Actor Matthew McConaughey is taking a moment to recognize his hometown high school football team’s first home victory of the season that brought a community and a nation together just one week ago.
The actor spoke in a tribute Saturday, shared on Twitter by ESPN’s College GameDay.
Uvalde High School defeated Winn of Eagle Pass 34-28 at the Honey Bowl Stadium in Uvalde on Friday, Sept. 2 in front of a packed crowd.
As fans arrived to support the Coyotes, they did it knowing many family and friends were still hurting after the Robb Elementary tragedy.
Before the match began, a moment of silence was held for the lives of the 19 students and two teachers killed in the Robb shooting.
“They bowed their heads for 21 seconds of silence before the game. ‘One Mississippi’ for each of the deceased, their friends, their teachers, their children. The prayer from the living, from all 5,000 souls in Uvalde’s Honey Bowl Stadium,” McConaughey reads.
McConaughey is a Uvalde native, and he visited his hometown just days after the Robb Elementary massacre. He’s also one of many who have pressed for action on gun control laws since the tragedy.
In the tribute, McConaughey spoke of Uvalde HS senior linebacker Justyn Rendon wearing the No. 21 jersey in honor of the Robb victims.
He also recognized the 1972 state champions that were present to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their state championship.
“The responsibility of bringing a town, state and nation together will be remembered just as the 2022 Coyotes will never, ever be forgotten,” he said.
Though the score was tied with just 36 seconds left on the clock, soon the Coyotes would make history with their first home win and the 600th win in program history.
Senior Jonathan Jimenez had pulled off a miracle, racing 54 yards to give the Coyotes another chance. On the next play, Uvalde scored a one-handed touchdown grab, with 12.3 seconds left on the clock.
Uvalde took the 34-28 lead and won the game. Fans roared from the stands and charged onto the field — a moment that won’t soon be forgotten.
“The crowd cheered these young men. Young men who had kept the faith. Young men who claimed a victory that seemed out of reach. Young men who reminded us that even in the most painful and darkest of times, light comes in the morning,” McConaughey said.
You can watch the full tribute from McConaughey below:
“Even in the most painful and darkest of times, light comes in the morning.”@McConaughey stories Uvalde’s dramatic win in its first home football game since the May school shooting that took the lives of 21 people. pic.twitter.com/PM6pIHpTmL
Read more about the unforgettable Uvalde HS game here.