Texas Strong: Football game between Plano, El Paso high schools brings communities together

The football teams for two Texas high schools linked by tragedy met on the field Thursday evening at The Star in Frisco.

Jerry Jones was among those at The Star ahead of the game with a special greeting for the El Paso team in town to play a special game.

El Paso's Eastwood High School is playing against Plano Senior High School. The two teams are linked by tragedy, and the game almost didn't happen.

Before and during the game, there was a show of support from some North Texas groups and businesses.

Campisi’s in Frisco, along with volunteers from Fellowship Church, were cheering and clapping as they welcomed in the Eastwood High School players. They closed the restaurant to the public to serve the team.

The storyline behind this game is so unique. The shooter behind the mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart graduated from Plano Senior High.

In the locker room where the players prepare for battle, the focus was not on who they were fighting but who they’re fighting for.

“Tonight, you might wear Eastwood on your jersey. You might be a trooper. We are troopers, but tonight you represent a city and a town,” Eastwood Coach Julio Lopez told his team before the game. “I felt like the game needed to be played. Like you can’t not play the game.”

So with the game back on, North Texas did its best to welcome.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones himself welcomed the Eastwood team off the buses. Plano fans wore Texas Strong shirts supporting both teams.

Both bands met up earlier in the day and practiced together before their joint performance.

“We are just ready to show them so much love and really kind of healing experience,” said Plano fan Nancy Barbera.

A healing experience isn’t what one often thinks happens on a football field. But Thursday’s game was always different.

“We want to let you know that we’re your brothers also,” Coach Lopez said. “We love you guys. We’re Texas strong, and we’re going to use football to showcase to the world what’s so great about our sport.”

The displays of unity weren’t just among the players and the fans.