UVALDE – The high school football season will soon kickoff and, in Uvalde, jersey number 21 will hold a special significance this year and beyond.
In the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary that killed 19 elementary students and two teachers, the Uvalde football team has decided that instead of retiring the number 21, the coaches select a senior to best represent the football program and the community’s values.
According to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine, the idea of the selection was spearheaded by Uvalde’s head football coach Wade Miller, who said he didn’t want to forget the 21 victims.
Miller called an impromptu meeting where he pitched the idea to his team captains who agreed and then voted on who would wear the inaugural “special” number 21, the magazine reported.
Senior linebacker Justyn Rendon was selected as the first recipient of the special jersey, and will lead the team out onto the field during their first game on Friday, Aug. 26.
“It’s a great honor to be able to represent the 21 lives that were lost on May 24,” Rendon told Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine. “It’s a blessing that I get to go out on Friday nights and represent the lives and my community.”
The jersey number will be passed on to another senior next season.
“Congratulations Justyn you’ve worked your butt off to get this honor!!” Coach Miller said when tweeting the announcement.
Our inaugural number 21. Congratulations Justyn you've worked your butt off to get this honor!!! pic.twitter.com/vlIeDyIQzT— Wade Miller (@FlipDiggy) June 29, 2022