Plano Senior High School and El Paso's Eastwood High School face off in a highly-anticipated football game Thursday night — it comes a month after the mass shooting in El Paso.
The suspected gunman — who is white and a graduate of Plano Senior High — drove 10 hours to El Paso to carry out the Aug. 3 attack. He told police he specifically targeted Mexicans.
The Plano Independent School District initially cancelled the game, citing safety concerns. The district's decision drew criticism from school officials in El Paso. The game was eventually reinstated and moved to The Star in Frisco, the Dallas Cowboy’s indoor practice facility.
"We never want to feel like the terrorist won," said Julio Lopez, the Eastwood High School head football coach. "If we can’t play a high school football game out of fear, I just feel like it was sending the completely wrong message. ... So we’re very happy that it got reinstated."
It’s been a tough week for the team; one of their former players recently drowned. He’d just graduated earlier this year. So on Thursday night, the Eastwood Troopers are playing for El Paso — and in his memory.
We are sadden and in desbilief tonight as we learn of the passing of our former student athlete.
Our thoughts are with his friends & family.
— Eastwood Performance & Athletics Network (@EastwoodSports) September 3, 2019
WFAA-TV will air the game live during prime time, starting at 7 p.m. KVIA-TV in El Paso also plans to broadcast the game.
— Eastwood Performance & Athletics Network (@EastwoodSports) August 29, 2019