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How HS football is helping Rockport, Fulton heal after Harvey

‘Football builds character but this storm has built some character'

ROCKPORT, Texas – Nighttime may hide the damage left behind Hurricane Harvey but the game of football is allowing the Rockport and Fulton communities to exhale from their hardship and come together in one place, for just a night. 

“The hurricane has hit us hard (and) we’ve got kids who aren’t living at home, we’ve got kids split from families and it’s so nice to be able to forget it for three hours on a Friday night and just be normal again,” Rhonda Mieth, vice principal at Rockport-Fulton High School, said.

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After starting the season 0-2, the Rockport-Fulton Pirates won their first game this past Friday, Sept. 22, against their rival, the Ingleside Mustangs, a town also heavily affected by Harvey.

“It was a good win, they (Ingleside) are a neighbor to us and we play them every year in a kind of rivalry between the two schools,” Jay Siebert, head football coach, said. 

“I felt like our boys were playing with some pressure, some outside pressure, and they’re not just playing for their team but they’re playing for the town a little bit,” Siebert said.

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The Pirates defeated the Mustangs 29-0, and for high school senior Luke Michael, the first win wasn’t just a symbol of resiliency for his fellow teammates but also for the community.

 

“Being devastated through all of this, it’s not just for us (and) we’re not just winning for us. We’re here to represent our community and really show the world that no matter what happens in life, we’re always going to bounce back and we’re always going to come back stronger,” Michael said. 

Days after the deadly hurricane ripped through Rockport, Siebert said his boys showed their true character when they helped families besides their own by helping clean up the damage left by Harvey.

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“For a while there we didn’t practice, we just cleaned,” Siebert said. “I teared up several times because the boys will show up and work and some of them were out there working and helping other people in their houses.”

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“They work all morning at their house and then go and help out other people. Football builds character but this storm has built some (good) character in our boys too,” Siebert said.

The Rockport-Fulton Pirates look to grab their second win of the season against the Hidalgo Pirates Friday, Sept. 29, in Hidalgo at 7:30 p.m.

agarcia@ksat.com

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