ODESSA, TX – Blood is boiling, trash talk is spewed and lines are drawn. These are a few of the things that have been happening in Odessa, Texas, this week as a rivalry is about to unfold.
Permian (6-1 overall, 3-1 6A Region 1 District 2), is taking on cross-town rivals Odessa High once again. MOJO has bragging rights thanks to last years 49-0 win at Ratliff stadium and has played significantly better in 2017.
Even the city prepares for this. Steve LeSueur with the Odessa Police says the game usually falls on Halloween weekend. All the events means one hectic weekend for law enforcement and the city in general. But this year, it’s like the city gets two of said weekends.
“Every time OHS and Permian play, it’s almost like a holiday here,” LeSeuer said. The department will also be sending extra officers out to the game Friday, just in case anything gets too rowdy. For the most part though, OPD is looking for the events that happen after a game.
Despite current records, or last years score, Broncho (3-5, 1-3) coach Danny Servance says it won’t matter Friday night.
“When you play these games, just throw out records,” Servance said. “These are kids who go to church together. Some of them are relatives, some of them are best friends, some of them have grown up together and live in the same neighborhood. It’s almost like playing your big brother or your cousin or something like that. Because you just throw records out. Each team’s going to give it their best, you can be guaranteed of that.”
Servance has played on both sides, as a player and coach at Permian and now in his second year at Odessa High. It didn’t take long for him to get accustomed to the new colors, though.
“Whatever I do, I do it for the kids that I’m coaching at that time and I’m coaching these kids at Odessa high school and these are my kids,” Servance said. “We’re going to give it everything we’ve got in order to go out and get a victory.”
To get to victory, the Bronchos will need a little bit of help from a backup sophomore.
Starting Odessa High Trev Smith will be out. But Servance says that he’s not too worried and the offense isn’t expected to change much, if at all. Last week, sophomore Senjun McGarity ran for 130 yards on 27 carries. This week, he’s looking for a repeat.
“Hopefully he will perform that way again tonight,” Servance said of his potential star. “He’s a sophomore and very promising young man. We didn’t know we were going to have to throw him in the fire as early as we had to because of that injury.”
For this city, this rivalry is just as big as the well-documented one between Permian and Midland Lee, so says coach Servance.
“I think inner-city rivalries take on a different persona,” coach said of the game. “Just because you’re in the same town, one school is on the west side of town, the other is on the east side. It almost divides the city, it’s a great rivalry and it is one of the bests that I’ve ever been a part of.’
Pump It Up
So, for Servance and his crew, he says they won’t even try to pump up the kids.
Because they’re already pumped.
“I’m not going to tell them anything. It’s not going to take anything for anybody to get up for this game,” Servance said of his pregame pumper. “This is a game you got to circle on your calendar, your kids are looking forward to, it’s going to be a great atmosphere and I think both teams will be ready to go.”
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