Wearing sneakers on Fridays and Dinkles on Saturdays


Shawnee Smith

Briana Reidel (12), performing with swing flags in the ballad as the band plays the impact moment of the movement. The band has 3 more competitions before championships.

Abigail Brennan, Reporter

A few students here at Big Spring are a part of multiple families, in this case two: the Marching Bulldogs and the cheerleaders. Madi Barnes, Brendon Morris-Dice, Bri Reidel, and Emily Carr are all students who are cheerleaders and a part of the band in some way, shape, or form. This demand on their time is a balancing act, and they must figure out how to cheer all night and perform a seven minute performance, and then compete in competitions the next day.

Emily Carr (Pictured by Doug Lindsay)

Emily Carr, junior and a member of the cheer squad and the color guard in the marching band, said, “I don’t get sleep. I sacrifice sleep and make sure to write things down or else I’ll forget. I plan ahead and pack my things the night before. I have calendars everywhere so I know when everything is.” As many know, cheerleading and marching band fall into the same season, which is in the fall at the beginning of the school year. Carr is able to balance school work along with the other activities. She said, “I don’t have much homework so far this year, but if I have some that isn’t done, I’ll wake up early to do it or go to a flex and finish.” Carr uses a lot of energy, especially during football games. Carr said, “Energy is fake. I feel as if I’m actually dying inside. The big thing with performing in guard and cheer is putting a smile on my face.” Her busiest times during the season are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Thursdays she has cheer practice from after school to around six when marching band starts and she has a half an hour in between. Then of course, football Fridays, she has to go from pom-poms to flags. Saturdays are for competition days for the Marching Bulldogs. Color guard is occasionally there an hour earlier than the band on competition days. Carr also has to work in between color guard and cheer. She says to underclassmen interested in doing both, “Go for it. It was a lot easier as an underclassman when I didn’t have to work. I have no free days now.” One last thing Carr said is, “Doing it has changed my perspective. I used to be excited for cheer practice, and now I don’t want to be there, because I want to sleep. And it changes your attitude towards the sport and it depends on the person. I’m trying to fix my attitude as well.” 

Brendon Morris-Dice (Pictured by Doug Lindsay)

Brendon Morris-Dice, another junior cheerleader and marching band member at the school plays the baritone. Dice said his balancing act is fairly simple. “On Thursdays, instead of going home like I would for marching band and coming back at 5:45, I just stay after school from one practice and go to another. On Wednesdays I just stay after school for practice and then get picked up at around 5:30.” Dice is going strong with all activities but said, “If I had to give up one, I  would give up cheer. Marching band is one of the most important things to me. As much as I have enjoyed being a part of cheer, it is simply not as important as band is too me. I just love marching, simple as that. There is no other activity like it.” Just like Carr, Dice has school work to balance as well; he does his work similar to Carr. He stays up late and uses flex, which leads to his advice to underclassmen who are interested in doing both. “You have to have a drive for everything you are doing. Not just the activities, but your school work as well. Without it you will begin to crack. I would also say use flex time. It sounds like a PSA from Mr. August, but it is really true.” Dice sees some differences between cheerleading and band. “There is a lot in common between the two. In their core, their purposes are to perform for an audience. They are also both a lot more physically demanding than you would think. A big difference though is the intensity of both, and surface purpose of both. For cheerleading, we are supposed to make sure the stands are involved and excited. We need to make sure that something is happening and people aren’t getting bored. For marching band however, we are just performing. We are presenting a show for people to look at, instead of making sure people are involved in the game. Also marching band is a lot more  physically demanding than cheer. For cheer if it is too hot, we have t-shirts, if it is too cold we wear sweatshirts, and practice is always inside. For MB however, practice is outside, rain or shine. If it is too hot you have to deal with it, if it is too cold you have to deal with it. If something goes wrong in the show, unlike cheer, you can’t just stop.” Dice said he is going to continue in his senior year. He waited until his junior year to join and he definitely has enjoyed it. Dice would also love to pursue marching band in college. “I don’t want to overextend myself, and from what I have seen; it is not an available option for someone to be in both.” He also said that one day he would like to be in DCI or DCA, which is a professional marching band program. kind of like the NFL but for marching band. One last phrase Dice said…“I am so tired.” 

Madi Barnes (Pictured by Shawnee Smith)

Madi Barnes is a senior going into her third year of being in both band and cheer. Barnes is the Marching Bulldog’s drum major this year, and she is actually the first in bulldog history to be a cheerleader and drum major. Barnes said, “As this is my third year in both, the balancing act has become more of a normal thing than a hindrance and hard to handle situation. I have band on Mondays and Thursdays 6-9 and cheer Wednesdays and Thursdays 3-5:30 with games on Fridays and sometimes band comps on Saturdays. I go to one and then go to the other. It’s not as hard as it used to be.” Barnes said the same thing about schoolwork. “Thursday is the only day that I have absolutely no time to do work. I do a lot of talk to text as funny as that sounds. While I am getting ready in the morning I talk into my computer to answer questions and have it type for me.” Barnes’s energy is another thing in question. She said, “My energy does not kick in until after the National Anthem at the beginning of the game. I am almost always tired during warm-ups for cheer and at halftime. As soon as I begin to cheer though, the adrenaline kicks in and I am energized. As far as band though, I have no time to be tired as I run from the sideline to do band and then I run back to cheer with very little time in between.” As drum major and cheerleading captain Barnes said being a drum major is somewhat more serious than cheer. Barnes was also asked about how her senior year is going she said, “Honestly, this is not the best season of band that I have had, but cheer is going wonderfully. This is 100% the best season of cheer I’ve ever had in all 10 years of doing the sport. On the other hand though, I miss playing an instrument and actually making music in band. It’s not as fun as it used to be.” Barnes marched flute her sophomore year for Taking Flight and was in the front ensemble her junior year for the Logic of Creativity. Advice Barnes has to underclassmen thinking about doing both is, “It certainly is hard to do multiple things, but Mr. Nobile will always do what he can to help you feel less overwhelmed. He has always done the best that he could to accommodate me doing both as the first in a few years. If you’re not absolutely certain that doing multiple activities is worth it, don’t do more than one. But if you want to and you think you can, do it! Don’t let people tell you that you can’t.” 

Bri Reidel (Pictured by Shawnee Smith)

Bri Reidel is a senior in her seventh year of color guard and her first full year of cheerleading. “Personally, the only way I can balance both is by making one organized schedule with everything related to both marked down. I pick a night once a week to make a clear list of what I have to do that week for both, what I might need to pick up or prepare for, and set aside extra time to decompress after my activities.” Adding school work into that mix, Reidel said, “I will say that when it comes to school work, I rely a lot on my teachers being lenient and allowing me to start projects early/giving me extra time for assignments so that I’m not overwhelmed or overworked.” If she had to give up one of the activities it would definitely be cheer. “I have been in the color guard for the past 7 years and I couldn’t imagine life without it. This is my first full year of being in cheer and while I love it, I’m not as emotionally tied to it.” It takes a lot of energy to be involved in so many activities. “Most of my energy during football games usually goes to my guard performance, but I definitely have a lot left over to be a happy cheerleader the entire time!” The busiest time of the season for Reidel this year was band camp/July, because band camp and cheer camp landed in the same week. On the topic of other people joining both activities Reidel said, “I think that being involved in multiple activities where you experience different groups of people would be great for others!” Reidel plans to do color guard and cheer in college. Her advice to underclassmen is, “Make sure you have support from your friends/family/coaches/teachers. These people can make a crazy schedule and year so much easier on you!” 

Now that the football season is coming to an end and the championships for the band are in the beginning of November, these students have a little time before winter cheer, indoor guard, musical, jazz band, etc. start. Good luck Bulldogs!