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The Uvalde High School Coyotes are going to have a new look this season thanks to their hometown NFL team.
The Houston Texans donated new uniforms and equipment to Uvalde High School Friday morning.
Head coach Lovie Smith and linebackers Christian Kirksey and Kamu Grugier-Hill surprised the team with the gifts at a pregame dinner Thursday night before the Coyotes’ home opener.
It will be their first home game since a gunman killed 21 people — 19 of them students — at Robb Elementary School May 24, about 2 ½ miles from the high school.
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Roland Ramirez, a Texans athletic trainer, is a native of Uvalde and urged the Texans to visit the Coyotes.
“It’s been tough. Some really close friends have lost loves ones … so it hits home for me,” Ramirez said, via Yahoo! Sports.
“Whenever you have the opportunity to be of help, to be of inspiration or just to be a person that can get, you know, things of these young men’s minds — you can talk ball with, or talk life with — you just want to be there,” Kirksey told ABC News. “I think that we have a job not just playing football but to be role models and to be a helping hand.”
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Senior linebacker Justyn Rendon, whose brother was at the school during the shooting, was given the No. 21 in recognition of the number of lives lost. The team unanimously decided to give the number to a senior who “embodies the humble and hardworking spirit of the team and the community” rather than retire it.
The Texans also will be wearing “Uvalde Strong” decals on their helmets in their season opener Sept. 11. Uvalde takes on Winn High School Friday.
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Uvalde won its first game last week, 21-13.