Seahawks host football team from high school left traumatized by shooting (video)
Players on the football team from Marysville-Pilchuck High, the Washington school that was the site of deadly shooting last week, were welcomed by the Seattle Seahawks at the team’s practice facility on Wednesday.
Head coach Pete Carroll, cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Earl Thomas and wide receiver Doug Baldwin were among those who greeted and spent time with the high school students. The players also practiced for about two hours during the visit.
Less than a week after Jaylen Fryberg entered the school’s cafeteria last Friday and began shooting, killing two students and wounding three others before killing himself, the players were allowed a brief respite as the deal with the trauma of having their high school be the site of yet another shooting.
Carroll pointed out that the visit was as powerful for the Seahawks as it was meaningful for the high school football players.
“As always is the case, both sides receive a lot out of that kind of an exchange,” Carroll said, via KING-5 TV. “Our guys were really moved by their energy and enthusiasm. They have a lot responsibility on them in that they’re kind of carrying the spirit for their area and they’re kind of a rallying point, I think.”
The coach was moved by the response of the players, despite all they have been through in the past several days.
“It was an amazing experience to feel their gratitude. They were most grateful for the opportunity to be here,” Carroll said on Wednesday, per an AP report. “Obviously, the Seahawks are a big deal to them. To see them react to Richard Sherman coming out and Earl Thomas and all the guys, and Bobby Wagner, greet them and shaking hands and taking pictures and having fun with them. It was tremendous. As always is the case, both sides receive a lot out of that kind of exchange.”
Sherman pointed out afterward that it was gratifying to see that the players were able to forget about things, even if only for a few hours. And it showed.
“They were kind of shocked to see us I guess a little bit,” he said. “They seemed like some excited kids. They seemed like for a moment in time they forgot about everything that happened and everything that was going on and were able to enjoy the moment and take pictures and smile and laugh and have a good time.”
Carroll made sure to take time to praise the actions of another high school, while obviously not as severely affected by the shooting, nevertheless was caught in the aftermath and repercussions such a tragic event can have upon a community.
Marysville-Pilchuck was scheduled to play Oak Harbor High last Friday, the day of the shooting, in a game that would determine the division championship. Instead of rescheduling, Oak Harbor volunteered to forfeit the game.
Carroll referred to the generosity exhibited by Oak Harbor as “extraordinary.”
“We wish that we could do something to ease the pain of all the people that have been troubled,” Carroll added, per a KOMO News report.
Regarding the generous and selfless act, Carroll spoke about how “the power of sport and how it is such a unifying element in our culture. And you can just see it in this local community. I know that they’ll be a big factor in how everybody comes back to the normal life.”
The Seahawks intend to host the Oak Harbor High football team sometime next week.
(images credit: Marysville School District/KOMO)