The final score of last night's football game between Eden Prairie and Minneapolis South doesn't do justice to what the night was really about. The game was about Sha-kym Adams, the 15-year-old South sophomore wide receiver who drowned earlier this month while swimming in Lake Nokomis.
Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune and MNFootballHub.com painted the scene from last night with beautiful words.
"Lenny Sedlock paced a hallway inside Minneapolis South, struggling to contain his emotions. His football team sat on the floor, listening solemnly to every word.
One player lowered his head and closed his eyes. Another stared at the ceiling, tears welling in his eyes.
Twenty minutes until their season opener, their minds flashed to three weeks ago and the pain they’ve endured since tragedy hit their program. Sedlock’s voice grew loud as he recalled how a group of them had jumped courageously into a lake to try and save one of their teammates.
“I’m so proud of you guys,” he said. “I love being your coach.”
Before the game, Sha-kym's parents, Kimberly Adams and Sharrod Rowe, were presented their son's jersey and a letter jacket. Cheerleaders brought them roses.
Eden Prairie, a football juggernaut that won the game 48-6, showed support when more than 40 players joined head coach Mike Grant at Sha-kym's visitation. Grant called it the "most important lesson" his team will learn all season.
Grant wasn't the only coach to show support. The Vikings invited the entire South team to their Winter Park practice facility. In the photo to the right, Adrian Peterson and Cordarrelle Patterson are posing with Sha-kym's family. Gophers coach Jerry Kill and St. Thomas coach Glen Caruso also reached out to South.
One South player said they are "dedicating this season and this game to his family and Sha-kym himself."
2014 prep season begins tonight
While the Gophers are beginning their season and the Vikings are close their preseason, about half of Minnesota's high school football teams will be kicking off the 2014 season tonight.
There are 80 games tonight and 103 more on Friday. See the full scoreboard at Minnesota-Scores.net.
Last week was the first game for 22 schools, 21 of them from Minnesota. They got an early start to the season thanks to "Zero Week," a program designed to help schools fill out a full eight-game schedule, according to WCCO.