John Kuempel flips coin pregame/ Courtesy Ozzy Jaime,TXHSFB
Photo: Ozzy Jaime/TexasHSFootball

FLORESVILLE, Texas —Tonight’ss game between the Floresville Tigers and Southside Cardinals was almost a second thought this week.

Almost.

The well-documented tragedy in Sutherland Springs from last weekend has impacted many in the area. You can see it by just looking in the stands at all the white worn by the fans in honor of the victims. The Tigers are also wearing white, usually their away uniform, in honor of the victims. In town, is District 44 Representative John Kuempel.

John Kuempel flips coin pregame/ Courtesy Ozzy Jaime,TXHSFB
District 44 Representative John Kuempel flips coin pregame. Ozzy Jaime/TexasHSFootball

Kuempel isn’t here because of the tragedy, as his appearance at this game was scheduled before. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t on his mind. He knows the fans here are still thinking of it and mourning their losses. But he also knows how strong the community is.

“Unbelievably strong, I’m proud to be able to represent them, proud to be a part of it and I’ve never seen a community come together like they have,
” Kuempel said. “To pull together, to pick everybody up that were affected by the horrible tragedy.”

Emotions are definitely running high here in Floresville. That much was noticeable walking up and down the stands prior to kickoff. But for the most part, the crowd is cheering as much as ever with the Tigers up 28-13 at half. Kuempel said to have this game now is important in helping the healing process.

“After the horrible tragedy in Sutherland Springs and the surrounding communities, it’s a step toward normalcy, a step towards healing, bringing the community together,” Kuempel said. “What better way to do it than through Texas high school football? It’s a huge way of life out here.”

There was a prayer before the game for all those mourning losses of friends, co-workers and family members.

Gerald Tracy is an assistant editor of Texas football for TexasHSFootball, covering prep football in the San Antonio region. Follow him on Twitter, @GTracySports, and read more of his content here.

 

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