Original story by Turron Davenport for ESPN
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans are lending a hand after floods heavily damaged the community in Waverly, Tennessee — including the football facility at the local high school.
The Titans wanted to do more than just make a monetary donation. So they arranged to deliver football equipment to the Waverly Central High School Tigers, including helmets, girdles, jerseys, pants, equipment bags, athletic training and medical supplies, and a washer and dryer.
“It’s extremely important,” Waverly coach Randy Boldin said of the Titans’ help. “Especially for a professional football organization helping out a small-town football team. That’s very inspirational. It just goes to show, no matter what level you are, you’re always trying to help and give back.”
Boldin said the flash floods poured four to five feet of water into their fieldhouse within minutes.
The Titans also arranged for the Tigers to play a game at Nissan Stadium on Thursday against White House High School.
“We wanted to get these kids back on the field under the lights,” Titans senior manager for football outreach Josh Corey said. “These kids have already gone through so much with the pandemic. They missed games last year, and now this year they’ve lost their facility for the entire year. These kids were not going to have any home games at all.”
Corey said they wanted to give the kids the center stage and do the various things that high schools do throughout the year during football games. The senior band members and football players will be honored on Senior Night before the game. There will be a homecoming court at halftime.
The setup will be just like a Titans game day at Nissan Stadium. The video boards will show both teams coming out of their respective tunnels with the starting lineups on the big screen. Instant replay will be played on the video boards as well.
The Titans radio crew will broadcast the game on a local radio station as “Tigers’ Radio.”
Last month during their “Kickoff Luncheon,” Titans president/CEO Burke Nihill announced that the team is making a $50,000 donation to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s Disaster Relief Fund. At least 22 people were killed in the floods.
“I just want to let everybody know how much sympathy and thoughts and our concerns are for the people in Waverly,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said in August. “They have lost family members and they have lost homes. Our team and our organization, our prayers are with everybody that was affected by the floods.”