Parkland, Florida and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community continues to bounce back from the shooting on February 14th that claimed the lives of 17 people.
Now, the high school’s hockey team has given them something to cheer about, in a time when the last thing on anyone’s minds is something positive. On February 25th, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas hockey team won the Florida state championship; winning not one, but two games in one day to bring the title home to Parkland. First, they upset the state’s top-ranked team, the East Lake Eagles and then Marjory Stoneman Douglas beat the Tigers from Tampa Jesuit, 7-4 to win the title.
The championship was something this community sorely needed as everyone there continues to adapt to the post-shooting world. Students from the high school have become advocates for gun control, appearing on national television to broadcast their opinions on how to stop the wave of violence plaguing the country.
Senior Ronnie Froetschel said to NBC Miami: “We almost didn’t come here because we didn’t know if we wanted to play or not.” Another senior Matthew Horowitz added “We plan to bring all the medals to the school when we go home…There were 17 of us on the ice. We plan to put one medal on every single person that passed away.”
Yes, you read that correctly. 17 players suited up for Marjory Stoneman Douglas and they all played their hearts out because the team knew that it was playing for something much bigger than a hockey championship; they were playing for an entire town.
They may have entered the state tournament as the bottom seed, but they now have a chance to continue on and compete in the country’s high school hockey national championship that begins on March 22nd.