‘Indescribable': Nichols College Freshmen Recall Parkland Shooting

On the Nichols College football field, each player is fighting for a starting spot. Two freshmen in that battle are also fighting the memories from six months ago.

"The whole feeling is indescribable," said Tyler Goodman, a freshman on the team. "It's all your emotions just going into a big clump and it just messes with your head."

Goodman and Nick Defroscia are both graduates from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. What happened to their school is still difficult for them to talk about.

"Every single day, I just know that the next day is not guaranteed, and I just want to live my life for the ones that can't," said Defroscia.

On Feb. 14, the two were being recruited by Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts.

They were in an office with Nichols football coach St. Clair Ryan and Paul Brower, the school's assistant dean for enrollment, when the attack started.

A "code red" was issued and they were in lockdown for hours.

"We knew right away that it wasn't firecrackers," said Brower. "Shortly thereafter, it was in pretty rapid succession."

Nichols' head coach Dale Olmsted was following the developments from Massachusetts.

"I'm texting Paul saying, 'Are you OK? Stay in there. I think they might have him,' and Paul's like, 'No they don't, because we just saw the guy they described over the walkie talkie go right by us,'" said Olmsted.

The rapid succession of bullets killed 17 people, including one of Goodman's and Defroscia's football coaches, Aaron Feis.

"I wear [number] 17 for a reason," said Goodman. "I play for all of them. I always feel their energy is with me. Everywhere I go."

For Defroscia, Feb. 14 is a day he wants to forget.

"I just try to put it behind me and try to forget," said Defroscia. "I'm really good with just putting things behind me and forgetting about it."

After the shooting, Goodman received a red bracelet from his high school. He still wears it today. It reads "Stay strong."

Contact Us