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From the Sidelines: Stadium represents much for city

Saturday is a big day for the city of Demopolis. At least, it should be. Demopolis High School football players, cheerleaders, band members, faculty, parents and fans will gather at the newly-completed Tiger Stadium to both ring in the new season and ceremonially break the seal on the new facility.

The concession stands will be open. Introductions will be made.

Dignitaries will be recognized. Fireworks will be shot. But more than anything, “Fan Day” is a rare opportunity to bring everyone together to enjoy something that reaches beyond football.

Yes. The new facility is a football stadium. But to a number of people, it is much more.

To the city council members who voted to give funds to the project, it is both an emblem of the community’s support for its youth and a statement that Demopolis is more than a dot on a map along U.S. Hwy 80.

To some school board members, the stadium represents a promise, a covenant made with a coaching staff and a team that says unequivocally, “We are behind you.”

To Tom Causey, it represents the support of a community.

To assistant track coach Rodney Rowser — a former Demopolis High track star — the track the facility will boast represents the realization of a long-time goal and the opportunity to build something special alongside head track coach and Tiger defensive coordinator Rudy Griffin.

To the Demopolis Tiger football team, it represents a fresh start.

It is a building where they are unbeaten and untied.

They will be the first to ever take to its field for high school football action.

To Demopolis High students, it will come to be the backdrop of pep rallies, powder puff games and cool fall Friday nights spent with friends.

To football fans it will be the site of triumphs and heartbreaks and passionate cheers of support.

But, this Saturday night, when the ribbon is cut at the new Tiger Stadium, it will be metaphorically handed over to a community.

The field itself and the young men and women who will occupy it, are all things in which Demopolis can take great pride.