Fultondale Wildcats open season in new stadium

Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 11:02 PM CDT
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FULTONDALE, Ala. (WBRC) - The start of high school football season is a little more meaningful this year for the Fultondale community as the Wildcats opened the season in a new stadium.

City and school leaders cut the ribbon on the new stadium ahead of Fultondale’s first home game. The Wildcats have been without a permanent home after a tornado in 2021 heavily damaged their school and athletic complex.

The community has gone through a lot of over the past couple years that’s why Thursday’s ribbon cutting was so special for everyone who showed up to watch the Wildcats take the field.

“We have been through some craziness the last two and a half years and just to be able to open tonight with a home game and have this crowd out here. It’s just such an exciting time. Everything is beautiful and ready. We’re in our new building. It’s kind of like bringing it to completion,” Dr. Stephanie Robinson, principal of Fultondale High School said.

“These guys have had to wait almost three years to get back to their own place to play on a Friday night. The fans have had wait. They are very, very anxious to see the product that we put on the field and we just want to give them a great game tonight,” Head Coach Keon Handley, Sr. said.

Around kickoff, the excessive heat was in full effect. Thankfully we didn’t see any major heat related issues while we were there. During games, the team has the water and ice flowing and that’s one thing Handley says is even more critical when temps get this high. They also have trainers watching over the team to keep players healthy during the game.

Fultondale players, fans battle heat at first football game

“We have two ice tubs prepared. We’ve got heat towels. We’re doing everything in our power to make sure our kids are prepared but understanding that at the same time we still have to play out here in this heat. Doing everything to prepare and be cautious at the same time,” Handley said.

Coaches are also doing everything they can to keep kids hydrated throughout the day before games.

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