HOUSTON -- The C.E. King High School football team lost nearly everything when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston a year ago. Now, thanks to the Texans, the team will have a new field to play on this season.
On Monday, the Texans announced that they are donating the turf they played on at NRG Stadium last season to the high school, whose field was flooded and destroyed by Harvey. The team, which had to be bused to a local elementary school for classes last year, lost most of its football equipment in the flood.
"It means a lot to me to play on a field the Texans played on," senior linebacker Rodrick Crumedy said. "I've never even stepped on an NFL field, so stepping on one every day will mean a lot to me."
Several members of the team got to watch Monday's training camp practice from the sideline and meet Texans players on the field after the practice.
"Any time we can reach out to the high schools and help them out in the ways that we do -- we do a great job headed by [Texans president] Jamey Rootes and his crew," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "They do a great job with community relations and I think the high school football is a big part of that."
Tyrann Mathieu, J.J. Watt, Benardrick McKinney and many others greeted the high school players after practice, taking time to talk to them, sign autographs and pose for pictures. As he signed a mini Texans helmet, cornerback Johnathan Joseph talked to the players about football, asking what position they play, when practice starts and the outlook for the team this season.
C.E. King football coach Derek Fitzhenry talked about how cool it will be for his players and players on visiting teams to play on the field where Watt once stood, where Deshaun Watson threw passes and where the SWAC championship game was held.
"These guys really have come through [the hurricane] really well," Fitzhenry said. "A lot of that stuff is behind us now, and we're excited for this year.
"Maybe that field's got a little magic in it."