Somber moments of camaraderie and unity gave way to energized spirit in Santa Fe. The green and gold are back.
"This is a new normal for all of us. It's a learning curve for everybody," said Lesley Darnell, a Santa Fe High School parent. "Parents, students, staff, everybody. It's a learning curve and we're going with the flow."
Friday night's Santa Fe-Dobie High School matchup is the first time the Indians football team hit the field in competition since the school shooting tragedy last May.
While the game certainly counts in the record books, it also provides a chance of normalcy and healing, with the memory of the fallen still fresh on people's minds.
Even Santa Fe's opponent is showing support.
"It's bittersweet. We're super excited for the first game. They've been through so much. I think that's why our kids wanted to be here, to pump them up and start a new year. Hopefully, there is healing taking place," said Dobie High School parent Amy Otwell.
And if that wasn't enough, Santa Fe High School got additional strength from members of the Houston Texans.
Christian Convington and Greg Mancz gave the Indians words of encouragement before the game.
"I'm the speaker and wanted to reach the heart. I want to get in touch with that, and Greg is the hypeman, so it's a one-two punch," said Convington.
"It's incredible to me to think kids this young of an age are able to come and be so strong and do these things, and really, the whole community came together so strongly," said Mancz.
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