Football Notebook: Young musicians relish chance to perform at Band Day

Saturday, September 19, 2009 | 6:02 p.m. CDT; updated 7:57 p.m. CDT, Saturday, September 19, 2009
From left to right: Stephanie Pulver, Neil Gallagher, Kristina Gentile, and Melissa Austin cheer on the Missouri Tigers on their way to 42-0 halftime lead over the Furman Paladins.

COLUMBIA — As much as Band Day is meant to entertain fans at halftime, several of the middle and high school students participating Saturday agreed they looked forward to being entertained as well.

A number of schools from around Missouri sent their marching bands to play at halftime of Saturday's Missouri-Furman game. Seeing a college football game is a treat, many of the band members said.

"I'm most excited for us (MU) to win," said high school senior Lori Ewald of Ritenour High School in St. Louis. "I'll be really mad if they don't."

Ewald and fellow senior Takisha Strong are clarinet players. Even though all the bands play together at halftime, Strong said they got a chance to compete beforehand.

"We just had a drum battle (with another school)," she said.

Ewald enjoyed the drum battle, too. "They thought they won, but we won," she claimed, with Strong in agreement.

Ewald said she wished more people got a chance to see all the bands play together, but seemed glad to be able to play for the fans in attendance.


Travis Banks plays for Centralia High School. He talked about how different the experience was from a typical band performance.

"Well we've got a bigger field to play here on. And there's more people, more fans to play for. And it'll just be a little bit better than normal. It's a little more exciting. The MU band, they're good. It's pretty much just like a competition (with the other schools)."

*   *   *

Steve Kieg had a purple Furman flag hanging at his family's tailgate outside the Hearnes Center. The Kieg family traveled to Columbia from Atlanta. Steve Kieg said his son, Colton Kieg, is a freshman defensive tackle for the Paladins.

"Our son goes to Furman," Kieg said. "We're Big 12 fans anyway, because we used to live in Nebraska. So the chance to come back to the Big 12 country and actually watch a school that our son goes to and our son plays for (is the reason for coming)."

Steve Kieg said the Missouri gameday experience is very different than at Furman.

"I think just the scale, it's much bigger. You look at all the flags and all the tailgaters and things like that. You know, whatever the size of (Missouri's) stadium is versus 11,000 for Furman. Just the scale is so much bigger. So, you know, that's probably the biggest difference. But passionate fans, we got them too. We've got the passionate fans just like the passionate Missouri fans."

*   *   *


Drew Weber, an MU law school student, showed off his unique variation of cornhole, sometimes called bags, a popular tailgate game. In his version, each wooden board has three openings to toss a beanbag into, instead of just one.

"I mean I guess it's a little different than the other one, because you have different point values," he said.

 Weber said his fiance, MU graduate Lindsay Hepler, is consistently the best of anyone in their group at playing tailgate games.

"Literally I'm not kidding, I can count on one hand the number of times I've beaten her in six years," he said. "All tailgate games. I don't get it."

*   *   *

Steve Addison lives on Maryland Avenue across from Stankowski Field on the MU campus. He and his roommates allow fans to park cars on their site, in close proximity to Faurot Field.

"This is my second year (doing that)," he said. "Especially the night before, on Fridays, we just park our cars over there usually, and just sell out every spot we have possible to make money and then we go on to the game and then come back here. I'd say we have (room for) seven or eight back there. We have six (spots) here on the front lawn."

Addison said it's been a financial success.

"We probably make around $115 a game; I guess that'd be a little over $600," he said. "It pays for other stuff around the house."

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