The final night of the regular season had to be emotionally draining for the Alice Coyotes.

With so much on the line for the football program and the state playoffs so close, yet a whole win away, it’s a lot to take in for a team of 16, 17 and 18 year olds.

However, nothing compares to the tragic week that Floresville — Alice’s first-round playoff opponent — had leading up to its season finale against Southside High Schoo Friday night.

As the nearest city to Sutherland Springs, the Floresville community endured the unspeakable shock, the trauma and the mourning of the horrible mass shooting at Sutherland Springs Baptist Church.

The small town of Sutherland Springs is some 13 miles west of Floresville. Still, the two communities are as intertwined as any two neighboring communities in Texas can be.

The good people from Floresville lost family and friends in what was the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history. In all, 26 people were killed and 20 were wounded in the attack.

According to published reports, one of those killed was Tara McNulty, the mother of Floresville sophomore track athlete and cross country runner Hailey McNulty. Hailey and her brother James were wounded in the shooting. Two Floresville students also died in the shooting.

On Wednesday, the two communities filled the Floresville football stadium for a prayer vigil led by Vice President Mike Pence, and on Friday Floresville Tigers returned to the stadium for the game against Southside in a contest that amounted to the 29-5A district championship. Southside prevailed in the end, 36-28, and both teams wore their white jerseys as a tribute to those lost in the Sutherland Springs shooting.

Alice and Floresville are playing in the bi-district round of the state playoffs at 8 p.m. Friday.