By DANNY P. SMITH
It would have been very easy for the East Webster Wolverines to say, "We can't play."
After a tornado ripped through the East Webster High School campus early Wednesday morning, no one would have blamed the baseball or softball teams if those in charge had determined that the seasons couldn't continue.
However, never underestimate the spirit of a Wolverine.
East Webster has already shown its resiliency in the aftermath of the storm.
It's not just because of the way the Wolverines have performed on the athletic fields the last couple of days, but the area has pitched in with the clean-up efforts.
There's been a tremendous amount of support from inside and outside Webster County to help in whatever means necessary. It's nice to see how neighbor has helped neighbor during this time.
East Webster football coach Jimmy Carden has been a part of the community for 53 years and has never been disappointed with how it has handled adversity.
According to Carden, there were about 100 volunteers working on Friday and probably the same number or more on Saturday. He saw crews from several different churches lending a helping hand on Saturday.
There were people assisting in Cumberland and others preparing the former Wood Junior College campus for school to resume.
"It hasn't changed," Carden said about the community support. "Everyone has always rallied together, worked and done whatever needed to be done. That's what has happened this time.
"There's a lot of people pitching in and helping out. We're not afraid to help ourselves. We'll be working and with everybody helping us, we'll be in good shape to start school Tuesday."
Carden and Wolverines baseball coach Wes Johnson have both expressed in recent days how blessed they feel that no one was on campus on the morning of the tornado. The situation could have been much worse if it had happened during school hours.
While driving to Houston for the playoff game between East Webster and Strayhorn on Saturday, it was shocking to see the destruction the storm caused in several places.
There were trees splintered and some homes damaged along Highway 15 near the Anchor community, but that didn't compare to what I saw on the way back to Starkville after deciding to take a different route.
While traveling on Highways 389 and 46 in Clay County, there were signs of major damage in the Montpelier community. There was a tree on top of a church, homes with no roofs and many trees down on both sides of the road. It literally looked like a war zone.
Other areas in Mississippi, in particularly Smithville were hit very hard, and the storm system that caused it all was nothing like I've ever heard of before in this state.
There's no question in my mind the people of East Webster and other areas of Mississippi will bounce back.
This state is strong and knows how to handle its business.
Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.