HOUSTON — The Houston Texans will host the Uvalde high school football team and wear “Uvalde Strong” decals on their helmets when they open the season Sept. 11 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Editorial note: The above video is from a previous story.
Members of the team, including head coach Lovie Smith and linebackers Christian Kirksey and Kamu Grugier-Hill, visited Uvalde last Thursday and surprised the team with new uniforms provided by Nike during a team dinner.
“It was just special to see the smiles on their faces because we know this city was impacted drastically," Kirksey said. “Being a leader and not just being a football player but being somebody that can be an extra shoulder to lean on, it definitely warmed something in my heart... (and) we’re just going to be here with the city and let them know that we support them in every way and we’re going to be here for them."
It's all part of the team’s continuing support for the community. The Texans donated $400,000 to the Robb Elementary School memorial fund after 19 children and two teachers were killed in a shooting there in May.
The Texans also announced that they were partnering with H-E-B to pay for the high school football team to travel to the Texans opener and take in the game from a suite.
“You guys will be with us, and we’ll be with you," Grugier-Hill told them while holding the helmet. “Words can’t even describe or help anything you’ve been through, so we can only try to empathize (with) you guys and be there for you guys."
The next day, team owners Cal and Hannah McNair joined members of the organization in town and the team hosted football camps and clinics for hundreds of children before attending Uvalde’s home opener.
The game was tied before Uvalde got an epic 51-yard run with 36 seconds to go then led to a go-ahead, one-handed touchdown catch with 12 seconds left.
The crowd started to roar as Jonathan Jimenez reversed field and took off down the right sideline to set up the game-winning catch on the next play.
You can catch the Texans take on the Colts this Sunday afternoon at 12:00 p.m. right here on KHOU Channel 11.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.