When Nevada and UNLV take the field this weekend in Reno, the teams will both be wearing special helmet decals to honor the victims of Monday’s shooting at Sparks Middle School, just a few miles from Nevada’s Mackay Stadium.
The decal features the initials of the middle school, as well as the school’s mascot, the Golden Bear:
“As parents and members of the Northern Nevada community, Laura and I are heartbroken following the tragedy that took place earlier this week at Sparks Middle School,” Nevada coach Brian Polian said in a statement. “The thoughts and prayers of our entire organization continue to be with all of those that were affected.
“As a small show of support, our team will be proud to display the SMS decal on our helmets this weekend as we play our rival, UNLV. I hope that this gesture might in some small way show the Sparks community that we are with them in their time of need.”
In addition to wearing the decals, the teams will observe a moment of silence for 8th grade math teacher Michael Landsberry, a 2001 University of Nevada-Reno graduate and former Marine who was killed in the shooting. One of the two students wounded in the attack, 12-year-old Mason Kamerer, is also expected to join Nevada governor Brian Sandoval on the sidelines during the game.
"With Stacey and I being the parents of four school-aged children, it was especially painful to hear about the tragic events at Sparks Middle School and our hearts go out to all of those affected," UNLV head coach Bobby Hauck said in a statement of his own. "With UNLV heading up north for our rivalry game, we are proud to join the Wolf Pack on Saturday in honoring the school and the community by wearing the SMS initials on our helmets."
Kickoff between the 3-4 Wolf Pack and the 4-3 Rebels is set for 6:05 p.m. ET Saturday.