WESTMINSTER - By all accounts it was a normal football game. And by all accounts it was the only way the Legacy High School football team and community knew how to heal.
"What we've been focused on is just keeping everyone's spirits up and getting better day by day," senior Josh Chamberlain said.
Day-by-day has been the way a community has learned to deal with Sunday's bus crash that killed bus driver Kari Chopper, after the bus veered off the roadway at Denver International Airport and crashed into a pillar.
Members of the varsity and junior varsity teams were on board following a trip to California.
Coach Matt Kroupa remains hospitalized. At least 17 others have since been released from the hospital.
"Monday was definitely the hardest of the days, but most of this week has been about uniting the school as a whole," Chamberlain said.
"It's really been incredible to see the way the community's come together and the school's united together to make it an incredible week," fellow senior Clarissa Shelley said. "I think the fact that the football team were the ones who decided to play the game tonight was, to me, the most incredible aspect of that."
A large crowd filled the stands at North Stadium, and the grass, bringing with them compassion and support on homecoming night.
The team ran onto the field breaking through a #LegacyStrong banner, followed by three Denver Broncos: T.J. Ward, Sylvester Williams and Russell Okung.
Before the game, there was a moment of silence to remember Chopper. That was followed by a roaring applause for the rest of the school district's transportation team.
By all accounts it was a normal football game, only that the last thing on the minds of the players, spectators, and coaches were the numbers on the scoreboard.
"I don't think anything is going to break down the unity of the school right now," Shelley said.
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