Residents share decades of memories as Claxton community football program closes

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CLAXTON, Tenn. (WATE) — A longtime tradition is ending in Anderson County as a community football program announced Wednesday that it will end.

The Claxton Community Sports League made a social media post announcing they will no longer have a football program in Claxton.

“All three in our family, my two brothers and I we all played here. My dad coached here. My sister cheerleaded here. We played football here on Sunday afternoons,” said Stanley Grubb.

Grubb is not the only one with fond memories.

“I can remember at first we sat in lawn chairs until they could have the bleachers brought in. It was just a way for the community to come together on the weekends,” said Kathy Jenkins Martin.

She says the football field was built by a group of young fathers who pulled their resources together. Joe Burleson was there from the start – in the 1960s.

“I wrote a charter and got it approved by the state of Tennessee, and we got all this soil from the UT football field… This is the field from it,” Burleson said.

All three are sad after hearing news that community football may be no longer.

An Anderson County Schools spokesperson confirmed Claxton Elementary School is building a new elementary school in the area at the site of the football field.

“It’s a shame to see this destroyed,” Burleson said.

“It really saddens me. It’s a way for the community to come together on Saturdays, on the weekends,” Jenkins Martin said.

Even though it may be the end of a football field that holds so many memories, they’re hopeful the sport in the community doesn’t go away forever.

“That they would find somewhere else to have a football program, a park and a program for the children to have something to do,” Jenkins Martin said.

ACS said it anticipates construction to start on the new Claxton Elementary as soon as possible.

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