Schools Turn Rivalry Game Into Show Of Support For Grantsville

Jan 29, 2020, 10:26 PM | Updated: 10:26 pm

TOOELE, Utah – Game night at Tooele High School had all the usual sights and sounds that accompany a basketball game against Stansbury High. But Wednesday’s contest also had something you don’t typically see during a rivalry matchup: Unity.

“There’s actually way more people here than there usually is,” said Crew Taylor, a student body officer (SBO) at Stansbury High School. “Tonight, the atmosphere is a little bit different.”

Ahead of the big game, Taylor says Tooele High School’s student government approached them with an idea.

“[They} said, ‘we should do a red out’,” Taylor remembers. “And we were all for it.”

If you don’t know, red is the color of another high school in the neighboring Grantsville community, which lost four people in the devastating shooting at the Haynie home. Alexis Haynie, who was killed in that shooting, was a student at Grantsville High School.

“It’s really, really hard to see something that tragic happen. So, there’s nothing else we can do but show our support for them,” Taylor said.

Just before the game Taylor and his classmates sat down for a special dinner with the rival student government who came up with the idea.

“With our communities being so close – even though they are rivals – it has been sad and hard for us to see them struggling,” said Emily McKinney, a Tooele High student officer. “I think it shows the unity amongst our schools that even though we’re rivals we can come together for a good cause.”

As the players hit the court, it was clear the two communities had received the message. A sea of red united fans on both sides of the stands. Even the players on both teams were sporting red socks or armbands.

“It was more about our community and coming to support Grantsville as opposed to just coming to beat Tooele,” Taylor said.

This wasn’t the first show of support the two rival schools had shown to Grantsville. In the days following the tragic shooting, Tooele and Stansbury students came together to decorate Grantsville High.

“We just want to show that we care about them and that we’re here for them and we support them while they’re going through this,” McKinney said.

If fans were expecting a typical halftime show at the basketball game, they didn’t get it. At least not initially. But they certainly got a huge show of support for their neighbors with a “Miracle Minute” fundraiser. That’s when McKinney, Taylor and the rest of the officers from both schools walked up and down the court with buckets, collecting donations for the Haynie family.

“We just hope that Grantsville High School and the Grantsville community know that we love them,” McKinney said.

For them, the only things louder than the cheers Wednesday night, was the color red for Grantsville and the small acts of kindness from fans that screamed compassion over competition.

According to Tooele High School, the minute-long fundraiser raised $1,734.30. The school administration added more money from the ticket gate to bring the total to an even $2,000 for the Haynie family.


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Schools Turn Rivalry Game Into Show Of Support For Grantsville