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Riesel High School football team honors U.S. service members slain in Kabul attack

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 1:02 PM CDT
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RIESEL, Texas (KWTX) - The Riesel High School varsity football team honored the 13 troops killed in the airport attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26 with a moving on-the-field tribute in Central Texas.

The team, which normally makes a loud entrance charging the field, ran out quietly holding 13 American flags.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In her on-air segment, Julie Hays mentioned Riesel’s game against Clyde on Friday in Dublin. News 10 has learned that game has been canceled after Riesel decided to forfeit “due to an increase in illness among their varsity football team.”

The gesture was made as the Riesel Indians took on the Hamilton Bulldogs in Riesel, nearly 8,000 miles away from the site of the deadly attack on U.S. servicemembers.

Riesel junior right tackle Kolt Dieterich helped organize it. “When I got the idea to do it, I thought it be pretty cool because we need to remember them because they go across seas and give up their freedom to fight for ours,” Dieterich said.

In an act of solidarity, fans from both sides cheered for the Indians as they carried the flags.

The Riesel High School varsity football team honored the 13 troops killed in the airport attack...
The Riesel High School varsity football team honored the 13 troops killed in the airport attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26 with a moving on-the-field tribute in Central Texas.(Courtesy Photo)

Once the players reached the end-zone, they knelt and prayed.

Many of them also removed their football helmets.

The players then staked the 13 flags on the fence for the entire game.

Dietrich said it was worth all the planning to not only honor those who gave so much but set an example for all the pint-sized fans who look up to them.

“When we finally got to it, it was pretty cool to remember that all the little kids were watching us and wanted to be like us one day and we got to set an example for them.”

Riesel beat Hamilton 28-12.

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