Ringgold rivals come together following the April 2011 tornado outbreak

Tornado damages ringgold middle and high school in 2011

The feelings come storming back every time Robert Akins walks on the field.

"The path of this tornado, it came across the front of the school and it came across this field," said Akins.

He's the Ringgold Middle and High School athletic director. The images of that day are burned into his memory.

"They were all gone," said Akins, "they were wadded up in a pile."

Years of victory and triumph tossed aside as the winds ran through the fields.

"The baseball field was completely torn up," said Cade Gilbert a senior on the baseball team, "the football field, everything was just thrown all over the place."

Others in the community stepped in so seasons wouldn't be lost.

"hey want to win and we want to win, so yea, pretty big rivals when it comes to academic competition and sports competition," said Chris Lusk, the principal at Heritage Middle School.

Heritage middle and high school opened their facilities to Ringgold.

"Heritage is a big rival of ours and when they opened their arms, it let us see them from a different perspective," said Akins.

The baseball team had home games in enemy territory. The football team held spring practice surrounded by Generals instead of Tigers.

"It was kind of like a big family. We just helped each other out," said Gilbert, "we got through it and now we're better than ever."

Meanwhile Ringgold rebuilt. With more than $160,000 in donations, what the tornado took down, the people put back up.

"We can feel sorry for ourselves, or we can roll our selves up and get busy. And that's what we did," said Akins.

Ringgold played the 2011 home football season at Finley Stadium. The first game on the new turf in the new stadium was played in August 2012.

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