MIAMI (Reuters) – Football players from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the scene of a horrific mass shooting that left 17 dead, acted as stand-ins for the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs during dress rehearsals for Sunday’s Super Bowl.
About 60 players, coaches and team personnel from the Parkland school, located about 50 miles (80 kilometres) north of Miami, took part in the dry run at Hard Rock Stadium on Friday reported NBC6News, helping television crews set up camera angles.
The players did everything from running out of the tunnels as the Chiefs and Niners will do on Sunday to a pre-game coin toss.
“The Dolphins reached out and asked if we would be interested and obviously I’m not going to turn that down,” Stoneman Douglas coach Quentin Short told NBC6News. “Its a great thing for these kids to be able to experience.”
While the moment created some new memories for the Eagles they carried some far less happy ones with them onto the field.
Among those killed by a young gunman during the Feb. 14, 2018, Valentine’s Day shooting were assistant football coach Aaron Feis and athletic director Chris Hixon.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Miami, Editing by Andrea Ricci)