MISSOURI CITY, Texas — It's a tale of two rivals becoming one as students from Marshall High School in Missouri City welcome students from Willowridge High School as their new classmates.
"Fort Bend, get ready for the best you've ever seen!" a cheering squad from both school chanted in unison.
School officials and local leaders spoke out Friday to help calm any concerns about doubling-up the two high schools.
"The Willowridge Eagles are going to be sharing space in the home of the Marshall Buffaloes for the next month or so as the school year begins," Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Dr. Charles E. Dupre said.
Over the summer, mold discovered at Willowridge forced the school's closure. For the time being, Willowridge students will attend their close rival, Marshall High.
The theme for Friday's meeting was "Together We Stand."
Officials said 1,100 Marshall students will now share space with 1,300 students from Willowridge.
"It's been amazing to watch the children come together and watch them support one another," Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees President Kristin Tassin said.
"The Marshall Buffs and Willowridge Eagles are demonstrating the true meaning of the phrase: 'I have your back, and I am your brother's keeper,'" Fort Bend ISD Board Secretary Addie Heyliger said.
It's unclear exactly how the temporary move in will impact student-teacher ratios, but local leaders are finding a way to make this transition work.
"This is a great time to show the world— our state — how we are a community," Pastor Rudolph White, president of the Fort Bend Pastors Association, said. "There is rivalry we understand on the football field, and that's expected, though. But this is a community, a sense of unity and love."
So, come Tuesday, the two school rivals will be thinking about just one thing: going back to school with their favorite rival!