Jupiter High School baseball's rivalry with Stoneman Douglas has turned into compassion

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The Stoneman Douglas High School baseball team had no bigger rival over the past few years than Jupiter High School. The Warriors beat them in last year's regional finals after losing to them the year before. But those competitive feelings have taken on a totally different feeling now.

At the exact same time as the Stoneman Douglas baseball team took to their field on Friday for the first time since Wednesday's tragic school shooting, the Jupiter Warriors were also back in their happy place, on the practice field. But the Jupiter player's minds can't stop thinking about their biggest rival in on the diamond, and what they've had to deal with this week.

"Its just insane," says senior Dakota Gaillard. "It's crazy, when you really think about it. That's what made it so real."

"It's crazy to think that we were playing on their field last year," reflects another player.

"You never would think for it to happen there," adds senior Ricky Clark. "So if it happens there, you know it can happen anywhere."

"Knowing the school, knowing all the student athletes," explains head coach Andy Mook. "Knowing the baseball players, knowing the fans that were there for that regional final game. You know it hurts these guys hard."

That Competitive edge they had felt leading up to their regional final winning celebration on Stoneman Douglas' field last year has now turned into compassion, and clarity of what's most important.

"I just wanted to make sure they were all O.K. you know," recalls Clark, from when the tragedy was unfolding. "Our whole team, our whole town is just so devastated, and you just gotta put baseball to the side and you gotta feel for them."

The Jupiter players say they hope to play the Stoneman Douglas baseball team again very soon. It would be a comforting feeling after what has been a harrowing week for them, and even more so for their rival.

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