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Enterprise baseball continues to honor tornado victims 15 years later

Enterprise baseball remembers the Enterprise 8
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 4:16 AM CST
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ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WTVY) - Enterprise head baseball coach Matt Whitton reflecting back on that tragic March day in 2007.

“It really just happened so fast. It’s really hard to explain,” said Whitton. “Nobody knew the damage we had received until we were able to leave the school and walk outside.”

Whitton, a senior at the time at Enterprise High School, was one of the many students to witness the destruction the tornado caused.

“I think everyone was in a moment of shell shock,” said Whitton. “Not really knowing what was going on or what was going to happen next.”

And the lives it took with it.

“It was very tough. Especially when you lose anybody from something like that,” said Whiton. “It’s tough to go through as a community. As you know this is a very tight knit community. We all mourn the loss of those victims. Even more so, we lost a teammate. We lost a friend that was with us every day that had gone to battle with us for two years and losing him was something we’d never thought we’d expect to see.”

Not long after, the Wildcat baseball team began a new tradition. A way to honor the eight victims.

“When I was an assistant here, we voted on a team captain and the captain wore number eight,” said Whitton.

When Whitton returned to the school three years ago as head coach, he decided to don the number eight jersey.

“I know what the meaning behind eight means,” said Whitton. “It may not mean anything to somebody else, but I know what the number holds for me personally. That’s just a reminder for me what our community has gone through. What our school has gone through. It kind of reminds me of another reason of why we do what we do.”

A small gesture but one that carries a heavy weight.

“I think it’s a little bit of pride of what Enterprise stands for,” said Whitton. Having Enterprise across our chest and eight on our back, it’s an honorable thing for me to wear that. "

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