They don't know him. And it doesn't matter.
The Raiders girls hockey team on Friday wrapped their sticks in the usual white tape in preparation for their game at Farmington (they lost 5-2), but this time the end of their sticks carried a message—one that had nothing to do with Northfield.
In red writing, the tape of each stick was covered with "Jabs" and the No. 13 to honor paralyzed Benilde-St. Margaret's hockey player Jack Jablonski.
Jablonski, a 16-year-old sophomore, sustained the injury during a junior varsity game on Dec. 30 in which he was checked against the boards. He underwent spinal surgery on Wednesday, and on Thursday his neurosurgeon said Jablonski would likely not walk or use his hands again.
The show of unity among the Raiders came one day after a number of schools in the metro area had "white outs" of their own to honor Jablonski, including Northfield at Thursday's boys hockey game.
A Jack Jablonski fund has been set up to help the family. Donations can be made to: Jack Jablonski Fund, P.O. Box 16387, St. Louis Park, MN, 55416. Donations can also be made at any Wells Fargo Bank.
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Here are more "white out" galleries from our sister Patches: