ADDISON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – St. Mark’s School of Texas was looking forward to a Friday night lights homecoming until Sunday’s tornadoes changed everything.
The campus sustained major damage, but rather than cancel the fall tradition, they accepted an invitation by rival Greenhill School to change the venue.READ MORE: Police: 14 Injured In Shooting In Downtown Austin, 2 Suspects At Large
“We were like, ‘please, let us host it,’ said Greenhill Athletic Director Jarrett Shine. “I think it was a great feeling for us to be able to do that, especially since we were playing each other. It just made sense.”
So St. Mark’s blue and gold lined the Greenhill field with paint and goal post covers, plus a sign welcoming the rival school. All meant to make St. Mark’s feel at home while theirs is uninhabitable.
“This game tonight is incredibly important, and I feel like it’s going to be important for the community as a whole and just our school,” said St. Mark’s Athletic Director Sean Lissemore.
“They really let us treat this game like it’s a home game and treat this field like it’s a home field,” said St. Mark’s senior Jackson Singhal.
It also provided a time to heal after a challenging week.
“It’s really a rallying point,” said St. Mark’s junior Sam Morgan. “Just to get the entire community together to cheer on our football team and kind of continue on as if things are normal even though they’re obviously not.”READ MORE: 5 People, Including 4-Year-Old, Shot Outside Dallas Apartment, Police Say
And a chance to show students at both schools that compassion wins over competition.
“Something like this transcends competitive sports,” said Lissemore. “There’s no question about it that a disaster like this just brings everyone together.”
Greenhill also added St. Mark’s tents by the field to welcome the homecoming crowd.
“I think it’s important,” said Greenhill senior Grant Bulmas. “Even though we are rivals we reach out and help them in any way that we can.”
“I just really appreciate who we have around us and the support in our community,” said St. Mark’s junior Knoble Hunt.
“It’s very kind of them,” adds St. Mark’s freshman Abby Carlisle. “Especially to do all this with the goal posts and the lines, it just makes us feel, makes St. Mark’s feel like normal.”
St. Mark’s is hoping to reopen its doors early next week.MORE NEWS: Dallas County Considering Cash, Other Prizes To Get More People Vaccinated
Brooke Katz contributed to this report.