“God willing, we will play our first home game here on this field this season.”
Ed Thomas stepped out in faith with this stunning prediction in the somber day after a massive F-5 tornado devastated his hometown of Parkersburg, Iowa. 34 seconds is all it took; the tornado sent Parkersburg reeling with the deaths of eight people and the destruction of 250 homes and businesses. They needed something to hope for, and their beloved high school football coach offered just that. One hundred days later, the home team scored a victory on the field they called ‘The Sacred Acre.’ However, just as the town was beginning to rebuild, another unbelievable tragedy struck. Ed Thomas was gunned down by a former student as he was coaching a group of athletes. What happened next, in this incredible true story provides a lesson in grace and forgiveness that the people of Parkersburg and the entire nation won’t soon forget.