The Seattle Seahawks hosted the Marysville-Pilchuck High School football team for a practice Tuesday at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, four days after the shootings by a freshman in the school’s cafeteria that killed three students, including the gunman, and wounded three others.
Marysville-Pilchuck was to play Oak Harbor on Friday for the Class 3A Wesco North Division championship. After the game was canceled, Oak Harbor offered to forfeit and give the division title to Marysville-Pilchuck. The move attracted national acclaim for sportsmanship and compassion. Now both teams are preparing for a playoff game this weekend.
Sunday in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Panthers had all of Bank of America Stadium, including all players from both teams, stand for a moment of silence to remember the Marysville-Pilchuck shootings. The gesture was the Panthers’ idea. The team informed the Seahawks on Saturday night it was adding a couple of minutes into the pregame schedule immediately before the national anthem to commemorate the tragedy.
The Seahawks were preparing to practice Friday then fly to North Carolina for the game when the shootings occurred.
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“It’s the most challenging occurrence there that rocks everybody,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “We all feel it in the state and I’m sure that everyone feels it around the country; within minutes it was on CNN, and so everyone in the world knows that something had happened. It’s amazing, another event in the cycle of things that have been happening.
“So our hearts just open immediately to try and help in any way that we can. And when they’re faced with an opportunity by a playoff situation and the other school decides to forfeit the game — what an extraordinary gesture. I think it’s a gesture in every direction and understanding the compassion that it’s good to be recognized. We hope that we can do everything that we can in our fan support. You feel so helpless, but we wish that we could do something to ease the pain of all the people that have been troubled.”