April 24, 2018

A Victory in the Face of Tragedy

Gideon Fox ‘19

Every kid grows up wanting to win a championship. What they don’t dream about is winning it a mere 11 days after 17 people were killed in their school.
On February 25, 11 days after 17 lives were tragically cut short, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Eagles hockey team won the Florida State Championship.
Along with the challenge of overcoming the emotions of the recent events, the Eagles faced being ranked as the bottom team entering the state tournament. They lost their first three round robin games, but as the tournament progressed, the team was able to improve. They beat East Lake, the top team in the tournament, in the semifinals with a score of 3-1. In the championship, they defeated Jesuit by a score of 7-4.
With the weight of an entire community on their shoulders, the players played one of the best games of their careers.
“No one was lacking energy in the locker room,” senior Matthew Horowitz said.
In a meaningful coincidence, the number of players on the team matches the number of victims. Every player on the team received medals for their victory. Each player has since donated their medal to the family of a victim.
“This wasn’t for us,” Horowitz noted. “This was for the 17 victims.”
Nationals were held March 22-26 in Minnesota. The Panthers, Florida’s National Hockey League team, hosted the Eagles and flew them out to Minnesota. To show their appreciation of the team’s bravery, the Panthers also showed the team the Stanley Cup.
MSD finished the tournament 1-3. Although they failed to win the National Championship, the Eagles went out in dramatic fashion, earning a 3-2 overtime victory against Lake Central (Indiana).

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