Nearly seven months after a mass shooting that claimed the lives of 17 students and staff members of the school, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School football team took the field for its first regular-season home game and defeated South Broward High 23-6 on Friday night in Parkland, Florida.
Seventeen people were killed in the Feb. 14 shooting, making it the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history. Among the victims were offensive line coach Aaron Feis and athletic director Chris Hixon. Seventeen others were injured.
The team, which improved to 2-0 with Friday's victory, paid tribute to the victims by painting the No. 17 on its logo at midfield. Players also wore the number on their helmets.
Stoneman Douglas quarterback Ryan Kavanaugh, speaking about the 17 victims, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel, "We know they are here with us."
Coach Willis May said he hoped the team honored the victims with Friday's 17-point win.
"We just want them to be proud," May told the Sun Sentinel. "They're in heaven, and hopefully they're looking down on us and they're happy of the way we try to represent them. We try to make sure they understand we're thinking about them and will always be with them."
May told the Sun Sentinel before the game that the tragedy would stay with the Parkland community "for the rest of our lives."
"We won't ever be over it," he said. "It's never going to be something that we just get over and forget about. It'll be with us for the rest of our lives. We've just got to learn from it and grow from it and hopefully become stronger from it."