It will be a while before the city of Ringgold is completely rebuilt but for now the community can take pride in the small victories and milestones along the way. Ringgold High School is well on its way to getting all the way back. Brent Tucker believes baseball will be played at Ringgold this year and it won't be long before the Friday night lights will be shining once again at Ringgold's Don Patterson Stadium.
Vaughn and Ronnie Bradford, the principal of Heritage High School, were both on hand for one special Friday night at Heritage High School as the Tigers faced the Generals on a night that was more than just a football game, it was a celebration.
The football coaches realized this night was likely the biggest night in this rivalry's history. While no longer "bitter" rivals each coach wanted to win on this certain occasion.
Bonnie Sims, Heritage's SHAPE representative along with Stacy Pickens and Eddie Bryant, two other physical education teachers, spoke about the SHAPE program minutes before the Generals and Tigers squared off. Sims has been a teacher at Heritage since the school opened its doors. The game was played at Jeff Sims field, named after Bonnie's late husband. Sims has a son on the team, a daughter who is a freshman at HHS and another younger son in the Heritage system.
And what Friday night celebration would be complete without a performance from the band? Ringgold's band suffered loss just like the sports teams and it was a chance for the Tiger Marching Band to announce it too was back and ready for the stage.
April 27, 2011 was months ago and while there are many more months before Ringgold is back to 100%, this community has shown that school colors don't matter as much as a helping hand. A tornado ripped apart buildings but it could not rip apart the spirit of a community. Ringgold will be back.