Students, staff prepare for Homecoming week despite fatal crash

9NEWS @ 9. 9/12/2016

KUSA - It's Homecoming week at Legacy High School in Broomfield, but what was supposed to be a spirited start to the week has turned out to be a somber day for the students and staff.

Sunday afternoon, the word spread quickly among the teens that a school bus with football players and coaches crashed at Denver International Airport, killing the driver and seriously injuring three coaches.

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The football players, uninjured coaches and parents met Monday afternoon to discuss whether or not to play in Friday's homecoming game. They'll make their decision by Tuesday afternoon if they're physically and emotionally able. While head coach Wayne Vorhees recovers, defensive coordinator Matt Craddock will step in as interim head coach.

Hours after the tragedy, classes resumed though not as usual.

"I just started crying a little bit in my Spanish class because it’s really, as a school, it’s a really hard time,” Blake Maupin said, a Legacy High freshman.

The football team had just returned from California Sunday afternoon. Three school buses were leaving the airport but for some reason, one circled back, went off the road and slammed into a pillar. The bus driver, Kari Chopper died. The three coaches Wayne Voorhees, Matt Kroupa and Kyle Rider have significant injuries.

The students on the bus when it crashed have all gone home from the hospital.

“I know that they can get through it, that they’re going to come out stronger than ever,” Keith Murdock said, a Legacy High senior.

“Mr. Vorhees, I hope you get well soon, sir. We’re all praying for you here,” Dylan Maupin said, a Legacy High freshman.

During Homecoming week, each day has a theme but after the fatal accident, students took it upon themselves to change it.

“It was supposed to be sports day where we wear all of our college gear, but instead we changed it to Legacy just because of what happened," said Reva Basnet, Legacy High freshman.

School shirts and colors were worn proudly. Social media hashtag "Legacy Strong" spread across Colorado and even to California. Chino Hills High School students stood in solidarity with the school and football team they played just days ago.

During school Monday, Legacy cheerleaders handed out small, toy footballs to bring the students even closer together.

“They told us to write a message, an inspiring message and pass it around the school, get all the other kids to write it and hopefully it makes its way back to the football players," Murdock said.

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In a week where school spirit is supposed to bring excitement and fun, that same school spirit will get the students through this tough time.

“Our school, it’s a family," Blake Maupin said.

“It didn’t maybe happen directly to us but seeing other people hurt by it, it hurt me too,” Madison Minaga said, a Legacy High freshman.

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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