They gave their grieving competitors two gifts: victory, and friendship.
After a shooter opened fire in Seattle-area Marysville Pilchuck High School on Friday, a rival school's football team made a simple offer that reflected sportsmanship and basic human decency: They'd give Marysville a win.
The Oak Harbor Wildcats had been scheduled to play against Marysville Friday night in a playoff game, but ESPN reported that just hours after the shooting rocked Marysville, Oak Harbor came forward offering to forfeit the game and take 2nd place in the league.
Nicholas Alonso, a senior cornerback at Marysville Pilchuck, was among those who thanked Oak Harbor for the gesture.
Big shout out to Oak Harbor for taking 2nd Place in WESCO North. You guys are the real League Champions.— Nicholas Alonso (@nnniiico) October 25, 2014
But Oak Harbor didn't merely give up the league title — the team trekked to Marysville Pilchuck to support their fellow sportsmen.
KING-TV reported that the Oak Harbor team, despite forfeiting the game, still made the drive to Marysville Pilchuck to express solidarity with their fellow football players.
Instead of battling on the field, the two teams bonded off of it.
Jaylen Fryberg, the deceased student believed to be the Friday shooter, was a freshman member of the football team, KING reported, making the tragedy — and Oak Harbor's forfeiture — particularly poignant for the Marysville Pilchuck football team.
This story has been updated.
Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter