OHS, Permian High cheerleaders speak out about their impact on game day

ODESSA -- The legendary Odessa High School and Permian High School rivalry begins before football players hit the stadium turf.

The cheerleaders for both teams have spent weeks preparing for the big game day.

The cheerleaders for both teams have spunk and skill. And a week before the big game, the cheerleaders have a lot of work to do.

Odessa High School senior, Amber Silva, said they spend time decorating outside the school, adding red ribbons to street signs around town.

“And we decorate the guys’ locker rooms, we decorate the gym, we always wear red to represent OHS,” she said.

Permian High junior, Jenna Dewey, said they spend time helping keep the football players pumped about the big game.

“A lot of us make baskets for the football players. A lot of people go and decorate the locker rooms. We paint the signs, and that just takes hours to do, very long,” she said.

The school rivalry doesn’t just start and end on the field. The cheerleaders train hard to compete against each other, focusing on who can infuse the most school spirit into their side of the stadium.

Permian High junior, Victoria Sparkman, said they spend around 12 hours a week practicing their cheers and stunts.

“We have a lot of talent this year, we had a lot of requirements to be varsity. Where you had to have a standing back tuck,” she said.

Odessa High sophomore, Abby Steger, said her school has a special tradition that gets their fans cheering loud.

“The cheer team always makes a circle, and we do our chant.

And Bronchettes go around the track yelling OHS,” she said.

Odessa’s legendary high school rivalry is what many picture when thinking about Texas football and competitive cheerleading.

Sparkman said it’s exciting to be a cheerleader in Odessa.

“And the best part is when you see your team winning, and that’s when the crowd really goes crazy, and it just reminds you of Friday Night Lights the movie,” she said.

And Odessa High junior, Ashlee Covos, said cheerleaders feel the weight and importance of their role in game.

“We have to stay positive throughout the whole game, no matter what the score is. And cheerleaders are there to pick it up and whether it’s routines, or jumps, or stunts, everything has to be perfect,” she said.