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Far more than the final score will be on the line as two grief-stricken cities shaken by mass shootings weeks apart turn to the proud Texas tradition of high school football as part of the healing process.
Perhaps no team symbolizes this rite of fall in the state more than the Permian High School Panthers, which are hosting the game Thursday night in Odessa against the Franklin High School Cougars from El Paso. The Panthers’ 1988 team was immortalized in H.G. Bissinger’s book “Friday Night Lights,” which inspired a movie and television show by the same name.
“It’s football in West Texas. But there’s something larger that’s going on at this game as far as this is about community, about healing, comfort and just solidarity with each other,” said Julie Gray, an executive board member for Permian’s football booster club.
A gunman on Saturday killed seven people and injured around two dozen others as he went on an hour-long rampage from Midl
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