As the fourth quarter winds down and the two teams are neck and neck during Break the Record Night, the Davis side of the stadium is on its feet. Roaring cheers fill the room and the speed of play is picked up. Intensity fills the room when the referee blows the whistle for a timeout.
A student jumps onto the sideline, starting a familiar DHS sports game chant.
“I. I believe. I belie-”
Meanwhile, pep band has started its own cheer.
“Ice cream, soda, banana split. We think your team plays li-”
“I believe that we. I believe that we will win!”
Pep band cheers and Student Government cheers have occasionally overlapped before, but it was brushed off. Towards the end of the basketball season, a series of miscommunications between student government, cheer team and pep band resulted in the band’s absence from the last home basketball game of the season, Senior Night.
The issue began during the second-to-last game of the season, Break the Record Night, on Feb. 10, when pep band was given rules directing when they could play and where they could sit.
Halftime coordinator Monica Berry, along with athletic director, Dennis Foster, tried to figure out a seating arrangement that would allow a record-breaking 1,123 fans to all sit on the Davis side of the bleachers during the game while still allowing pep band to represent the school.
The junior said, “Ideally, we would have had pep band on the other side of the gym,” behind the opponents bleachers.
Pep band student conductor Jenny Horn understood the issue and where Student Government was coming from, but saw other issues in sitting on the other side of the stadium behind the judges and the coaches.
“It would have made sense except [Student Government] didn’t think about us blasting out the ears of the coaches and the basketball team not being able to communicate,” the senior said.
Because the hip-hop team, dance team and cheerleading team, in addition to Student Government, all participated in the halftime show, Student Government attempted to fit everyone in the schedule by asking pep band to cut down its playing time until the very end of halftime.
Berry, who describes the situation as a collaboration rather than an issue, said that usually pep band performs during halftime, but there was a special lineup scheduled just for Break the Record Night.
“Student Government had a set halftime show schedule where we had events going on. Anything out of this time period where we aren’t talking, [pep band] can play,” Berry said.
Pep band was also requested not to play at the beginning of the game because the basketball team had made its own playlist that they wanted to listen to.
Even though pep band was asked not to play during warm-ups, “We encouraged them to play during time-outs and quarters,” Berry said.
Horn saw that the basketball team wanted its own pump-up music and went with it, but she didn’t understand why pep band’s play time was restricted to minute-long time-outs.
“We were told we weren’t allowed to play during halftime until the very end. The thing with pep band is we usually are there to play before the game and halftime to help add pep,” Horn said. “We weren’t doing anything wrong. We were playing when we were told to play and I cut off the band when basketball starts playing because that’s what I’m supposed to do.”
Recently, Horn has noticed some discouraging signs from the crowd directed toward the band as well.
According to Horn, when the band got to the games, there would be fans sitting in the roped-off section reserved for the pep band. Even when Horn respectfully asked them to move, they would not. Other times, Horn would accidently start the band when Student Government was trying to do a cheer. The miscommunication would cause the fans to boo the band.
Horn said, “The band is there to entertain the crowd, and if the crowd doesn’t want us playing, then why should we go to the game?”
In the midst of the situation, pep band percussionist Randy Lewis said that he would be disappointed if the pep band decided not to play at games anymore, because he believes pep band is the best part of band. The junior also believes that many band members wouldn’t go to the sports games if they didn’t get to play music and socialize with friends.
Even so, Lewis does not think that this conflict will cause a change in pep band’s sports schedule for next year because “Mr. Quick is a mother bear who will take down anyone who threatens his band.”
Both Horn and pep band adviser Clyde Quick agree that the conflict arose from a lack of general communication between the athletic teams, the athletic department, the cheer team, Student Government and pep band.
Quick said that the band has started the process of electing a leadership team for the band that can work together with student leaders and advisers of sports events to organize and prevent conflict in future events.