BURKE, S.D. (KELO) — About two and a half weeks after a tornado ripped through the town of Burke, South Dakota, the community is able to cheer together once again thanks to high school football’s return on Friday.
It’s football season, so why wouldn’t Burke High School teacher Sherry Opbroek be at this game?
“Because I always go to my football games,” Opbroek said. “They’re my team, they’re my kids, and this is our community, and I go to every football game, as many athletics that I can, but football for sure.”
Today, emotions were high.
“When I drove up tonight, I was a little bit late, and I’m not going to lie, I started crying because here’s all of our community joining together, our boys and our girls are on the sidelines, and they are ready to play, and they’re together,” Opbroek said.
“It’s amazing to have this community come together, and to have all our players together, and all our teachers and administrators,” said Lisa Even, who has three kids attending Burke High School.
“I think the greatest thing is just a little slice of normalcy,” Burke School District Superintendent Erik Person said.
And then, almost on cue, the crowd roars.
“Always one of the first high school events of the season is the first home football game, and people I think are just eager to get back to that, they’ve been working hard, trying to clean up the town and get back to normal,” Person said. “And this really helps a lot.”
“We’re still able to play out here even though we had a disaster come through our town, so I think it’s awesome that we get to play out here and still be on our own field,” Burke High School senior football player Gavin York said.
Their own field in their community.
“We’re all still here, and the community is going to be fine, and those buildings can be rebuilt,” Even said.