Quick change

Students go from football jerseys to instruments in a matter of minutes


Nicole Genrich

There’s no rest for two varsity football players who go straight from their football pads to their instruments.

Nick Smith, Staff Reporter

The whistle blows for halftime.

For two players on the varsity squad however, there is no break in store after the second quarter. These students throw off their helmets and rush back on the field for their second performance under the Friday night lights.

Senior Jake Schmidt and junior Jacob Oates’ passions for marching band and football is the definition of a conflict as not only do these events fall on the same time, but their practices coincide as well. Through careful scheduling and timing, both students have found a way to pursue their interests.

Schmidt and Oates split their time as evenly as they can between the two practices during the week. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are spent at football practice during the morning. Thursday and Friday morning, as well as Monday night, are spent at band practice.

The transition from on the field to preparing for a performance is difficult to achieve but the students have found a routine.

“After halftime is called, you just have to switch mindsets,” Oates said. “I throw my pads and helmet off and try to get a short warmup in if I can, but during home games I only have minutes. We prefer away games because we have time to rest and watch the opposing band.”

Marching band director Paul Heuer and the band department are very supportive of the students’ decision.

“I love that they do both,” Heuer said. “They have split their time between football and band since the beginning of the season and have done great for us. They have not missed one performance and are an integral part of our team. When students are part of two activities, they are twice as busy as someone who is only involved with one, and these two students have been able to balance all of it. We are very happy to have them.”

The football program as well as head coach Ryan Cox have also supported the students as they pursue their interests.

“I am in full support of it,” Cox said. “No matter what the situation is, I want all of my football players to have an opportunity to experience and try any extracurricular activity that they want. In fact, I feel that the multi-activity students that we have at Lovejoy should not feel pressure to have to choose between their chosen extracurriculars. The organization and sharing of these students, whether it’s multi-sport or multi-activity, is and should always fall on the coaches and directors. I love the fact that I have two football players in the band.”

Oates and Schmidt say they are very grateful that they are able to participate in both activities, but the combination doesn’t come without its negatives.

“Monday night is usually the worst,” Oates said. “With football in the morning and band after school ‘til 8, there’s very little time for homework nor sleep. Band usually solves all our problems though. We don’t get any sleep though, six to seven hours are probably max.”

The students have also found that with such little time, it becomes difficult to practice to perfect their skills.

“One of the biggest problems in my opinion is splitting your time between the two,” Schmidt said. “If we did just football, we would be so much better players. In contrast, if we did just band we would be great musicians.”

The most surprising results of the activities is the effect on their social lives between marching band and varsity football.

“It’s really interesting what happens with our friends though,” Schmidt said. “Band and football kids are usually very separate as their personalities are very different. We’ve been the middle ground between the two and have friends in both groups. We always have each other though.”

Oates and Schmidt will be playing and performing at the next home game against Prosper High School on Oct. 23. They can be spotted as the only marchers in full football uniform.