LOUISVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — To show support for their fellow Kentuckians, the Jackson County High School football team traveled 143 miles to play Shawnee Friday night.
Before the game, Jackson County head football coach, John Hallock, gave an impassioned speech, filmed by WDRB.
"I want you all to love each other and we're going to show the city, we're going to show the state and we're going to show daggone country what unity love and harmony looks like," Hallock said at one point in the speech.
Hallock said it was important to spread a message of love and unity before the game because he wanted to stand in solidarity with Shawnee after another school canceled its match-up with Shawnee, citing concerns over the ongoing protests in the area. Several other schools have also expressed discomfort about playing the team.
"It was really a platform to set an example through 9th and 12th graders to show our country to show who our state really is and to show what humanity really looks like," Hallock said during an interview with LEX18.
Shawnee head coach, Jalen Harrington, said the gesture meant a lot, and he said teams should not feel uncomfortable coming to Louisville to play his team.
"All we can do is move forward and continue to be better," Harrington said to LEX18 when recollecting his message to his players. "You all continue to become better young men, better athletes, better students, and us to become better coaches. And us, just continue to try to spread love, spread positivity and show people that we are not the school, we are not the community that people have stereotyped us to be."
While both coaches acknowledge the score was far less important than what the game meant symbolically, it did come out to 30-20 with Jackson County taking home the win.