Mannford Pirates Play 1st Home Game In New Bleachers After Storm Damage
MANNFORD, Oklahoma - The first home football game for the Mannford Pirates is Friday, September 13 as they play the Cleveland Tigers.
But, the game almost didn't happen because storms blew over their bleachers in June.
New temporary bleachers are a result of daily work by school staff to ensure there was a game here at home.
You might remember seeing pictures when strong winds blew through town, flipping over the bleachers at the high school and damaging other buildings on campus.
Superintendent Kelly Spradlin says he was just about to head to church with his wife when he received these photos.
"I turned to my wife and said, 'Honey I don't think we're going to make it to church today,'" Spradlin said.
Related Story: Mannford Hit Hard By Strong Winds
Spradlin says a lot of school staff and community members came together, working long hours every day to make it right.
"We had teachers, administrators, custodial staff, just showed up on their own time, to take care of business," Spradlin said.
Leaders met the day after the storm to find a way to rebuild the bleachers -- before their season opener.
"Cleveland is coming to town, big rival, passionate rival in every field of competition," Spradlin said.
But when the storm hit Mannford, he says Cleveland was standing by them for support. They offered the Pirates their field if new bleachers weren't set up in time. He says that's why hosting the Tigers tonight is extra special, because it's not just about football, it's about everyone coming together.
"You never take it for granted but times like this it reminds you to be thankful. We get 84,600 seconds a day, and sometimes I know I can go through a whole day without using any of those, to say thanks, so it just shines a lot of we've got a lot to be thankful here," Spradlin said.
Construction has already started on new, permanent bleachers.