In 1998, NewsWest 9 did a story on "The Velasquez Triplets." Now Abby, Makayla, and Austin are seniors at McCamey High School.
These last seventeen years have been tough for the kids, but today, it all pays off. Caleb Ramsey reports.
Other than a ringing bell, it was strangely quiet today in McCamey, like the calm before a storm. The whole town seemed to be closed, but that's because everyone was at the homecoming pep rally.
And it didn't take long to notice three young leaders sort of running the show.
And the cool thing is, well, they just happen to be triplets.
"Me and my sister are both homecoming football nominees, so it's exciting. It's been a very busy week," said Abby Velasquez.
Abby, Makayla, and Austin faced a lot of hardships these past few years. All three of them have injuries right now preventing them from playing in their favorite sports. Their mother has battled breast cancer twice, and their father passed away when they were eleven.
But, today, they aren't worried about any of that. They're just there to cheer on their team.
"Austin's not going to get to play but he always has the biggest heart on the field. He's out there and he cheers his team on, he cheers the band, he's very supportive of everything McCamey Badgers," said their older sister, Hayley Chandler.
"They say I get the crowd hyped, I don't know. I was asked probably about yesterday. It's great to do a speech in front of your home town and your team and your cheerleaders," Austin Velasquez told NewsWest 9.
"And the girls, you know, they're busy and it's a fun opportunity that they're both nominated together," continued Hayley.
"I was so excited. We get to walk the field and at least have the chance to be out on the field like that," Makayla Velasquez chimed in.
McCamey has always been a welcoming community for the Velasquez kids. Members of the school even helped out with fund raisers and donations when their mother Laura was battling breast cancer, and again when their father passed away.
"Number one, they're all pretty great kids. So, you know, a lot of times when you say we've helped them, whether it be myself, the community, it's always gratifying to do something like that when you're dealing with good kids," McCamey Principal Jay McWilliams told NewsWest 9.