The Newtown (Conn.) high school football team is doing everything it can to help its community heal from the tragedy that claimed 26 lives in last year's Sandy Hook Elementary shootings.
With a 42-7 rout of its rival Masuk High this past Tuesday, Newtown finished its regular season a perfect 12-0, securing the top seed in the upcoming class LL state tournament in Connecticut.
Despite persistent rain throughout the whole game, senior running back Cooper Gold powered his way to 256 yards and five touchdowns on just 24 carries to help ensure the unblemished regular season.
The team has dedicated its campaign to the victims of the horrific shootings on Dec. 14, 2012, and has worn a logo on their helmets adorned with the number 26.
While the team is still a long way from the state finals – they haven't won a title since 1992 – the tentative date for the championship game is Dec. 13 or 14th, the one-year anniversary of the fatal shootings.
“Our players our hungry to win a state championship to give everyone in town a great Christmas present and something to feel happy about a year after such a horrible tragedy,” Newtown coach Steve George said to Reuters.
Added QB Andrew Tarantino: “Obviously, what our team and community went through this past year was really tough. We just want to put a smile on everyone's face by bringing home a state championship.”