Rival fans become friendly neighbors, don Uvalde High colors as Coyotes play first home game since Robb tragedy

It was an exciting atmosphere at Honey Bowl Stadium on Friday. It was also a bit dark.

UVALDE, Texas — At Honey Bowl Stadium in Uvalde on Friday, it was an important night under familiar lights. Not just for the 21 moments of silence before kick-off, but for the opportunity to come together and shoot for one team.

But that night, there was more than one community decked out in Uvalde High Coyotes colors.

A packed house awaited the football team as they arrived at the gridiron for their first home game of the season – and the first game on their home turf since 21 of their community members, including 19 children, died in the a mass shooting at Robb Elementary in May.

Uvalde High already has a solid advantage on the pitch.

“Everyone usually closes up shop or closes early to come to the games,” said one attendee.

On Friday night, home advantage meant even more. The community will continue to cheer loudly this season, but while gathering under the Friday night lights may alleviate some sadness, they don’t erase heavy memories.

“It’s good to look back on another game and not think about what happened anymore,” said one football fan.

Uvalde fans don’t want to forget, and neither does the team. That’s why the team captain wears number 21 and will do so from now on.

It’s also why the fierce competition of Texas football has trumped old-fashioned sportsmanship and unity. Fans of Uvalde’s rival school, CC Winn, left their black and silver at home and donned Uvalde decals instead. The students, meanwhile, signed a banner commemorating Robb’s victims.

“In honor and respect for our neighboring communities,” said one participant.

“I like to be happy with people who are sad and try to make them happy,” added another.

In the same spirit, fans from all over Texas came to support this city as well as its athletes.


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