Flipping the narrative, Band receives unexpected support at local competition


Elaina Hair

Coppell High School’s varsity football team cheers on the varsity marching band at the UIL Region 31 Marching Contest at Standridge Stadium on Tuesday. The Coppell varsity marching band scored a 1, the highest possible score, at the contest.

By Alishba Javaid, Coppell High School

CARROLLTON – Surprised smiles and sparkling eyes of Coppell Band members could be seen as shouts of support from varsity football players from the stands pierced the air.

The Coppell varsity football team surprised the junior varsity and varsity band by coming out to show their support at the UIL Region 31 Marching Contest at Standridge Stadium on Tuesday.

Band members were pleasantly surprised as they saw the football team cheering them on from the stands. For many band members, it was a first seeing the football team’s support at a competition.

“I was really surprised. Normally we’re there supporting and I didn’t know that they would come help us as well,” CHS sophomore front ensemble band member Kelly Wei said.

CHS’s band can be heard playing loud and clear, supporting the players at Friday night football games on a regular basis. However, it is less common to see football players, not on the field, but on the stands reciprocating that support to band.

“[Coppell coach Mike Dewittt] told us to come out here and everybody was on board with it. Nobody had any complaints,” CHS junior quarterback Ryan Walker said. “We wanted to be there for them since they’re always there for us.”

The CHS Band puts in countless hours of work not only performing during football games, but pep rallies and school send offs on top of competing in multiple competitions throughout the year.

“It’s nice for them to have some support on their end of things as well since they’re so often supportive of everybody else and all the other groups at the school,” CHS percussion director Annie Chernow said.

It is one thing to talk about school unity and celebrate collective successes, but it is another thing to actually show it. However, why is it important to show each other support in the first place?

“I think sometimes in a larger school we can get very compartmentalized,” CHS Band director Gerry Miller said. “The more we see the successes that are happening in other spheres, the better the school becomes.”

The football player’s support for band can be seen as a symbolic action that instills unity at CHS.

“It really reinforces that idea that CHS is a community that we are all here to support each other,” CHS senior marimba band member Vedin Barve said.

Not only that, but having that support can be a big morale booster for many.

“Especially during this time of year, it can be really stressful to have to go to competition after competition and also have to deal with school work and everything. Just having someone there to support you makes it all that much easier,” CHS junior band member Annika Agnihotri said.

The varsity football players’ support seemed to positively influence and play a role in the band’s performance.

“To see them as an audience really gave us the purpose and mission to be expressive rather than just rehearse or practice to actually perform,” Barve said.

After competing, the varsity band received a score of straight 1’s, the highest score possible while JV received 1-1-2, the best score they have ever gotten.

“It definitely motivated me to play better so seeing them definitely helped,” CHS junior band member Shrey Shrine said.

The band and football team, like many CHS groups and organizations, can relate to the hours of preparation each puts into performing at a high level.

“Especially at CHS, we always talk about how we’re supposed to show unity. I think it’s really important to support other programs in sports or DECA or debate,” CHS senior band member Anna Judd said. “We’re all still high school students and we should all be there for each other.”

This story was originally published on Coppell Student Media on October 17, 2019.