Eleven days after Nikolas Cruz killed 17 and injured 14 others on their Parkland campus, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School varsity hockey team pulled off a near-miracle tournament victory to claim the state championship.
Their 7-4 victory over Tampa's Jesuit High School capped off a Sunday that saw them upset top-seeded East Lake High School 3-1 in the semifinals, NBC News reported.
Stoneman Douglas lost to both teams in the round-robin phase of the tournament Saturday. In fact, their three losses in the early stage put them as the lowest-seeded team heading into the elimination games of the Statewide Amateur Hockey of Florida High School State Championship tournament at Germain Arena in Estero.
The win was bittersweet and emotional, Douglas players said.
They dedicated the win to the 17 students and teachers who lost their lives on Valentine's Day. The team received 17 medals, one for each member of the team. They told reporters they plan to bring the medals back to the school and use each medal to honor one of the victims.
"No one was lacking energy in the locker room -- we all came to play, we were all ready," Stoneman Douglas senior Matthew Horowitz said. "This wasn't for us. This was for the 17 victims."
Earlier Sunday, the high school reopened its doors to teenagers and parents from 3 to 6 p.m. as part of an "open house" in order for students to collect belongings hastily left behind on the day of the shooting and to answer questions regarding schedule changes, services and accommodations. Teachers and staff are back Monday, but classes won't begin until Wednesday.
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