GREGORY-PORTLAND (KIII NEWS) - Gregory-Portland High School is set to play Carroll High School Thursday night -- the Battle of the Bridge -- but earlier in the day the Wildcats had a special pep rally for students and athletes of Rockport High School.
The Rockport-Fulton fight song took a new meaning. It is not just about school spirit, but about the resilience of a town trying to get back on its feet.
"They're still here," Gregory-Portland Junior Ashley Harrison said. "They are showing the spirit that they can have for their football team. Showing that they're still happy even though some of them might not have a house."
Even though Rockport-Fulton athletes can't play on their home field, it didnt stop Gregory-Portland High School from opening the doors to the Wildcat Gym for them.
"I can't imagine being a senior and not being able to attend the high school that I've gone to for three years," Harrison said. "Three years. Almost four. I would be devastated."
Students from both schools said it hasn't been an easy transition, but they feel lucky to have one another.
"The band didn't have to play our fight song or anything, but they included us," said Kellie Robinson, a Rockport High School junior. "The cheerleaders didn't have to cheer with us, but they did, and it means the world to us."
Gregory-Portland Football Coach and Athletic Director Rick Rhodes said he is glad the UIL is letting Rockport and Aransas Pass high schools continue their football programs.
"I don't think there's anything that unites a community more than a Friday night football game," Rhodes said. "It's a great curing tool."
The pep rally was more than just a high school tradition -- it was a display of compassion and kindness between neighbors.
"By letting us be in their pep rallies, they've given us some normalcy," Robinson said.
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