The boys junior varsity soccer game against Perry Meridian had a rough start from the beginning.
Originally the game was supposed to be at 5:30 p.m., but got pushed back to 7:15 so the Varsity team could be guaranteed to finish their game before it got dark. It was also held on the “back-up” soccer field, as the normal field was wet.
The athletes didn’t let any of this affect them though and CG won 1-0. It was the parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents who fell into more misfortune.
At half time during the game, many spectators got up to go to the concession stands and bathrooms. Kimberly Cooley, Karen Cooley, Julia Perry, John Head and Loretta Head stayed on the top row of a set of bleachers when they started to tip and fall.
“[I was] sitting right here,” Karen said, tapping the bleacher. “On the top row. It was just like someone had lifted your body up and you were going back all of a sudden. I felt [the bleacher] come up and I thought ‘we’re going over.’”
Luckily, they did not “go over,” as Karen’s husband, and boys varsity soccer team member Jacob Cooley’s grandfather, Rick Cooley had just gotten up and was standing behind them.
“If [Rick] hadn’t have been back there, we would’ve gone over,” Kimberly said. “Our heads and back would’ve gone to the pavement.”
The whole event happened fast. Most of those on the bleachers hadn’t even processed what was happening until after Rick stopped the descent. At that point they all moved to the middle row.
“You know what, I didn’t even think,” Karen said. “[It was] just like you’re here one minute, and you know it just started…I didn’t even have time to think about it. Because normally, [with] bleachers, you don’t have to worry about stuff like that.”
The other spectators at the event did not realize what was happening until even after those on the bleachers did. Not much noise was made before the people sitting on top realized the danger they were in.
“I heard the water bottle fall off the back, and I heard the metal and the ground, and that was all I heard,” Lauren Cooley, who was not on the bleachers at the time, said.
No one was hurt and everyone was able to walk home, celebrating the soccer game victory but not forgetting the half time experience.
“It was scary, I mean, we were going down,” Kimberly said.