FOLLETT, Texas (KFDA) - Normally, the opening Thursday night game during week one of a high school football season is a joyous occasion that means football has officially returned for another year.
This year though, there’s more to the week one matchup of Follett vs Guthrie that is taking place in Hedley.
The Guthrie Jaguars suffered a loss of a classmate and teammate on August 24 as senior Rue McNiel, number 56 for the Jaguars, passed away from a heat stroke. The heat stroke occurred on August 13 during football practice.
His mother, Mary Jane McNiel and the small community of Guthrie are hurting, but they insist on still playing Thursday night’s game to begin the football season.
In response, and to help with the healing process, the Follett and Guthrie football programs will honor Rue by wearing a green number 56 on the helmets and will also display a banner.
In addition, shirts are also being sold that read “Rally for Rue” for $10 per shirt, as all the proceeds from the sale will go towards the medical and funeral expenses for Rue.
There is also a GoFundMe set up to help with said medical and funeral expenses that has raised over $13,000.