Texas high school football team making the comeback of the year

ROCKPORT, Texas -- It's not hard to find a high school football team practicing in Texas. But what amazed us was to find one here.

When Harvey came ashore the first time as a Category 4 hurricane, Rockport, Texas, took the brunt of it.

"It looked literally like a bomb went off in this town," said player Johnny Soto.

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Johnny Soto looks through the wreckage outside his house

CBS News

Like the rest of his teammates, the senior safety returned on Sunday to a house full of useless garbage.

"Heartbreaking. Some of them don't have street clothes. It's the clothes that they've got on their back," said coach J.D. Medrano.

Which is why Medrano was as surprised as anyone when, even though school is closed indefinitely, the kids just started showing up for practice this week.

"I honestly believe that this is home to them. This is what they know. It's the only thing close to being grounded," he said.

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The goal posts and scoreboard at Rockport-Fulton High School

CBS News

So now they run plays like it still matters, still kick at the goal posts Harvey tore down in victory -- all in an effort to recover, together from the greatest loss of their lives.

"Just to get through all of this because we can't do it alone," said Luke Michael.

"I mean, we're all we got," Johnny said.

"Going to carry each other and not going to let this bring us down," said Angelo Trevino.

Another part of their therapy is helping the community. This week they cleared brush from about 60 homes -- much to the delight of homeowners like Lucille Wright.

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Lucille Wright thanks players for their help

CBS News

"Don't you ever doubt yourselves. What you've done here today is the heart of a warrior, and I love each of you," she told the boys.

The Rockport-Fulton Pirates lost everything, but are clearly off to a winning start. Their first actual game is Friday night. And they say no matter what happens, their season will be a success.

"Nothing will stop the way we work as a family. It's just amazing," said Franklin Ramirez. "No, we're not a team anymore. We're always going to be together as a family and we're going to get through everything."

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The Rockport-Fulton Pirates 

CBS News

Whoever said football is just a game never needed it like these kids.

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  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.