WEST, Texas (AP) -

The West Trojans have kicked off their first season of football since a local fertilizer plant exploded, killing 15 people and transformed the lives of everyone in the small Texas community.

Thursday night's season opener is being played on a field that served as a triage station following the April 17 blast that leveled or damaged buildings for blocks around, including the high school.
The game against the Little River-Academy Bumblebees marks a small but significant victory in West's efforts to return a sense of normalcy following months of struggle and uncertainty.
English teacher Chelsey Lauer said before the game that everyone was excited to "do normal things like go to football games.