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Former Permian High Football Coach reflects on rivalry game

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 9:47 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2021 at 11:22 AM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - Sports fans love a good rivalry; and Odessa has its very own between Permian and Odessa High School.

Coach Wilkins led the Permian Panthers to two state championship titles during his time coaching in the 70s and 80s, but he said there’s nothing quite like the game between the Panthers and the Bronchos. He said this game, in particular, always has an extra level of excitement and anticipation around it.

“You can say ‘treat it like another game’ but everybody knew there was something different about it, you know when you’re playing an intercity type thing, a rival,” said Coach John Wilkins, the former Permian High football coach.

It’s a game that holds a long-standing tradition with it. Hundreds of fans waited in line on Monday to buy tickets for this year’s game. Coach Wilkins said the Odessa High versus Permian game was always the event of the season in his day too.

“Back in the times, so to speak, the Odessa High Permian game was always a sellout at Ratliff Stadium and the tickets were at a premium and maybe we’ll have that same thing this Friday night,” Coach Wilkins said.

Coach Wilkins said the Odessa versus Permian rivalry is unique especially because of the small number of public schools in Odessa.

“There’s not too many, there’s just two, so that brings an extra sense of rivalry or competition for this type of thing,” Coach Wilkins said.

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