Less than a week after a tornado ripped through their town, the Vilonia baseball and softball teams were back out on the field Friday.
“We looked out the back window and it was getting bigger, we knew it was coming our way,” Jeremy Nicholson, Vilonia baseball player said.
Nicholson and his family lost everything, and nearly lost his father. On the softball team, two girls also lost their homes.
“You know I thought I was going to lose my family, and we did lose everything that we had,” Sissa Mulligan, Vilonia softball player said. “But we’re just so blessed to have so many people that really care about us, and they’ve really helped us get back on our feet already. I am so blessed to have my team and my coaches.”
Without that support neither player says they’d be out here today. It’s athletics that`s taking them away from the devastation and disaster that is back at home.
“It really does get my mind off things and help me be with a whole lot of friends. I know my family, they want to be here but they can’t became they are in a hospital,” Nicholson said.
“This is kind of my getaway. Not just from this, but from everything really. When I’m out here with my teammates and my coaches I really don’t think about anything else,” Mulligan said.
Although it was just a few that were actually hit by the tornado, to them they all were.
The Huntsville community wanted to come together and show their support. It all started with the high school student body, and kids donating their lunch money. From there word spread, and so did the help.
“We come up here and found out that their coach gathered up some money for our team, and for our community,” Tony Mulligan, Vilonia parent said. “It’s just a blessing it’s just god at work is all I can say.”
But not only that, Mulligan has one more blessing he is thankful for.
“I get to watch my daughter play softball in the last couple games of her senior year. So, that’s definitely a blessing.”
The Huntsville student body and community came together to donate $1,600 to Vilonia. Their athletic director said it wasn’t for the notoriety, or publicity, but just the right thing to do.