Marching back onto the field

Marching back onto the field

Isabel Hughes, Staff Reporter

With the recent construction of the Riverside Brookfield High School football field, it has affected more than just sports. Marching Band and Color Guard have only been able to play on a field once. Instead they have practiced in the field house and in other places around RB since summer.

“It’s been a pretty big inconvenience,” said James Baum, the Marching Band director. “We altered our half-time performance to fit the field house.” The Marching Band has been practicing in the field house since summer, but were able to start practicing on the field Monday, September 28. They start practice at 6:30, right after football practice.

The first time Marching Band was on a football field this year was at the RB home game at Lyons Township High School on September 12. They only had some pre-game time, then they were off to perform.

“There are no quality practices,” said Clare Payne, the student leader of Color Guard. “It’s not all bad, but it’s been a huge hinderance.” With no football field to practice on, the girls work with what they have, even if it means the practices are not as great of quality.

“It’s hard to put on a good performance,” says Francesca Perry, a freshman on Color Guard.

Perry says that the practice areas are too small and it is hard to visualize where Marching Band is in comparison to them.

Color Guard has had to cut back on practice as well. In the past, they used to practice with Marching Band on the field. Now they practice two times a week from 3-5:30. They usually practice in the East Gym. Since they do not have it reserved, they get juggled between other gyms, the front of the school, and the auditorium.

Marching Band has had to alter their performance style to fit the field house. They now use the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band style. However, this style still does not fit the field house well. Due to a shortage of space, the Marching Band has to constantly shift positions in the field house to simulate the different yard lines. For example; if in the first part of their performance they end at the 20 yard line, and then they need to end at the opposite 20 yard line, they have to suddenly shift to a different part of the field house, which they would not do in a regular performance.

“Now we’re more flexible,” said Baum. Baum said that the students really took to the new style of marching, and that style may be in their future.

Going along with flexibility, he said that sometimes information gets lost in communication, so knowing practice places and times can be difficult at times. Or losing performances, or practicing late at night. Marching Band stops at nothing to do what they love.

“The girls feel cheated,” said Sonja Rajic, the sponsor of Color Guard. Rajic says that the girls are cheated out of games. Instead of usually 4 home games, there are only 3 this year. Rajic, Perry, and Payne all agree that it is very frustrating not having a field to practice or perform on.

Kristin Smetana, RB’s principal, and Baum contacted several surrounding schools to possibly use their football field. No one agreed.

“We sort of turned lemons into lemonade,” Baum said. Marching Band and Color Guard worked with what they were given, and it’s been a great season.