By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal
SMITHVILLE – The Smithville School campus was leveled by what is believed to be a tornado that swept through Monroe County on Wednesday afternoon, leaving Smithville principal Chad O’Brian to describe the damage as “complete devastation.”
“The campus is destroyed. There’s no football field, no gym. There is no building on campus without damage,” said O’Brian, the school’s former basketball coach.
O’Brian said among the damage, the baseball field’s new pressbox is destroyed.
“There are no fences whatsoever around the baseball field,” he said.
“The campus is completely destroyed. The houses that were sitting on campus are no longer there. I can’t describe it. It’s just gone. The whole campus is gone.”
O’Brian said no students were injured because students were released at 2:30 p.m. That left an hour before the likely tornado hit and the school doesn’t have any bus routes that take more than an hour.
Smithville is scheduled to face Greenville St. Joe Saturday at home in the 2011 MHSAA baseball playoffs. Plans are uncertain at this time of where the game will be played.
Smithville baseball coach Jordan Summerford said late Wednesday afternoon that he didn’t know what the Seminoles were going to do about the playoffs.
“I have no clue what we are going to do,” Summerford said. “I honestly haven’t even thought about it yet. We are still trying to assess the damage.”
The Smithville softball team is scheduled to face Coldwater in a doubleheader Friday at 3:30 p.m.
Lady Seminoles coach Jeremy Duke said the softball field, which is not located on the school campus, suffered damage and could not be used for the playoff games.
Duke is hoping to play the games at an alternate home site.