FLORESVILLE, Texas - South Texas towns came alive during Friday night lights. After an emotionally draining week, the Floresville community got a chance to forget their sorrows if only for the duration of a football game.
It was senior night, the last game of the regular season and a division championship game for Floresville High School against Southside High School. But even under the lights of the stadium and the cheers from the crowd, there was a moment set to pause and show respect for the 26 lost in the Sutherland Springs shooting.
Joseph and Stephanie Flores had white shirts made to show their solidarity with their neighbors. Sutherland Springs is only 13 miles away.
“The feeling is sadness. Because it’s a close-knit community, some of the people that have passed, I went to school with,” Joseph Flores said.
He said the town is still in shock, but the game allowed them to take an emotional break from their sorrow.
“Just go day by day and be positive. Remember the people, keep them in our thoughts and smile,” Stephanie Flores said.
Two students in the Floresville Independent School District were killed: sisters Emily Garcia and Brook Ward. Three other students were injured.
At the start of the game, the crowd paused to salute the lives lost.
Senior Esperanza Martinez said the mood was solemn among students during the school week. This was the first time they got a chance to smile and get a sense of normalcy.
But even through the celebration, Sutherland Springs shined in the stands and on the field.
“I’m pretty sure the boys are playing their heart out for Sutherland Springs tonight,” Martinez said.
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