Football games at the Union County Stadium are always a treat, especially when the Union County High School Yellow Jackets win as they did last Friday. Last Friday was going to be extra special as 12 athletes and coaches were to be inducted into the UCHS Hall of Fame at halftime. The ceremony was to be followed by a performance of the UCHS Band.
This was unusual because in previous years the band did not perform when the Hall of Fame ceremony was held. So those attending were in for a very special halftime treat and were no doubt looking forward to the show as much as the band was no doubt looking forward to performing.
Sadly, it was not to be as a combination of factors prevented the band from taking the field.
First, the Hall of Fame ceremony took longer than expected. This wouldn’t have been a problem but for the fact that in high school football halftime is only 20 minutes. By the time the ceremony was over and the band could take the field, halftime was essentially over.
Second, halftime is followed by a three-minute warm-up period on the field for the teams. During that period no one is permitted on the field besides players and officials. This included the band which was ordered off the field by the referees.
Naturally, this disappointed the band and their many fans, especially their biggest fans, the band members’ parents who sought and got a meeting with UCHS Athletic Director Mike Massey. During the meeting, the parents expressed their concerns but they also offered suggestions on how to avoid a repeat of the evening’s disappointment. Massey and UCHS Band Director Paul Wilkes are incorporating those suggestion into their plans for next year.
This is another example of the ability of the people of Union County to turn things around, to take a constructive approach to a problem with an eye to solving it and bring about a positive outcome. Disappointed as they were, the parents of the band members sought to fix the problem and make things better for everyone. Their suggestions will help ensure that at future halftimes the public will be able to enjoy both the honoring of great local athletes and coaches as well as performances by the best high school band in South Carolina.