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Rival fans become friendly neighbors, don Uvalde High colors as Coyotes play first home game since Robb tragedy

It was an exciting atmosphere at Honey Bowl Stadium Friday. It was also a slightly somber one.

UVALDE, Texas — At Uvalde's Honey Bowl Stadium Friday, it was an important night under familiar lights. Not just for the 21 moments of silence before kickoff, but for the opportunity to come together and pull for one team.

But on this night, there was more than one community adorned in the colors of the Uvalde High Coyotes. 

A packed house awaited the football team as they arrived at the gridiron for their first home game of the season—and the first matchup on their home turf since 21 of their fellow community members, including 19 kids, died in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary in May. 

Uvalde High already has a solid home-field advantage. 

"Everybody usually closes up shop or closes up early to come to the games," one attendee said. 

On Friday night, home-field advantage meant even more. The community will continue to cheer loudly this season, but while gathering under Friday night lights may dim some sadness, they don't wipe away heavy memories. 

Credit: KENS

"It's good to come back to another game and take our minds off what happened," said one football fan. 

The fans in Uvalde don't want to forget, and neither does the team. It's why the team's captain wears No. 21, and will from here on out. 

It's also why the fierce competition of Texas football took a backseat to old-fashioned sportsmanship and unity. Fans of Uvalde's rival school, CC Winn, left their black and silver at home and instead donned Uvalde decals. Students, meanwhile, signed a banner commemorating the Robb victims. 

"In honor and respect of our neighboring communities," one attendee said. 

"I like to be happy with the people that are sad, and try to make them happy," another added. 

In the same spirit, fans from all over Texas came out to cheer for this town as much as they did its athletes. 

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