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Oxford High School tragedy weighs heavy on Lions' players & coaches

Defensive line coach Todd Wash got emotional Wednesday when asked about Tuesday's shooting at Oxford High School in Oakland County that killed four students and injured seven others.

Wash was recruiting in Colorado during the events at Columbine High School in 1999, when two students killed 13 people and injured another 21 before taking their own lives.

Tuesday's tragedy in Oxford hit home for him.

"I've got a son that has to go to school every day," Wash said, with a tremble in his voice. "So, it's scary. Our thoughts and prayers are with (the community of Oxford). It hits just because we all have children, and when they go to school they should be safe, and that's not the case, so that hits a little bit."

Head coach Dan Campbell opened his Wednesday press conference offering condolences to those affected.

"Our heart goes out to the Oxford community," he said. "That's awful. Nobody should have to deal with that. Just prayers go out to the families and the friends and everybody involved. That goes for myself and the players and the whole Lions community. It's awful."

Like Wash, whose 16-year-old son is a high-school sophomore in Florida, Campbell has a daughter in high school. He said he reached out to her Wednesday morning, and told her to have a good day. He made sure she knew he cared about her.

"We're not guaranteed anything on this earth so you just live each moment like it could be your last because you don't know," Campbell said. "That's kind of the reality behind it. It's awful."

The Oxford varsity football coach, Zach Line, is a former Oxford player who played college ball at SMU and spent seven seasons in the NFL. He was a fullback for the New Orleans Saints from 2017-19, when Campbell was the assistant head coach and tight ends coach there. Campbell said he planned to call Line right after Wednesday's press conference.

One of the four students killed at Oxford Tuesday was Tate Myre, 16, a junior football player who'd been on the varsity team since his freshman year.

Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone was a teammate of Line's in New Orleans, and said he reached out to Line via text after hearing the news Tuesday.

Anzalone said Line is just the kind of person and leader the Oxford community needs right now.

"I was thinking about that. I feel like there's no better person in that position to really help the community get through a situation like this," Anzalone said. "I think that as far as a person, he's a god-fearing person and all the things that you'd want in a leader in a situation like this he has. He's strong and he's faith-filled, so he'll be able to help the community get through this really bad time."

Quarterback Jared Goff also opened his Wednesday press conference offering his condolences. He was in Los Angeles with the Rams during the Thousand Oaks California shooting that killed 13 and injured 16. The Rams hosted the families of the victims in that shooting a week later, and Goff said it was one of the more powerful experiences of his life.

Oxford was certainly on the minds of everyone in Allen Park on Wednesday.

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