Thursday, November 12, 2009
The tempo was off, no one was in tune and the words never seemed to line up, but for the members of the football team and marching band, it was the perfect symphony of the bond between the two groups.
After the 41-14 victory over the 4-7 Indianapolis Greyhounds, a group of five players, led by senior running back Mark Bossuah, guided the team across the field. As soon as the band ended their song, a shout rang out from the trumpet section: “BOO!” “SUAH!” responded the rest of the band.
As the band shouted out the team’s top rusher, #21 himself climbed up onto a bench to show his gratitude to his fans.
“Mark's a great guy and very easy to get along with,” said senior trumpet player Marty Fredrick, the creator of the cheer. “I thought it would be good since he's such a prevalent player on the team. Mark also stands out to us quite a bit because he's got such a memorable last name.”
The two Wildcats met each other in their HS 390 class, an upper level history class. The two started talking when Fredrick wished Bossuah good luck before one of the football games. Soon after, the two built a special bond between two different kinds of players and fans.
“Marty would tell me how much he loved football and I would then tell him about how much the music in the band pumped me up,” said Bossuah.
It was once a common practice for the football team to approach the band at some point in the season to sing in appreciation for all of the work the Pride of the North put in throughout the season; however, the last time the singing happened was before 2006.
The special thing about this specific sequence of events is the bridge it creates across certain social barriers. For as long as there have been marching bands and football teams, there have been the cliques that separate the two. For Northern, the uncharacteristic bond is a celebrated difference from the norm.
“If anyone’s school was like mine, the football team and the band didn’t really have any sort of connection or bond,” said Fredrick. “[It was] simply because of cliques and the coolness factor that always is there in high school.”
The Pride of the North is losing 15 seniors this season: Fredrick and his wife Kaylynn, Drum Major Sarah Moulder, Mellophones Jen Boese and Mary Ann Rotter, tenor saxophones Jill Van Landghen and Trista Zdroik, Color Guard Cathy Crane, trombone Ashlee Yziquierdo, clarinet Erin Jones, trumpets Garrett Romero and Katie Miedona, and drumline Steve Boniface, Tyler Clark and Rachael Wilber.
The losses of Marty and Garrett will be especially missed as the two are some of the top hecklers from the band. In addition to the music played at the game, the heckling is another way the band tries to help out the team.
“The heckling started simply as a measure of trying to help the team out by demoralizing the opposing team,” said Fredrick. “[We’re] basically trying to get them to think more about the band rather than the football team.”
As the season ended for both band and team, the respect and bond the two groups had for each other culminated in one magical moment: a group of 200 Wildcat players, singing their best, “for Northern’s glory, for the green and gold.”