High School Football Team Brings Comfort to West, Texas
Four months after a fertilizer plant explosion tore through their small Texas community, killing 15 people and damaging buildings for blocks around, the West Trojans opened their football season and recovered a degree of normalcy that’s been missing since the blast.
The high school field, which became a triage site after the April 17 blast in the community 100 miles south of Dallas, was replanted and repainted for the game against the Little River-Academy Bumblebees. Few Texas traditions are as celebrated or mythologized as high school football under the lights, but Thursday night’s kickoff held particular significance for West’s roughly 2,800 residents, who have endured months of struggle and uncertainty.
“Everyone is just really excited that we can do normal things like go to football games, when just a couple of months ago we were hurting so badly,” high school English teacher Chelsey Lauer said before the game.
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