Smiths Station, AL (WTVM) - Almost a month has passed since severe storms raged through Smiths Station, leaving the high school's baseball fields heavily damaged.
They may, however, be back on the field sooner than they thought.
Both head baseball coach Mike Ferry and athletic director Sherry Paysinger say the school should have its baseball field in working condition by next week.
All they have to do now, according to Ferry, is raise the backstop behind home plate.
Ferry said there are some parts of the complex that cannot be fixed until after the season. He said the batting cage building sustained perhaps the most damage.
Some of the varsity players first expressed heartbreak seeing their home field in tatters, but they said they're excited to get back in the groove.
"I kind of was thinking my senior season was going to be a little ruined, because we wouldn't have a home game," said Austin Pyron, first baseman for the SSHS Panthers.
Pyron said the community responded almost immediately to rebuild the stands and the concession building.
"They got to work on it pretty quick," Pyron said.
Left fielder Hunter Henderson said he didn't think the damage was too bad at first sight.
"But when I got down there it was pretty bad and I was just hoping that they could get it back before the first game," Henderson said.
In the meantime, both mayors of Smiths Station and Columbus agreed to have the Panthers play their home games at Golden Park.
Both players and coaches said they appreciate the community's effort to get them back on their home turf.