TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Monday’s unexpected four-minute EF1 tornado in Winona caused some damage at the school, leaving them with no place to practice. The Wildcats were invited by Tyler ISD to use Tyler High’s Indoor Athletic Complex.
“It was immediate! The tornado was on us quicker than we could adjust,” said Winona ISD Athletic Director and Football Coach, Keylon Kincade.
Winona School District is currently unable to use its fields. The amount of rain from Monday’s storms along with the tornado has flooded their outdoor fields.
“Yeah, we got a ton of rain and it’s pretty much underwater at this point. It’s hard to practice when the balls are halfway submerged. The fields are draining pretty good, just the minor rain we had put us in a bind,” said Kincade.
That’s when Tyler ISD stepped in to lend a helping hand to the Wildcats to let them use their facilities.
“Rick and I are pretty good friends and colleagues, and all the coaches in East Texas… I appreciate their calls and texts checking on us and sending their condolences and if they can help in any way,” said Kincade. “Ricklan is one of those people that I’ve known for a while now. I appreciate Tyler ISD for allowing us to get good quality practice in.”
He recalls that the tornado passed very quickly and is grateful to have compassionate colleagues.
“Well you know, we’re close here in East Texas. You take care of each other. We aren’t like the city people. We get to know each other’s names and we get to know each other’s families and we also get to play against each other and get to know each other, not just through the athletic part, but also on a personal level,” said Tyler High’s Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, Ricklan Holmes.
The Winona Wildcats will be back in Tyler on Friday night for their first game of the year against the Grace Cougars.
“We got a good core of seniors and a good young bunch as well. These guys are eager to win and hate losing and that’s the kind of group I like to be around and coach,” said Kincade.
Depending on the weather for the remainder of the week, the Winona Wildcats could still be sharing the indoor field with the Tyler Lions, but hope to be back in their home field very soon.