News 9 - September 5, 2023 6:19 am

Choctaw students and families are still shaken up from a shooting over a week ago.

In the midst of the shooting that night, somebody also stole $3,000 in Touchdown Club dollars from the Choctaw concession stand.

Related: Choctaw Shooting: Timeline Of Events

Now, the Choctaw community is working to recover from the shooting and come up with the money the high school football players will need to get through the rest of the season.

“No doubt it’s in the back of everybody’s mind. Once you go through that, you think you’re prepared for it, I promise you’re not prepared for it,” said Aaron McConnell, Choctaw High School’s Touchdown Club President.

Nothing could have prepared the Choctaw community for what would happen during the first football game of the year. Now, Aaron McConnell is helping his players move forward.

“You can’t just sit back and continue to constantly be scared of that, these kids need to get back on with life,” said McConnell.

As they work to recover, McConnell says the best way for the players to get through this is leaning on one another.

“Those kids are going to talk to each other more about their feelings and how to get through this more than they are anybody outside this locker room, so I think the more they are together on that bus, in practice, the faster they are going to get over this,” said McConnell.

After missing last week’s game, McConnell says the players are ready to get back on the field.

“I don’t think it’s a fear that these kids have moving forward. I think they feel safe and know that we’re going to come play football and everything is going to be fine,” said McConnell.

But McConnell says, unfortunately, not everybody feels safe coming to Choctaw right now.

“You feel like it’s given us a black eye, people are looking at Choctaw differently when these were not even Choctaw students, it didn’t even happen on the Choctaw side,” said McConnell.

Choctaw was slated to play Westmoore at home this week, but after the shooting, Westmoore requested the game be moved to their home turf.

“It’s just not fair for these kids. That’s a home game for our seniors, that’s a home game they should be able to play in front of their home crowd that they don’t get now,” said McConnell.

In the midst of the chaos that Friday night, McConnell says somebody stole $3,000 of Touchdown Club money from the concession stand.

“That’s what our team runs on, we run on whatever funds our touchdown club can raise,” said McConnell.

McConnell says it costs around $2000 to feed the players for each away game. With an extra game in Moore this week, they’re looking to make up for those stolen funds.

“It’s already hard to find the money to do the things we do and when somebody takes that, it makes it even harder,” said McConnell.

Choctaw High School has increased security at their games and added additional law enforcement presence. McConnell says it’s important that people feel safe when they come to Choctaw.

Related: Security Updates For Athletic Events At Oklahoma Schools

“I think our admin has done a great job in the security measures they’ve taken out, to make sure when people come here, they feel safe and know that Choctaw is a great place and a great atmosphere to play football in,” said McConnell.


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