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Mattress, bathtub help hurler survive terrifying tornado

Nathan Kennedy thought he and his roommate were done for.

“It was like 10 freight trains bearing down on you. It was the scariest sound I’d ever heard in my life. Metal and wood were just flying everywhere. I was thinking we were about to get sucked up into it. Yeah, I thought it was over. I thought we were probably going to die,” Kennedy told USA Today.

The Guelph native, a pitcher for the Alabama Crimson Tide, has lived to tell a harrowing tale after a tornado ripped through his neighbourhood in Alabama late last month.

Kennedy and his roommate Josh Rosecrans – a teammate and fellow pitcher – survived the tragic twister by climbing into their bathtub with a mattress.

When the tornado started to hit – Kennedy told USA Today he heard sirens and saw transformers blowing up in the distance – Rosescrans, who grew up in tornado country in Edmond, Okla., called his dad. Pa suggested they get a mattress and get in the tub.

“That’s what saved our lives,” Rosecrans told the paper.

“I was just holding onto the mattress and laying on my back with Nate right on me. It was like doing pull-ups – a bunch of them. It was a struggle, but I held on. I just think my adrenaline kicked in. I remember thinking, ‘Man, I guess this is my time to go.’ I was at peace with it. Mainly, I was trying to keep Nate calm,” he said.

“We heard this huge ripping sound and Josh said: ‘There goes the roof,’” Kennedy told the Toronto Sun.

When silence finally arrived, the duo heard screaming from behind the house. A neighbour was caught under the metal and wood and other rubble. They dug him out and got him to the hospital.

“It was such chaos. People running around everywhere,” Rosecrans told USA Today.

While the entire Crimson Tide team survived the ordeal, the tornado killed hundreds.

Kennedy is a former Guelph Silvercreeks pitcher who spent a couple of seasons with the Grayson County College Vikings in Texas before hooking up with the Alabama.

• • •

The GCVI Green Gaels senior boys rugby team has struggled to attract enough players to field a team this season. The team is forfeiting its games, giving the opposition a 20-0 win each time out.

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Guelph youth wrestler Jackson Taylor was second, Ronnie Preston third and Simon Chaves fifth in their categories at the Canada East National Wrestling Festival.

The event took place on the weekend in Renfrew, Ont.

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