Football helps to heal citizens impacted by Trona earthquake

Football helps to heal citizens impacted by Trona earthquake


(upbeat music) – July 4th and 5th, we
experienced two major earthquakes. The 4th was a 6.4 and then
on the 5th there was a 7.1. Then began the process
of trying to figure out what had happened, how
much damage occurred. We kind of served as a disaster
relief for the community. – I think that the
majority of us here in town have suffered in one shape
or form a little bit of PTSD because you just don’t
know, you know what I mean? When the next one’s coming. At least with a hurricane or a tornado you get some kind of warning. But with the earthquakes,
you just don’t know. – I wanna say, the first
practice we came back, everything was going
okay, we were practicing. We came in here and aftershock hit and this light right
there started shaking. So pretty nervous, but we
just had to push through and make sure everything was okay. – Especially for me, and
I know some of the coaches and some of the kids have
also expressed to me, that we couldn’t wait to get
back to some form of normalcy. (upbeat music) – Our stadium is called “The Pit.” (rock music) – Dirty, it’s rough, it’s
tough, it’s hot, it’s nasty. – [Keith] The only, that we know of, the only field in
America that is all dirt. No grass will grow and it’s
such a proud tradition here that we play on dirt that even if we could get a turf field, they wouldn’t allow it. – People always complain about the dirt and how it gets in your
face and everything. But ya just gotta suck it up. – Know that ya get to
play on that every day and that everybody hates playing on it. Which you’re just grateful you
get to play on that everyday. – Hundred miles an hour,
you guys are going fast or you don’t go at all. – Yes coach. – Understood? – Yes coach! – Then get it. – Now almost every boy in
town at one point or another have played football. It’s one of the few activities in town. – So on a good day we got about 16, when everybody shows up. Supposed to be every
day but stuff happens, people don’t show up. – Mots people aren’t dedicated. They don’t wanna put in the hard work in the heat and all that. But once you do it, once you
put in your work, you’re there. You just gotta keep
showing up and showing out. – Eight man football is a
lot different than eleven, but it’s not as different
as most people think. Yeah you’re down a few extra guys, but the plays are pretty much the same. I like the experience
‘cuz as a quarterback I gotta be able think
what the defense is doing. And being a middle linebacker, I gotta think what the offense is doing. So it gives me extra
experience being on both sides and being those positions. – I want ya to throw
’em from the last game, or from our first game last year. We had 11 kids padded up. This year we’re gonna have
somewhere around 15 to 16. And I’m not just taking
just freshman and sophomore. This time I’m taking frickin’ men. – Coach played when he was a Trona youth. I think he wanted to bring
that same kind of toughness to the field when he was a young man. – The way that I approach
it is that all week long practice is like the work week. I’m the boss, they’re the employees. Sometimes you have employees
that you don’t get along with. But whenever the door’s
shut, everybody’s a family. (whistle) – Oooh!
– Get the feet moving. Do it again. – The town has shrunk in size, the plant here, Searles Valley Minerals, at one point in time would have had four to five thousand employees. But through automation
and other processees over the course of time
their workforces shrunk to around 800. – I feel like us as coaches, one of the main things that
I talked to our staff about, wasn’t about X’s and
O’s and winning games, was teaching these kids integrity, honor, love for our community. – Teaches us boys how
to become men basically and gives us a way to, ‘cuz we don’t got very
much out here to do. So just keeps us away from
all this bad stuff in town. He keeps his boys outta trouble. – Set. Hut. – One one thousand, two one
thousand, three one thousand. – Come on!
– Ugh! – Hey, the next one drops, two laps! – One one thousand, two one thousand – Yes! Thank you! – I think there’s a sense of pride with our persona of being
kind of a rough town with a dirt football field. And I think there’s, you know
when people come play us, it’s a sense of, they know
they’ve played in Trona, once they’ve played in Trona. – People that are from Trona,
we’re different beings. You gotta be different
to grow up in this area. It’s very hostile. – [Keith] We’re the
Tornadoes, and we play in dirt and it’s great. – It’s like a major getaway. It goes from work, work can be very bad and you can come and have a good practice and everyday it’d be better. It’s just something about football playing on this dirt field,
it makes your day better. – We are.
– Seven. – We are.
– Seven. – We are.
– Seven. – We are.
– Seven. – Seven on three. One, two, three. – Seven. (upbeat music)

About the Author: Garret Beatty

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