IRAAN, TX (KWES) - Hundreds of cheerleaders from across Texas went out to support the Braves toward victory on Friday. The team hopes to pull one more win for the state championship title this week.
"Football is just a game and compassion runs much deeper than people expect," said mascot Dhalia Butchee, remembering how much support the school received at their last playoff game.
"I didn't think there were going to be over 700 cheerleaders there supporting us. It was crazy. I thought it was going to just be like a normal game," said Wyatt Banner, senior football player.
"The energy was just amazing and motivated us even more to put on a show," said senior football player, Clayton Kent.
"It was really amazing to see all the different schools even people that we had beaten, people that are our rivals, just come and support us," said Butchee.
The Braves now hope to take it all at the state championship in Dallas.
"Win or lose, we will always be together, especially since this happened," said varsity cheer captain, Lauren Garlock, referring to the crash that killed cheer sponsor, Liz Pope.
A team first discouraged by a deadly bus crash that took the life of an integral part of the community.
"You just won a football game you want to be happy then that happened and it brought everybody down. In the back of your mind, you were feeling good about it, then you felt bad because you were feeling good," said Banner.
Now, a team touched by the kindness of strangers.
"That will carry on with us for the rest of our lives. State would make us happy, to win it, but it won't always be something that we cherish,"
There will be a send off for the team at the high school tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m.
The game is set for Thursday at ATT Stadium in Dallas at 10:00 a.m.