High school football is one of those special things in these here parts. For many years now those Friday night lights have been shining brightly in Rutherford county. The Smyrna community enjoyed a memorable evening of pigskin play on August 19 as the 2022 season kicked off.
A new chapter was opened at the oldest high school in the county with the christening of SRM Field at Smyrna high school. Natural grass had always been under the feet of gridiron gladiators like Walter Jordan, Donnie Holland, O.J. Smith, and Sonny Gray. But the 21st century has brought big technology and turf fields have become the newest sensation. Thanks to the generosity of the folks at Smyrna Ready Mix, the purple and gold-clad Bulldogs began roaming on a state-of-the-art surface this past Friday.
As the evening unfolded, Picasso couldn’t have painted a prettier picture for the Bulldogs. With city rival Stewart’s Creek lining up opposite Smyrna, the stage was set and an overflow crowd was there to take it all in. Former standout athletes and community leaders were present to pay homage and say thanks to the Hollingshead family for their dedication to Smyrna high school.
“What a special night it was at Robert L. Raikes Stadium”, says Smyrna principal Dr. Sherri Southerland. “Being able to dedicate the new SRM Field and celebrating with the community what it means to be a Bulldog made for a great evening. Seeing all these people come out and honor the Hollingshead family for their wonderful generosity was really heart-warming”.
For those scoring at home, there also was a football game played on this magnificence made by Warner’s Athletic Construction. In a backyard series dominated by the Bulldogs, Smyrna was still Smyrna and another notch was put in the collar. The 35-14 win featured a powerful rushing attack that produced 252 yards and four touchdowns. Capitalizing on a slew of Stewart’s Creek mistakes, the Dogs had this one on ice early in the third quarter.
“I think we ran the ball well at times and were very opportunistic on special teams”, says Smyrna head coach Matt Williams. “The atmosphere was one of the best we’ve had at the stadium in a long time. This was a great night for the town of Smyrna and it was fantastic to see the Hollingshead family be honored for their many contributions to Smyrna high school.”
The next home game for Smyrna will be Friday, September 2 against Hillsboro. The kickoff at SRM Field will be at 7 pm.