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Pride Takes Over

Photo by Steve Beavers

McNairy Central High School student Cole Kirk volunteers his time on Sunday afternoon to paint over graffiti on the football stadium, which was vandalized sometime on Saturday. Kirk is the starting quarterback on the Bobcat football team.

By Steve Beavers Independent Appeal

SELMER, Tenn. -- Bobcat Pride is what brought a crowd to Don Whitaker Memorial Stadium on a hot Sunday afternoon.

Over 60 students, teachers and supporters came to McNairy Central High School armed with paint brushes after the stadium was vandalized some time between midnight and 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Numerous offensive words and paintings were spray painted on the concession stand, outside of the bathroom walls, middle entrance to the stands and 17 sponsor signs.

Vandals also used black spray paint to deface the third base dugout and baseball field house.

McNairy Central football player Trevor Ferrell was one of the many to help clean up Sunday.

"This is my school and it means so much to me," said Ferrell of the reason he was painting over the graffiti. "I bleed blue and gold and it's great to see the school and community come together today."

MCHS Principal Dr. Jerry Pyron said the goal was to have all the graffiti gone before students came back to school Monday.

McNairy Central then pitched the idea of a paint day on its website early Sunday morning.

"I have never seen anything like this," said Pyron as people painted and cleaned the stadium. "McNairy Central has showed its shining colors today ... character is always proven when something bad happens."

McNairy quarterback Cole Kirk wasn't surprised to see so many people show up.

"I knew there would be a bunch here because of the support we receive each week," he said. "I am here because I would do anything for my school."

Community support is not a problem for the school, according to Pyron.

"It's absolutely amazing," he said. "Most communities have problems getting help with events, but not McNairy County."