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Rivalry tradition moves away from vandalism

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Amarillo, Texas - The rivalry and tradition lives on, but Hell Week is a thing of the past.

Amarillo High and Tascosa have been battling each other long before anyone out playing on the football field was born. What used to be a week filled with pranks and often times vandalism to the rivals has changed.

"Tradition, just long standing tradition. Over 50 years they've been playing this game. It's an important game to our kids," Mark Webster, Amarillo High School principal said.

With that tradition came cars being egged, windows broken and the two high school campuses even being vandalized. Hell Week between Amarillo High and Tascosa brought head aches to many. But recently a change to Spirit Week has helped curb that.

"For the most part any incidents at the school haven't occurred, at least they haven't occurred this year, and last year I think they were minimal. So I think students have reacted well to efforts to turn things in a positive manner," Webster said.

Instead of causing trouble, students are now busy with things like pep rallies and dress up days to celebrate their school pride.

The Amarillo Police Department says since the transition away from Hell Week and a district split, incidents have gone down.

"Since they're no longer in the same district that's really helped, and moving up in the school year. It's like the kids get back, especially from this Labor Day weekend they say 'oh we play who?' they haven't had time to really formulate plans to do anything. As far as we're concerned, we're happy about that because that does keep some of the criminal activity down," Cpl. Jerry Neufeld, Amarillo Police Department said.

AISD does also hire off duty officers to patrol both campuses incase any Hell Week activities do occur.

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