HS football teams compete amid mourning for Astroworld Fest victims

Brooke Taylor Image
Sunday, November 14, 2021
Schools who lost students to Astroworld Fest compete in football game
Sporting pink and green ribbons on the back of their helmets, the players from Memorial and Heights were reminded that the game was about much more then winning.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Two high school football teams that lost students in the Astroworld Festival tragedy, went head-to-head Saturday afternoon in a playoff game.

Sporting pink and green ribbons on the back of their helmets was a reminder to the players and the fans that the game was about much more than winning.

Memorial High School freshman John Hilgert, who was just 14-years-old, and 16-year-old Brianna Rodriguez, a junior at Heights High School, were two of the nine people who died as a result of the chaos that unfolded at the event.

RELATED: Family and friends say final goodbye to 16-year-old Astroworld victim

Both of their school football teams played against each other, but those in the crowd knew this game was really about two teams coming together.

"I am glad both sides are supporting Brianna and John," student Celia Johnson said. "It's been a hard week, but I am happy we can come together as rivals and celebrate their lives."

SEE ALSO: Memorial High School freshman John Hilgert among those killed at Astroworld Festival

Their presence was felt throughout the game with a number of tributes, including a moment of silence.

"Every day is a struggle, but you get through it day-by-day," Mark Chavez, a friend of Brianna's, said.

Brianna's close friend, Xavier Neal, plays on the Heights football team.

"It's a special day for everyone to come out here and tribute both schools, as both had a hard loss so it was cool for both schools to do that," he said.

Even though Memorial advanced after winning the game, Saturday's contest was about much more than the score.

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