Texans invite Santa Fe HS football team to visit practice

Santa Fe High School's football team got the chance to visit the Houston Texans at practice Tuesday.

It was a big day for a high school football team that has been through one of the worst of tragedies.

Santa Fe football players met Texans players on their practice field, getting autographed footballs and chatting about life.

"We're cracking jokes and stuff," said Nathan Kruger, a quarterback for Santa Fe who will be a senior this fall. "We're just big little kids, you know. They're really cool dudes. I'm sure we could be friends with them if we hung out."

The professional players enjoyed a few jokes with the kids, even talking about their favorite video games.

"They was kind of getting on me about Fortnite a little bit," said Johnathan Joseph, cornerback for the Texans. "That's what the conversation was going on about mostly--Fortnite."

"You see a lot of them smiling," said Justin Reid, safety for the Texans. "Signing the balls, we hold a short conversation with them. You can really feel that these kids are also strong. It's awesome being able to interact with them."

"For this to happen, it helps us feel better for ourselves that everyone else is here for us," said Landon Thompson, a Santa Fe High School football player.

For the Santa Fe players, the memories of the mass shooting less than a month ago are still fresh. Two of their teammates were among those killed by a shooter who was also their teammate.

"He was on the football team," said Kruger. "We would have never guessed he'd do something like this. He was a brother. He was a teammate."

Texans head coach Bill O'Brien announced Tuesday the Texans are donating $100,000 to the Santa Fe Strong Memorial Fund.

"It's just such an outpouring of love," said Richard Davis, defensive line coach for the Santa Fe High School football team. "There's so many good people. It helps. It's been great for the kids."

Coach Davis says it was the Texans who reached out to Santa Fe High School's football team and arranged the meeting--a chance for the kids to get their minds off the tragedy and talk sports.

"Being out here on the grass and watching these guys run around--not only did it get them back to football, but it gave them a chance to be kids and to be football fans and to leave those worries at the gate," said Davis. "And we'll pick them up. We've still got a lot of healing and a lot of growing to do."

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