Video of the Henryville High School gym during the tornado.
The boys took to the floor Friday night.
HENRYVILLE, IN (WAVE) - It's impossible to forget the images of the devastating Henryville tornado that swept through the high school March 2. But in the months that followed, the school has had an amazing transformation.
Tuesday night, the Henryville Hornets took to the hardwood for the first boys varsity basketball game.
Students, parents and staff never dreamed their school and specifically the gym would ever get back to the way it was after the tornado but, the gym is back in the spotlight and better than ever.
"First one since the storm," smiled Hornets head Coach Dan Carmony talking about the first home game in the nest for his team.
Carmony said, "It's real special for everybody, " he said, "The players, but also for the community and our school."
"It's amazing to have it open again," said student athlete Baylee Stewart. "It starts in the gym," Stewart explained, "We have our pep rallies and we have our teams and right now as they're coming out, it's just an amazing feeling."
As the Hornets hosted Christian Academy of Indiana, the gym's shiny new features are all the buzz. Stewart explained, "The bleachers are bigger and everything is a lot brighter and I really enjoy it."
The lights are brighter and more energy efficient. What may be most notable? The beautiful shine of the new maple floor. "The different shading of the floor," recalled Athletic Director Bill Niece," they (the students) thought it was really neat or cool, I should say."
For the team, the impressive new gym is all about a sense of pride, but it's about more than just basketball, volleyball or any sport played there. From election voting to meetings, school plays, Special Olympics and blood drives, the school gym is a symbol of what Henryville has been through and the future to come.
The coach said, "In small communities, I think it's always the heart of your community and this is a Tuesday night but, Friday nights or Saturday nights of whatever night it is, when there's a basketball game, your community looks forward to it and they want to come out."
In their first home game in the new gym, the Hornets didn't get the win, but the young team is excited about rebuilding following in the great footsteps of their town.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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