Band ready to get back on field

by Todd Brooks

is ready and willing to get started on the season after not marching last season.

Because of COVID-19 implications in the 2020-21 school year, the decision was made not to do any shows or any marching competitions. Band director Derek Milburn is planning on that changing this year.

“I think we are right on track for this year,” Milburn said. “I’m hoping to stay away from kids being quarantined with cases coming back up but I’m hoping we can get back on track from last year.”

This year’s show features classic rock-n-roll with songs by Europe, Twisted Sister and Journey.

“The kids are excited about the show,” Milburn said. “We’re doing basically a rock show this year and we’re going to call it Rock of Ages. The kids are excited. I hope they enjoy it and I hope the parents do, too.”

Numbers are down some this year, but its part of life at a small school and Milburn is happy with the students he has.

“We do have a good group of kids,” Milburn said. “Yes, our numbers are down, but the kids we have are really playing strong. Our middle school numbers are up, so we will be looking at getting numbers back up down the road. We’re just kind of building. Everybody has building years in athletics or anything else.”

One area a little different this year is marching. Before only incoming eighth-graders had to be taught how to march, but not marching last year, it means two classes are having to be taught.

“We’re going to keep it simple, just so these kids can kind of get their feet wet and then we can get back on track the next year,” Milburn said. “And hopefully we can get back on track. With these kids, I know we’ll be successful. These kids are very dedicated.”

Besides football games, the band can be seen at competitions in Pauls Valley on Sept. 25 and the Chickasaw Band Festival in Tishomingo on Oct. 2. The regional marching contest will be Oct. 12 at Cameron University.