WEST (CBSDFW.COM/) —It was more than a high school game football to the people of West, Texas Thursday night.

“This is like a new beginning for us,” said West ISD Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jan Hungate.

Four months after first responders set up a make-shift triage center on the high school’s football field to care for those hurt in the fertilizer plant explosion, the West High School football team ran out into the same stadium for its first varsity football game of the year.

Many in town said they weren’t sure the game would happen.

The school district replaced the damaged turf with new sod just three weeks ago and it wasn’t until hours before kick-off today that the field goal posts went up.

“If you all could have seen this place three weeks ago, it was dirt and now its grass,” said parent Jody Harris. “We worked so hard to get to this point.”

Harris’s son, Jason, is the starting center on the football team. She said he will never forget this game.

Jaycie York, a junior and member of the cheerleading squad, said she won’t either.

“It’s very special. I’m going to look back on this thirty years from now and I’m going to be proud that I moved to the town of West, Texas,” she said.

In a perfect world, the West Trojans would have won Thursday night but that didn’t happen.

West lost to the Little-River Academy Bumblebees 41 to 7.

What did happen, though; some said was even better.

For four quarters, life in West seemed to return to some sense of normalcy.

“I don’t know if we are ever going to go back to normalcy we had,” said Harris. “This is the new normal, and honestly it feels pretty good.”

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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