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Rival schools come together to help football team

By ZACHARY SEIFTER/ Staff Writer

The first quarter was winding to a close at Jemison High School on Sept. 17. The Panthers were playing against Sipsey Valley High School in a regional game when all of a sudden there was a loud blast.

Then, all the lights on the Jemison side of the stadium went dark.

It took everyone by surprise, and many began scrambling for a solution.

Fans sat in the stands for some time, hoping to see the lights come back on and play continue.

However, JHS Principal Kendall Jackson was unsure that would happen, and instead started thinking about another plan.

“Someone reminded me that Thorsby’s game was cancelled,” Jackson said. “Thorsby had a home game scheduled for Friday night, so their facilities were ready for a game.

Thorsby High School’s scheduled game against Calhoun High School was cancelled due to COVID-19 issues for Calhoun. With that being the case, Jackson decided to reach out to THS Principal Corey Clements.

“She told me that the lights had gone out,” Clements said. “… (They) wanted to know if they could come to our place and play.”

Not only did Clements allow them to come over to Thorsby to finish the game, he personally went over to stadium to get everything set up. He turned on the lights, got the scoreboard ready and made sure the fans got parked and into the stadium, among other things.

“They were basically able to just pull in and start playing,” Clements said.

The rest of the game went seamlessly. The end result did not end the way Jemison wanted, as the Panthers fell 40-28, but both teams were grateful that they at least were able to finish the game.

“I want to give a big thank you to Coach (Daryl) Davis and Mr. Clements,” JHS head coach John Therrell said. “They did a fantastic job of setting everything up for us on a very short notice, and we’re very gracious to them (for) lending us their facility.”

Clements was just happy to give a helping hand.

“I think anybody would’ve done it,” Clements said. “We just tried to do the right thing for the kids mainly. There’s a lot of kids involved, and they needed to play.”