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Santa Fe High School Shooting: How Baseball Helped Heal a Community

30 May, 2018

By: Michael Popke

In the midst of tragedy, they played baseball.

One day after a 17-year-old high school student opened fire at Santa Fe High School on May 18, killing 10 people and wounding at least 13 others in the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, the Santa Fe Indians played the Kingwood Park Panthers in a regional playoff game.

As USA Todayreported, “two baseball players were in the [Santa Fe High School] art room and injured in the event: sophomore pitcher Rome Shubert and sophomore catcher Trenton Beazley. Both were in the dugout with their teammates Saturday night.”

Santa Fe lost the game, 7-0, but that wasn’t the point.

“I said what your decision is, I’m going to go with it,” Santa Fe head baseball coach Ronnie Wulf told the paper. “‘You don’t want to play, I’m good with that.’ They were in there for a little, but they came out and they wanted to play. I think the game helped the kids, the fans; it helped a lot of people. Instead of just sitting and not doing anything.”

Someone else who didn’t just sit and do nothing is Houston Texans’ defensive end J.J. Watt, who announced he would pay for the funerals of the 10 shooting victims. Watt also helped raise $37 million for victims of Hurricane Harvey last year.

Meanwhile, the NBA’s Houston Rockets offered free tickets to seniors at Santa Fe High Schoolfor Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference Finals between the Rockets and Golden State Warriors on May 24. And the World Series Champion Houston Astros wore T-shirts that read “We Play for Santa Fe”during batting practice at their home game against the San Francisco Giants. All proceeds from the nightly 50/50 raffle during the two-game series benefitted the Santa Fe Strong Memorial Fund.

The Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash, the city’s men’s and women’s professional soccer teams, also contributed to the fund by setting up an auction featuring team merchandise.

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