- Associated Press - Monday, August 18, 2014

PURVIS, Miss. (AP) - The Purvis High School football team says it will play despite its field house burning to the walls Saturday.

Football coach Perry Wheat tells the Hattiesburg American (http://hatne.ws/1le3QUh) the building was a complete loss, and with that, so was all the football team’s equipment in Saturday’s fire.

Despite the disaster, Wheat said Sunday he thinks the Tornadoes will be able to play their season-opening game as scheduled, hosting North Forrest on Friday.

“We told the kids what our plan was,” Wheat said. “We went to the junior high dressing room and we’ll get equipped. I think getting out and practicing is the best thing for the kids, and we plan on playing Friday.”

Wheat said he did not know the cause of the fire. He received a call of smoke coming from the area, and when he arrived at the scene around 1 p.m., the building was engulfed in flames.

The building housed all the team’s equipment, as well as the dressing and weight rooms.

In the meantime, he said other schools, such as Oak Grove, Sumrall and Southern Miss have donated equipment to the Tornadoes.

“We’ve probably had 100 coaches call me, offering equipment,” said Wheat. “Sporting goods stores have offered us stuff. It’s been amazing. We should be able to pull together enough gear to practice this week and play this weekend.”

Last season, the Tornadoes finished 9-3, reaching the second round of the 4A South State playoffs.


Information from: The Hattiesburg American, http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com



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