PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. - Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students experienced another milestone on Friday night when they hosted a football game against South Broward High School and were able to dedicate their 23-6 victory to their beloved coach and the 16 others killed.
It was the first game of the season and the first since the Valentine's Day massacre left 17 dead -- and they won by 17 points. The players also wrote the No. 17 on their helmets.
It was the team's first homecoming game without assistant coach Aaron Feis, who was among the 17 victims of the shooting.The players didn't have a ceremony to honor his memory at the game, but they did so on the field.
For a moment, there was joy and some sense of normalcy during the game. Families were in the stands cheering. The band was playing, and the nominees for Homecoming King and Queen were introduced.
Jennifer Novik is the mother of two Marjory Stoneman Douglas' Eagles, a freshman and a sophomore. She said for her the event was not about moving on; it was about moving forward.
"It’s always there, and especially for us, we live across the street, so this is where we walk our dog and we spend a lot of time here, so yes, it’s not easy," Novik said. "It’s still hard because you have friends who lost their children, and that never goes away."
Marjory Stoneman Douglas will be crowning their Homecoming King and Queen this weekend.
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