By Brooklyn Joyner
ROLLING FORK, Mississippi (WAPT) — In the midst of rebuilding, Rolling Fork’s South Delta School District made a comeback. On October 13th, South Delta Highschool celebrated homecoming leading up to their football game. Back in March the city experienced an EF-4 tornado and South Delta’s Principal Michael Banks said getting back in the groove of things has been an uphill battle.
“We want the climate to be exciting where the students come to school and want to learn,” said Principal Banks.
“It’s amazing to be out here. It’s amazing to be a bulldog. It’s after the storm now and we just want to enjoy ourselves,” said Karmesha Johnson, a South Delta teacher.
Hundreds of students filled the basketball gym for their pep rally. They were getting lit and counting down the minutes until their game against Leland Highschool.
Many of the students and faculty did not think the school would make it to this point so soon but the Football Coach said he had no doubts.
“We are just one of those communities that’s resilient and we are going to come back better. We don’t make excuses we do what we have to do,” said Coach Kepaterick Barnes.
He said he admires the strength of the students. He said many of them lost loved ones and their homes during the march storm, yet they always made time for school.
Senior Keyeternity Moore, said Coach Barnes has been something like a father figure to him. “I couldn’t really live without my momma. I wasn’t used to it. I was always with her and her not being here is just different,” said Moore.
Moore had to give up football after he lost his mom to the disaster, but he says South Delta’s community brightens his spirit. He is making strides to be the first to graduate from high school in his family.
“They were uplifting me, giving me talks and stuff like that…telling me everything was going to be ok and to just keep pushing through,” said Moore.
“Sports is one of those things that bring the community together and it’s a therapy for our kids. If they got any anger or they got anything that’s affecting them they can let it out on the playing field,” said Coach Barnes.
While the players let it all out on the field, they were able to do it in some new gear. Jackson UPS workers surprised the football team with new uniforms. They asked Rick Deuce the owner of PBLCFGR to design the uniforms.
“I wasn’t expecting this. I’m kind of emotional because we really never had anything. The last jersey we had was from like four or five years ago,” said Senior Football Player Labrodrick Williams.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to empower and impact the community that was ravaged by that tornado and just to bring a smile to their face knowing that they lost everything,” said UPS worker Jessica Orey.
Following the pep rally, there was also a parade that led into the football game. South Delta High School’s football team had a successful game beating Leland Highschool with a 46-point lead.
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