Following Shooting, Wash. H.S. Concedes Football Title to Marysville-Pilchuck
This past Friday, the Marysville-Pilchuck (Wash.) High School football team was set to take on Oak Harbor High School for the Wesco 3A North Division championship. But hours before the game a freshman football player at Marysville-Pilchuck, Jaylen Fryberg, opened fire on his classmates in the school's cafeteria, killing one and wounding four others before turning the gun on himself. (One of the four students he injured later died Sunday night; the other three remain hospitalized.)
As a result of the shooting, the Marysville school district cancelled all athletic events. According to The Seattle Times, Oak Harbor then forfeited its game against Marysville-Pilchuck and conceded the division title to the Tomahawks.
Senior cornerback Nicholas Alonso tweeted his praise of Oak Harbor for the classy move:
Big shout out to Oak Harbor for taking 2nd Place in WESCO North. You guys are the real League Champions.— Nicholas Alonso (@nnniiico) October 25, 2014
Oak Harbor's display of good sportsmanship didn't end there, however. Members of the Oak Harbor squad showed up at a team meeting for Marysville-Pilchuck on Friday evening—when the two squads were supposed to be clashing on the field—to show their support for the Maryville-Pilchuck players.
Members of Oak Harbor Football team just showed up at Marysville SD, where MPHS team has gathered. Both schools were supposed to play 2nite— John Langeler (@JLangelerKING5) October 25, 2014
Oak Harbor takes team pic w/ Marysville Pilchuck HS football squad. Rivals no more pic.twitter.com/GyTsdCgk0r— John Langeler (@JLangelerKING5) October 25, 2014
"That's the most amazing thing I've seen," Marysville-Pilchuck coach Brandon Carson told The Herald of Everett, Washington. "That just shows you what kind of people they are. Those guys have showed it tonight just by coming here and coming to the vigil and visiting us at our team meeting. I can't put into words what it means for not only high school athletics, but for our team to get through this grieving process."
Oak Harbor head coach Jay Turner, a 1990 graduate of Marysville-Pilchuck, said the decision was a no-brainer.
"It's not just because it's Marysville. It's the right thing to do," Turner told the paper. "We had a meeting with our kids after school and then I talked with my coaches and we were all in 100 percent agreement that it was the right thing to do."
Marysville-Pilchuck is set to take on Meadowdale in the Wesco 3A championship this Friday at 8 p.m. PT, according to the Herald. However, as Marysville Superintendent Becky Berg told The Seattle Times, Oak Harbor's actions over the past few days transcend football.
"It's not all about football, but it's about habits of the heart," Berg said. "What our kids learned went far beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic, and this will be a great lesson."
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