Washington, Ill. football team gives town reason to cheer

November 19, 2013 3:38:44 PM PST
In Washington, the high school football team is trying to overcome great adversity to stay focused on its run to a state title. It's an inspiring story of a small band of athletes who are giving their devastated town something to cheer about.

Football players are taught to play through pain. Here, the pain is emotional, not physical.

"I'm living out of my car right now," said Nick Sievers, Washington, Ill. High School football player.

Nick Sievers is a senior, one of ten varsity football players to have their homes damaged in Sunday's storm.

"I had to get a new jersey because I lost mine in the storm," said Sievers.

This is what's left of offensive lineman Brogan Brownfield's house.

"I was in shock when I came up from the basement and saw that the whole neighborhood had been flattened because there were people in their front yards. Everyone was just in awe," said Brogan Brownfield, Washington High School football player.

The team practiced Tuesday on a borrowed field, some with borrowed equipment. But practice they did-- they're undefeated and have a state semi-final match Saturday-- Washington's best showing since 1985.

"We went from Saturday at 4 in the afternoon from biggest high this town has had in 25 years to the next morning by 11 o'clock our whole town is just devastated," said Darrell Crouch, Washington High School football coach.

There is still so much work to be done here, but for a few hours on Saturday residents look forward to taking a break to cheer on their Panthers.