School went on as scheduled this week at Floresville (Texas) High, but there are too many reminders of tragedy for everything to be business as usual, even when Floresville’s football team plays for the district title on Friday.
Floresville is located 15 minutes from the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church, where 26 people were killed and 20 wounded by a gunman during church services Sunday in the deadliest Texas mass shooting ever.
One of those killed was Tara McNulty, the mother of Floresville sophomore track athlete and cross country runner Hailey McNulty. Hailey and her brother James were wounded in the attack. A GoFundMe account set up for funeral and medical expenses for the McNulty family had raised $16,740 by Thursday afternoon.
Several Floresville bus routes were re-routed around the site of the shooting. On Monday, grief counselors were brought into the school.
On Wednesday night, the school, with Vice President Mike Pence in attendance, held a prayer vigil for the victims at Floresville’s football stadium, and on Friday fans from both teams will be asked to wear white when Floresville’s football team plays host to Southside (San Antonio).
“One of our teammate’s girlfriend was affected and her family was devastated as well,” said Floresville running back Salih Williams via text. “We have a saying, called ‘one link strong link’ and if one person is down, we are all down. … Just know we are gonna practice extra hard and take a district championship for our city and for the people that lost their lives.”
While Floresville is the home team, it will wear its white jerseys in honor of the victims, something that Southside coach Ricky Long was happy to allow.
“From a coaching standpoint, obviously, you would like to just focus on the game,” Lock said. “But the human element is involved and it is so close to our backyard. It’s a tragedy and its hard to make this thing look like it has never happened because it affects a lot of people. It puts us in a tough spot. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the people who were affected by this. It has been a different kind of week.”