A number of Concho Valley high schools — and others across West Texas are holding prayer vigils this week, including the students and staff at Christoval ISD.
“Life isn’t planned and when things happen in communities, you lean on other people to help you out and that’s what we’re doing, we’re helping them out because we know that they need it,” says Christoval High Cheer Captain, Taylea Hogan.
Last Friday the Iraan Braves football team took on another win in Colorado City — a step toward the state championship.
“We’ve played Iraan in the past and they’ve beaten us pretty well,” says Christoval High School Prinicipal, John Choate.
Later Friday evening traveling on Interstate 20 on the way home — the bus carrying six of the Iraan school cheerleaders — was hit head on by an 18-wheeler that crossed the median.
The junior high cheerleading sponsor Liz Pope died — the driver and six cheerleaders were taken to nearby hospitals.
The collision made national news headlines and surfaced quickly on social media — generating the hashtag Pray for Irraan.
“We have great kids here in Christoval and through social media most of our kids know many kids in Iraan,” says Choate.
Monday, Christoval students wore red and black to support the Iraan Braves.
“We’re not always competitors, we need to be good sports and help other teams, cheer them on as well, just like we cheer on our own team,” says 8th grade cheerleader, Susannah Mann.
“It could’ve happened to anyone,” says senior student, Madison Hans.
“So, just giving them our support and all the surrounding communities support, it really warms your heart and makes me really happy.”
“I think showing our support makes us stronger as a community and it just brings everyone together. It shows who we are and it shows our colors,” says senior student, Brooke Atkins.
Across the state, high schools are offering to send their cheerleaders to Abilene to help cheer on the Iraan Braves at the state semifinals game Friday.
“On Friday night, we of course love the Cougars, but we’re going to be Braves and support them,” says Hans.