Sickles said residents are looking forward to Blue Devil Day this year not only because it marks the start of football season but also because it is an opportunity to come together and heal.
“I think it’s going to be like a big homecoming,” she said.
Cordova High School sophomore Kaitlynn Beaird is expecting the free event to feel like a family reunion.
“It’s going to be different looking downtown and seeing nothing around us, but we’ll be with each other,” Kaitlynn said.
The scenery around the park will be drastically different when the Cordova faithful gather next month to celebrate their town and their team. The mood will be more somber than in years past as those in attendance reflect on how much was lost in the April 27 tornadoes.
However, there will also be the usual food, games, crafts and Cordova merchandise.
“It’s going to be different and that’s a little scary, but I’m still excited,” said high school senior Raygan Salors.
Tents will be set up to take the place of several shade trees that were uprooted in the storms. Bringing a lawn chair will be even more necessary this year since two sets of bleachers were destroyed as well.
Sickles knows that some Cordova natives who have moved away are making plans to attend Blue Devil Day so they can see the devastation firsthand.
She hopes people will also come out to show their support for Cordova’s youth.
“We’ve got to get our community back and everybody on the same page again for our kids and their kids,” Sickles said.
Sickles added that Cordova High School students have been doing their part to help their neighbors recover since the day of the tornadoes.
Many students as well as parents and coaches volunteered in the disaster relief effort that was organized at the high school after April 27.
Football players like senior lineman Russ Mitchell have proven that they are as committed to serving others as to winning games.
“There were a lot of days when we would go help unload water or move stuff at people’s houses before we went to practice,” Russ said.
Sickles said the youth of Cordova seem to understand how much of their town’s future depends on them, and she hopes the rest of the community will follow the example they are setting.
“Seeing how all of this has affected our kids should make the adults want to work a little bit harder,” Sickles said.
Blue Devil Day will start at 3 p.m. on Aug. 13 at the Old Park. A pep rally will be held at 7 p.m.
Vendors, entertainers or business owners who want to donate door prizes may contact Sickles at 275-1145.