West Liberty —
Until recently, most didn’t think Morgan County High School would have a home season for its 2012 football campaign.
After the devastating March 2 tornado, football was not the first thought of even Cougar football coach Brian Turner.
Turner had seen the storm tear through the community of West Liberty, destroying homes, businesses and even high school football field.
The storm may have taken the field and equipment but failed to take the Cougar sprit.
“Soon after the tornado, things looked kind of bleak for us playing at home this season. I looked into play at Morehead State and other options,” said Turner.
“We did not have a lot, but it was ours. When I got that first look, I was sad. As a coach, you spend a lot of time with players and you remember former players and coaches who played here over the years. It was going to be an uphill fight to get things ready.”
Turner knew the football field could wait because his West Liberty community need the help more.
Sometimes even through the worst times, people can surprise you.
West Liberty and surrounding area had help from all over Kentucky and the United States. Even other high schools made sure that the Cougars would have what they need to play.
It all came to fruition Friday night as Morgan County hosted Estill County in the Don McKenzie Classic in front of a tremendous crowd.
“It’s a very exciting night,” said Turner, prior to the game. “A lot of people had a lot to do with us being able to play here at our home field.
“Last week against Boyd County, we got our first game under our belt and took a little pressure off.”
McKenzie symbolizes the West Liberty/Morgan County area. During the tornado, McKenzie’s Pool Room was flattened while he was inside.
If not for a friend who grabbed McKenzie and covered him, then the 72-year-old Cougar fan might not have been able to witness Friday’s event.
School and local officials celebrated the new football field prior to the 44-8 victory over Estill County.
For the Cougars it was their second win of the season, but for all the people of West Liberty and Morgan County it might have been the biggest win of just having a field to call home.