UVALDE – It’s been just over three months since the unspeakable tragedy at Robb Elementary School that claimed the lives of 19 students and two teachers and sent shockwaves through the Uvalde community.
The start of the new school year is just days away and Uvalde High School’s first home game of the season is set for 7 p.m. on Friday, against Winn of Eagle Pass.
The game will take place at Honey Bowl Stadium, which is just over two miles away from Robb Elementary.
Though fear and grief remain, Uvalde players, coaches and families were greeted by an unexpected gift during a pre-game dinner Thursday night.
According to Good Morning America, the Houston Texans coach Lovie Smith and linebackers Christian Kirksey and Kamu Grugier-Hill made an appearance, and they weren’t empty-handed.
The Texans brought gifts of new uniforms and new equipment for Uvalde HS, according to GMA. The team will also wear “Uvalde Strong” stickers on their helmets during their first match on Sept. 11.
Our season-opener decal 💪— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 2, 2022
We stand with Uvalde. pic.twitter.com/UG8i3kz5je
Kirksey said in an interview with ABC News that the Texans hope to inspire the team and help them in any way they can ahead of the school year.
“Whenever you have the opportunity to be of help, to be of inspiration, or just to be a person that can get, you know, things of these young men’s minds. You can talk ball with, or talk life with, you just want to be there,” Texans linebacker Christian Kirksey told ABC. “I think that we have a job not just playing football, but to be role models and to be a helping hand.”
The Texans are also holding a football clinic Friday for the Uvalde community, ahead of the game.
According to GMA, the Texans’ visit was made possible by the team’s athletic trainer, Roland Ramirez, who is from Uvalde.
He told ABC News that the Robb Elementary tragedy has impacted him as well.
“It’s been tough. Some really close friends have lost loved ones ... so it hits home for me,” he said.
An hour before game time, the Texans announced they would provide transportation and a suite for Uvalde football players at its home opener against the Colts.
The @HoustonTexans just announced they will provide transportation and a suite for the Uvalde football team for their home opener against the Colts. The Texans have stepped up for the community and are here tonight. @ksatnews #KSATsports pic.twitter.com/24Loal4snx— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) September 2, 2022
KSAT 12 will be livestreaming Friday’s match at 7 p.m.. You can watch the game live here.