Abilene ISD cancels morning pep rallies, Crosstown Showdown spirit still alive


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – It’s still a town divided, half sporting blue and red and the other black and gold. Some of the familiar sounds that come with the Crosstown Showdown, however, were gone this year.

COVID-19 forced cancellations of the highly anticipated morning pep rallies at both Cooper High School and Abilene High School.

The Crosstown Showdown morning pep rallies have become a tradition for Tommy Martinez, who started going to them when he was about 10 years old.

“The first one I ever went to, I think I was probably in like the third grade,” said Martinez. “My grandparents use to bring me up to them.”

Throughout the years, Martinez has been a fan, a student, and now a coach for the Abilene High Eagles.

“I guess this would have been my 23, 24th pep rally had we had one,” said Martinez.

As silence takes over what was once a loud morning, Abilene ISD says the spirit is still alive in the Key City.

“Hopefully this will be the only year we have to do this in altered fashion,” said Abilene ISD superintendent Dr. David Young. “In my experience it doesn’t take people much to get riled up for the Abilene High Cooper Game.”

The Crosstown Showdown is a rivalry 60 years in the making.

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