The Santa Fe High School baseball team held an emotional prayer circle before Saturday’s game in the aftermath of the May 18 shooting at the school.
The Santa Fe Demons took the field at Deer Park High’s Jim Kethan Field for Saturday’s regional playoff against Kingwood Park High, losing in a 7-0 final. However, baseball wasn’t the only thing on the Demons’ minds, according to ESPN.
Signs of the shooting the school suffered were seen throughout the park as the Demons prepared to face their opponents. In the Demon dugout, two long strips of tape in the shape of a cross featuring the initials of all the victims appeared on the wall along with the message “missed but never forgotten.”
A group of Santa Fe players also wore black-sleeved shirts with the number ten emblazoned on the arms memorializing the number killed on Friday. Members of the Kingwood High team even wore t-shirts with “Santa Fe Strong” on them during team warmups.
Some players also wore their eye black in the shape of a cross with the jersey numbers of Trenton Beazley and Rome Shubert, their teammates who were not able to play due to injuries received during the shooting.
Additionally, both teams came out of their opposing dugouts and formed a prayer circle on the field prior to the game. The teams also recognized a moment of silence for the victims.
One player, just grateful to be there, was pitcher Rome Shubert who was shot in the back of the head during the Friday rampage. Shubert was lucky that the bullet passed through the back of his head missing all vital areas and just missing his spinal cord.
“He was this close” to being paralyzed, said the player’s father, Mike Shubert.
Rome Shubert, who has a verbal commitment to the University of Houston to play baseball, said it was all “pretty crazy.”
“I can’t really wrap my mind around it,” Rome said. “It’s pretty crazy. I really don’t know what to think about it. It’s very emotional.
“I just went from Thursday night, pitching a game, to next day, shooter comes in our room and shoots it up, and I get hit in the head. Friends are getting hit. A couple of people in my class passed away. To come out here and have my team be as strong as they were … I’m really proud of them,” he added in shock.
Indeed, the coaches and the school gave students the option to cancel the game. But after a meeting, the students decided to go ahead and play, “To show the community that we’re a lot stronger than what happened,” Shubert said. “This kinda shows that we’re … gonna pick each other up and come out here, play, give the community some hope, some life, everything.”
Santa Fe players and coaches were grateful for all the support they received on Saturday.
“We’re a strong community, and there’s nothing that can faze us,” Shubert added. “Things can bring us down, but we’re always going to come back from it. Nothing’s going to drag us down for the rest of time. We’re definitely going to bounce back from everything and come back stronger than ever.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.