GREEN BAY - Despite a fire that heavily damaged the school two weeks ago, Preble’s football team opened up its season on schedule and at home Thursday night.
The fire might be delaying the start of classes for nearly two weeks, but for students, the game was the kickoff to the school year.
“Football season is known to be one of the most fun seasons, just all coming together, painting up, getting dressed up together, just cheering really loud,” said Serena Van Lanen, a senior.
Preble has always been somewhat of a football school, but people at the game say the kickoff to this season is much different.
“It's definitely different,” said Daniel Laluzerne, a senior. “This is like the start of our senior year, like this is the official start even though it's like late and stuff. It's becoming real now.”
For the past two weeks, the focus has been on the fire that heavily damaged the school. Students say being at the football game provides some sense of escape.
“I'm so happy to be here right now,” said Van Lanen. “I was just out tailgating for like five minutes, but the energy out there, everyone is just so positive.”
Positive is what the football team tried to maintain preparing for the game.
“I really don't think it was much of a distraction other than we missed one practice,” said Alex Wood, a senior member of the team. “We've pretty much been trying to overcome and forget about the fire.”
“We just have to get used to a new temporary normal and not let that be a distraction,” said Tim Larsen, the coach of the football team.
While the fire put the team out of its locker room for a week, others performing for the game had obstacles as well. The band had to practice at the church across the street from the school, and the dance team prepared at a studio across town.
“It has affected our whole school, not just the sports, but the students as well since we're starting late,” said Van Lanen. “I think we've all just come to terms and try to stay positive through it all.”