Magoffin Co. community rebuilds football field destroyed by tornado

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MAGOFFIN COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - When a tornado touched down in Magoffin County in March 2012, it hit hard, crumpling businesses and flattening homes. But in the community where football is king, one of the most devastating losses was their high school football field.

"There was nothing left of the field, no field posts, bleachers were gone. We don't have movie theaters, no bowling alley, there is not a lot for community kids to do. Our high school is the center point for entertainment in this community," said Magoffin County High School principal Tony Skaggs.

Dalton Keaton was a sophomore on the football team when the tornado hit.

"No one's minds were on football, they were on the tornado. We couldn't stay focused and practices weren't the same," he remembered.

Since the tornado destroyed their football field, Keaton says they've had to keep practicing on the field that is still riddled with holes.

Players have also been using trailer homes set up next to the field as a locker room.

After going without for two seasons, the high school has rebuilt the field goal posts, bleachers and turf with their insurance payout and by raising property taxes.

Keaton said, "It means everything because this is what everyone dreams of when football is on your mind. It's playing on turf, playing under the lights. So to know that the tornado hit us and took everything away, to know now that I'm standing here about to play on something that not many don't get a chance to, it's unbelievable."

The first game on the new field will be next Friday night at 7:30.

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