Tragedy turned into triumph


Showcasing just one of the many memorials of the Sandy Hook shooting, this image displays the obvious heartbreak felt all throughout Connecticut. This is much like what took place on December 14, which marked the seven-year anniversary of the shooting, a day that was turned into a celebration when the Newtown High School football team won their state championship game.

Janie Inscore, Sports Editor

  Seven years is a lot of time. In seven years, someone can graduate high school and nearly finish college. In seven years, someone can go from having a boyfriend or girlfriend to being married. In seven years, someone can survive a shooting in a place they know to be safe, join the football team of their new high school, and win a state championship. In the case of the Newtown High School football players, that is exactly what their past seven years have looked like.

  Seven years ago, on December 14, 2012, twenty elementary school-aged children and six educators were fatally shot by an armed gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. This event was unforgettable as it became one of the deadliest mass shootings in the history of the United States. On the seventh anniversary of that fateful day, vigils were held, religious services were put on, and grieving took place all throughout the now-infamous town. This terrible tragedy, however, was turned into triumph as the Newtown High School football team, comprised of family members and friends of those who were lost in the elementary school shooting, won their state championship game. Recovering from a loss, whether it is personal to you or felt on a personal level, is hard to do. That feeling is what burdened the entirety of the Newtown district and surrounding counties for a long time following the Sandy Hook shooting. It is also what brought all of the people of the town out to support this winning team. Though, they did not just win a football state championship. They won in a miraculous and emotional way. 

  It was a foggy night, and much of the field was covered in a thick cloud, making it hard to see. In the final moments of the fourth quarter, the score was tied. With a 36-yard pass from the quarterback to a wide receiver in the end zone, the Newtown team was able to fight against the odds and win 13-7 with just three seconds left on the clock. The crowd, made up of nearly every Newtown resident and many other parts of Connecticut, went wild. The team celebrated by doing victory laps around the field and hugging everyone in sight. They were greeted with an outpouring of support from the fans who wore all green in memory of the Sandy Hook victims and were even asked to make multiple media appearances. One victim was just six years old, and his older brother now lives on and contributed to the big win as a Newtown linebacker, assuredly making it all the more meaningful. When asked about how he felt regarding this tremendous victory, head MHS football coach Clarence Inscore stated, “This story gave me goosebumps knowing what these kids have seen and gone through. Many of them were in the school on the day of the shooting and likely lost friends or family. To be able to turn a day of remembrance into a day of celebration and joy for the town again is beyond special for them to be a part of.” The culmination of their loss, heartache, and passion for football is what got this team so far, and it is truly a great representation of all that can be done with a strong will and reason. As the decade comes to a close, remember that the worst pain imaginable can be turned into euphoria.