Being from New York, Frozen Tide captain Chris Edge only had one experience with a tornado before an EF4 tornado hit Tuscaloosa, Ala. on April 27, 2011.
Edge and two other players on last year’s Frozen Tide team walked out of their house about 15 minutes after the tornado hit and saw tree branches and leaves in the road by where they lived.
“It didn’t seem that bad at first to us,” Edge said.
Edge received a phone call from assistant coach David Noble soon after walking outside, asking them to come get him. Noble told the players his house had been damaged by the tornado.
At one point, Edge remembered walking down a street he had been down a dozen times before and seeing nothing but a vast open space where trees had once been. From the road, he could see miles away to streets he could not see before.
“I don’t think we knew the extent of the damage until we saw that,” Edge said. “That’s something I’ll always remember.”
Edge and teammates went on to help rebuild last year’s captain Sass Schirmer’s damaged home and others in the community after the tornado.
“Everyone came together after the tornado to help people out,” Edge said. “It showed the strength of the community here.”
Almost seven months after the tornado, the Alabama Frozen Tide team is holding a tornado disaster relief game against the Virginia Tech Hokies.
“It’s the team’s way of remembering and recognizing what happened,” Edge said.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from the game will go to the UA Acts of Kindness Fund.
The D2 Virginia Tech Hokies will travel from Blacksburg, Va. to face the Frozen Tide (7-9). The Hokies are 7-6-1 so far this season.
“They’re going to be a tough team for us,” Edge said.
The Frozen Tide will return to action at the Pelham Civic Complex at 7:30 on Saturday, Oct. 19.