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El Campo residents kept their end of the bargain this week, and the Ricebird football team responded Thursday night with a victory in round 2 of the Texas high school playoffs.

The Ricebirds move on to the third round after a 56-42 victory over the Lindale Eagles. 

“The citizens are extremely supportive of the school, and football is one aspect of that,” El Campo ISD Superintendent Bob Callaghan said. “There is a lot of good things going on in our school, and we are lucky to have a city behind us at every turn.”

The El Campo High School Student Council kicked off festivities on Wednesday with a drive-through window painting spirit event for the football team.

“We have seen our students respond again and again,” Callaghan said. “Last week during Veterans Day, and now during this playoff week — the support and leadership of these students is inspiring to see.”

The Student Council took donations for their organization during the event and were able to recoup all the money spent on supplies and more. 

“My son and niece took part in the event and said it was a great turnout,” Amy Rod said. “This community always steps up to the plate and gets behind the kids.”

Thursday, the district gave students an early release to accommodate travel for the football team, Derby Dolls, cheerleaders and the band. 

The district also hosted an event to allow students, staff and citizens to bid farewell and good luck. 

Thursday afternoon, hundreds of people lined the streets and made their support known as the team headed to Waco for the game.

“We have all banded together with a collective spirit as Ricebirds,” Callaghan said. “I genuinely feel that our school exemplified the One Nation Under God, Indivisible pledge we take every day.” 

Callaghan and hundreds of El Campo faithful made the more than three-hour trek to Mclane Stadium in Waco to watch the Ricebirds pound on the Lindale Eagles.

“Even before the gates were opened, we had at least 50 to 75 people waiting outside the gates,” Rod said. “It doesn’t surprise me because we always travel well, but this time it truly felt like a collective. From our student section to parents and band, it was a true playoff atmosphere.”

Readers can find information on the Ricebird’s next opponent on the Leader-News Facebook page. The third round of the 4-A Division 1 playoffs will be played next week in a neutral location.

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