "The fact we got it ready for the game is unbelievable."
The game provided some normalcy for a school that has endured an emotional year. Parents of football players said they were looking forward to watching a home game.
"It's a big day for us because we have been working so hard to get the school back together," said David Francis, a parent of a DCA football player.
"They are excited," said Clint Lewis, a parent of two DCA football players. "It feels good to see football after all the adversity due to the tornado and the pandemic."
The impact of the tornado can still be felt across campus. Multiple buildings are still being repaired.
Coach Wade said the game almost didn't happen. The team's original opponent had to cancel due to COVID-19 cases. Summertown High School was able to step in at the last minute. The school worked frantically to make sure the field was ready to go and proper COVID-19 safety measures were in place.
All fans had their temperatures checked before entering the stands, and masks were required. Fans were also spaced out in the stands.
While there were changes in place, the familiar feel of football helped bring the school together, again.
"It's emotional for everyone," said Francis. "Parents, grandparents, students are all excited."
DCA is still raising money to help cover the costs of repairs. For more information visit: http://www.dcawildcats.org/