ODESSA, Texas — In high school sports there's nothing quite like cross-town rivalries. The Permian-Odessa High rivalry spans decades.
Who would've thought a pool could force rival teams to find common ground even friendship?
Both teams are practicing at Ector Middle School after $460,000 worth of renovations were approved for the Permian High School pool.
"Well we were losing a lot of water from our pools, they have discovered that all of these cast iron pipes have reached the end of their life span,” said Head Coach Rob Rankin.
“We are going to be taking all the tile out of the pool, which has been coming off for years and years. Also, on the deck, the drains are going to be replaced, it's going to make the pool look nice. The building will still be old, but the pool will be almost brand new.”
The only problem is that seniors like Isaiah Castelo won’t be able to experience the new pool, as the construction is scheduled to be finished after the season is over.
“Whenever I was a freshman all I could think about was 'I’m going to be here for four years, I can't wait until senior year cause it's like the best year,'” said Castelo. “It's a little sad because I’ve been looking forward to it, but I guess I’m happy for the other swimmers because they get to have a nicer pool.”
But even without the chance to dive in a new pool, Castelo has plunged into new friendships with Odessa High swimmers.
“It's like rivals but not at the same time, it's more like friends going against other friends, instead of like two different schools so since we get to practice together and see each other every day,” said Castelo. “You know, we get to work hard together and all that, so it makes it a little easier to become a family.”
“We don't really bother with names whenever we're in the pool. It's just like we're all together, might as well just swim together, like compete in the pool while practicing,” said Odessa High Junior Nadailyn Cermeno.
“It's like a meet every single day in here. You're always pushing each other to that limit until you can't no more.”
A constant competition and a life-long bond has culminated at a pool that also needs $400,000 worth of renovations.