The White County High School Warrior Marching Band was given what students are calling the chance of a lifetime this year, and they made the most of it.
The Warriors traveled to Tampa, Florida, shortly after Christmas to not only perform during the halftime show of the nationally televised Outback Bowl, which was held at Raymond James Stadium, on Jan 1, but also to march and compete in the Outback Bowl Parade in Yrbor City, on New Year’s Eve.
The WCHS Warrior Marching Band did what they have done all year long – they showed up and wowed the audience. Their performance earned them the right to carry two trophies: First Place in Parade Competition and Second Place in Crowd Pleaser.
For the band, the work they put in wasn’t just in the classroom and on the field but also in the trenches as they received the invitation to perform in March 2021, but, due to COVID-19 having reduced the number of spectators allowed at sporting events in the previous year, the concession sales that the band usually relies on to help offset some of their expenses was diminished and traditional fundraisers had been scarce. The work to raise the funds to be able to accept the invitation was just as demanding as the work to practice for their performances.
“The biggest challenge was funding,” Cyndi Vickers, the band’s Booster Club treasurer and the representative who worked closely with the travel agent for the trip, said.
Vickers said the funds that had been raised through concessions went to equipment, uniforms, and other needs.
Vickers said the band was given permission to receive a repayable loan for funds from the school board, but, due to support from the White County community, it was not necessary.
“Due to community businesses and individual donors, we did not require the loan, and we are grateful for the outpouring of love and support from our community,” she said.
Vickers said the community even went beyond the financial support, saying that First Baptist Church of Sparta provided breakfast bags to go the morning the band departed and that Life Church of Sparta provided snack bags that remained with the students all week, helping to cut the personal costs for students.
“Overwhelming would probably be a great word to use if I described the feelings and excitement about this trip,” Vickers said. “So many people showed up for these kids. To be able to spend these past several months working so closely with some of the best friends in the world and to spend the time with a little over 100 of my favorite teenagers, especially two of my sons, has meant more than I can put into words.”
“Through hard work, sweat, hours and hours of paperwork, planning, preparing, phone calls, emails, meetings, a few tears, sleep-deprived days, and thousands of steps and gallons of leaded teas, we made it happen,” she said, expressing the feelings of all who were involved in making this trip a reality, “We are the WARRIOR community and WE, together, made it happen. Memories that will last a lifetime, smiles that light up the world, and bonds that tie us tother. WE ARE WARRIORS!”
Click here to view the special section dedicated to the White County High School Warrior Marching Band.
1 comment on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here
Sunday, January 9 Report this