TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - On February 14th of this year, 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida lost their lives after a gunman opened fire.
Students and faculty began the new school year Wednesday. On Saturday, Stoneman Douglas will open up the 2018 football season with a Kickoff Classic against Tallahasse's Florida High, another school that knows about tragedy all too well.
"We play everyday for Cam. Still here at practice, that's all we ever talk about is Cam's with us," said senior TJ Rosier of Florida High graduate Cam Brown, who passed away last November.
"He'll always be, for years and years to come, the reason why we play," added fellow senior Jolan Gilley.
Brown's fight captivated people across the country, and in turn, gave the Seminoles something to fight for. On Saturday, that fight will be shared with the Stoneman Douglas fight, in the form of a wristband.
"My mom and my wife spent time doing that" said head coach Jarrod Hickman of the wristbands. "It'll be neat doing that. We never want to forget these things. I'm sure they don't want to forget anybody that they lost, and we never want to forget Cam."
"32's always with us," said Rosier. "They have someone that they play for now too with their students, and I think they also lost their offensive line coach, who was their coach for football. It's very similar:"
"It's going to be emotional for sure," added Gilley. "Considering what they went through and then what we also dealt with, it's nice to have someone we can relate to and also play with."
Sports, football, bringing people from two tragedies together, to play, and to heal.
"We're going to stand together at the National anthem," said coach Hickman. "Both teams are going to stand together which is different, normally one team stands on the other end, so we're all going to be together for the National anthem, and just make sure we represent what's great about sports and what's great about bringing people together."
"We're both schools who have gone through something very tragic," said Rosier. "I think when I get there on Saturday and I have my pads on, I'm going to get on the field and I'm going to realize how big of a moment this is. I just hope I remember it for the rest of my life. It really is a special moment."
A special moment, shared by two schools, two football programs brought together through similar emotions, and now, a wristband.