2 band members find time for cheer and football

Grace Hampton

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Pratiksha Timsina

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Alli Schroeder

The marching band duo represents the football and cheer teams by wearing their uniforms during halftime.

As soon as the buzzer sounded, starting the halftime of Friday night football games, junior Sydney Smarsh had to throw down her pom poms and hurry to meet the band, where a student waited with her flute. Smarsh then joined the band, in her cheer uniform, to perform the halftime show for the entire stadium.  

Senior R.J. Abbiacti had the same routine, leaving the football team, sprinting to get to his place in the marching band lineup, and preparing to march in his football uniform.

As hectic as it might sound, this is what the pair had to do to participate in marching band as well as cheer and football. 

While this was her third year of high school cheer, it was the first time Smarsh participated in both programs.  

“I have always done symphonic band, so this year I decided that marching band would be a fun option,” Smarsh said. “All my friends were in marching band and it looked like fun.”

Smarsh’s dedication to both programs was apparent to those around her.  Junior Aidan Greenaway, a fellow band member, said he appreciated the connections Smarsh formed with the band and cheer team.

“I think she is like a bridge between the cheer team and band,” Greenaway said. “We’re all there to support the football team and show our Baldwin pride.””

— Aiden Greenaway

Balancing two time-demanding activities may seem difficult, but these athlete-musicians said the effort is worth it.

Abbiatici has played the flute for eight years, participated in band for three years, and played football for 10. He said he considered joining marching band during his freshman year, but he was worried about not being able to handle both activities along with his schoolwork.

He said the football coaches and band officials have been very accommodating with his schedule. 

“It’s not hard because the practices line up pretty well, but it is exhausting,” he said.

Teammate and senior Emma Brandwene described Abbiaciti as a disciplined athlete who is good at managing his time with the activities.

“He’s a very dedicated player and performer,” Brandwene said.  “He’s a strong player who knows what he’s doing and spends all of his time focused during practice.”