It was a new beginning for students in Enterprise: the first day of school after a year marked in tragedy.
Just five months ago, a tornado cut through town, destroying the high school and adjacent football field. Now, players prepare to step onto that field once more in hopes of bouncing back from sad times.
"We know we've got a special situation," explained head coach Kevin Collins.
Collins says he is putting his 2007-2008 Wildcats to work, getting them ready for the team's opening day, and keeping the players' concentration off of the devastation and on the game of football.
"It's almost a relief for us to be able to get out here, and school getting started, [getting] our minds back on something that we can control," Collins said.
Players agree. With the loss of eight fellow students in the March tornado, the past months have been hard.
"It's still in the back of your mind," said Edward Spivey, center for the Wildcats.
However, the upcoming season gives the team a chance to prove themselves to the community that lost so much.
"I just want to come out here and say that we still care about Enterprise, and our hearts are still in the right places. We want to show everyone that they can still watch football," Spivey explained.
With kickoff just weeks away, the Enterprise Wildcats say they will be ready to play on their home field once again.
"We're getting now close to playing shape, and we're just excited once again to be able to put lines on the field," Coach Collins said.
The Wildcat's coach also says the team wouldn't be able to take the field at home without the amazing support of donors and community fundrasiers, who helped buy a new scoreboard and new lights for the stadium, along with repair efforts.
Collins is determined to improve upon last year's 7-4 record, saying this year's team is ready to win.
The Enterprise Wildcats will play their first home game against Carrol High School of Ozark on August 31st.