On a night normally reserved for honoring the home team's senior class, Watkins Mill's girls lacrosse team also honored a fallen member of the opposing team.
Hosting Rockville High School on April 25, Wolverines' head coach Vinnie Naylor painted the stadium field with Michelle Miller’s initials and jersey number.
Miller, a member of Rockville's varsity lacrosse team, was shot and killed in a murder-suicide in Germantown April 8.
"For this game, our players and coaches put on an amazing display of sportsmanship and character," Watkins Mill principal Scott Murphy said in the school's newsletter. "Our teams presented the Rockville players with special ribbons and bracelets in memory of Michelle Miller."
After the game, the two teams gathered around the large, orange No. 1 painted in the grass for a photo.
"Our entire community was touched by how these rival teams came together in a time of grief, and our players made me extremely proud," Murphy said.
The following day, Rockville girl's lacrosse coach Caitlin Ulmer sent Murphy the following email, thanking the school for its display of sportsmanship:
Last night, our girls came to Watkins Mill for your community’s senior night celebration. I know that senior night is a very exciting and important day for the young men and women being honored, and knowing that, I felt I needed to express my most sincere gratitude toward your seniors, coaches and entire community for so openly celebrating the life of Michelle Miller as well.
As we arrived at the stadium we saw an incredible display on the hill honoring Michelle. The [Watkins Mill] ladies also presented us with hand-made orange ribbons with Michelle’s initials and number. The [Watkins Mill] boys presented each of my athletes with a memorial bracelet as they walked out for senior celebrations. At the conclusion of our contest, the [Watkins Mill] ladies came with our team to take a picture by the 1. I cannot even begin to express how touching it was to see that display of community and camaraderie…
...Last night, each of us was thankful to have a hand to hold on to from the Watkins Mill community. So, on behalf of every one of my players, their parents and the family of Michelle Miller, please accept my deepest thanks. The coaches and players of the Wolverine lacrosse teams are truly amazing, young athletes and we appreciate them.
Read related articles:
- Police: Soldier Killed Rockville Girl and Himself in His Germantown Home
- Details Emerge in Apparent Germantown Murder-Suicide
- Rockville Remembers Michelle Miller