The Seattle Seahawks hosted the Marysville-Pilchuck High School football team Tuesday, welcoming the players to their facility just days after a tragic school shooting left three people dead.
Marysville-Pilchuck players and coaches arrived at the Seahawks' practice facility in Renton, Washington, as they try to prepare for their playoff game Friday.
A student recently crowned freshman class homecoming prince walked into the Marysville-Pilchuck cafeteria last Friday and opened fire, killing two students and shooting several others in the head before turning the gun on himself, officials and witnesses said. Three others remain hospitalized.
According to the Seattle Times, the Marysville-Pilchuck football team walked through the locker room at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center and spent time with Seahawks players and coach Pete Carroll.
"Our kids are having fun right now," Marysville-Pilchuck coach Brandon Carson told the Times. "They have lots of smiles on their faces, which makes me happy.
"We're doing the best that we can. We're just trying to get the focus on football for two hours. It doesn't make things go away, but it gives them something productive and positive to do."
Marysville-Pilchuck will play Meadowdale in the Wesco playoffs Friday night.
"It's the most challenging occurrence there that rocks everybody," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters Tuesday. "We all feel it in the state, and I'm sure that everyone feels it around the country. ... so our hearts just opened immediately to try and help in any way that we can."
The Seahawks, who host the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, have also extended an invitation to Oak Harbor High School to practice at the facility. Oak Harbor decided to forfeit last week's game, which allowed Marysville-Pilchuck to finish ahead of it and win the Wesco North Division title.
Oak Harbor faces Mountlake Terrace in a playoff game Friday.
"When they're faced with an opportunity by a playoff situation and the other school decides to forfeit the game -- what an extraordinary gesture," Carroll told reporters. "I think it's a gesture in every direction and understanding the compassion that it's good to be recognized. We hope that we can do everything that we can in our fan support.
"You feel so helpless, but we wish that we could do something to ease the pain of all the people that have been troubled."