WAVERLY, Tenn. (WKRN) — “Friday Night Lights” had a new meaning during Waverly Central’s opening football game. The night marked the first time players could hold a game on their field since the historic Waverly flood destroyed their field.

Walking around the field before the game, and before the fans started coming in, the field was quiet. It’s in the silence where the only thing you can hear is the air keeping up the football tunnel, where Ryan Edwards finds comfort.

“It’s beautiful, I mean it’s home,” said Edwards looking out to the field.

For Edwards, “home” is the only word to describe being back on the field. Last year, he was a senior at Waverly Central High School when the floodwaters hit. Edwards had one thing on his mind.

“I came out here with two of my buddies, we wanted to clean up. We immediately started picking trash up, bottles, anything that we saw we started to pick up, then one of our other coaches showed up and he said look get off the field we can play on it and then that broke us,” said Edwards.

The field he had spent the last four years of his life on, was washed away.

“After a while, it settled in that you’re not going to play here and a lot of our kids that graduated last year missed out on a lot,” explained Trey Graves, the Waverly Central Athletic Director.

Tragedy quickly turned to triumph. In the days following the flood, people from all across Middle Tennesse traveled to Humphryey’s County to lend a hand and help.

“Here’s football season this is what we do and then all of a sudden, it turns into let’s help our community, and let’s go find what we can fix. Help where we can help, and then football will be here when it comes back,” said Coach Randall Boldin, Waverly Central’s head football coach.

Friday night football came back in full force. Fans screaming, the smell of concession stands, it was clear that Waverly Central football was back in full force.

“For a time we weren’t sure when and if we were going to get to play, the field has not been down more than six weeks so it takes a long time. There was a little air of uncertainty so the fact that we are getting play, it’s really special,” said Graves.

Each player lined up on both sides of the stands and was given a standing ovation, as they walked down to the field. They walked through a crowd of support.

“Let’s back sure we turn around and look at this stadium, that’s something their always going to remember, just look at the amount of support that’s here for you. This is why you work as hard as you do,” explained Boldin.

It may just be a game to some, but for this community, it’s more than that.

“Playing with my boys and getting to cherish those moments and memories. You’ll never forget them ever. There’s nothing like Friday night lights,” said Edwards.

⏩ Read today’s top stories on wkrn.com

Seniors like Edwards, who missed out on having home games, got the chance to put on their jersey one more time, standing in front of the crowd. Edwards said it was a moment he will never forget.