October 29, 2014 • Football

Rival football team forfeits division title in wake of shooting

The Marysville-Pilchuck High School football team was supposed to play for its league championship last Friday, but a deadly school shooting earlier the same day made it impossible.

Football could wait.

But instead of rescheduling the game, conference rival Oak Harbor decided to forfeit the league championship to Marysville-Pilchuck and accept second place.

From the Huffington Post:

“There’s a lot of stuff riding on this game, but there are a lot bigger things than a football game right now,” Jay Turner, Oak Harbor football coach, told The Herald of Everett, Washington. “I can’t imagine what the Marysville community is going through right now. They don’t need to be Daily E-mail promoworried about trying to fit in a game in the days after a tragedy like this. They’ve got much bigger things to worry about right now.”

The gesture was one that resonated with Marysville players: “You guys are the real League Champions,” one athlete on the Marysville team tweeted at the Oak Harbor team after learning of their kind gesture.

The Wildcats then went a step further and showed their support for their rivals by attending a vigil at Marysville High, Yahoo! reported. The Oak Harbor players received a standing ovation for their empathy while at the memorial.

This is an admirable act of sportsmanship. Terrible events like what happened at Marysville-Pilchuck puts things into perspective, and it’s comforting to see that a rival school understood that football isn’t what’s important here. It’s a great example for athletic programs everywhere.

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