A Day in the Life: Marching for Sport

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Photo A. Daniels

Everybody’s working for the weekend, but Daqouri D’Ornellas doesn’t need to work because he is the Weeknd.

Ashlea Daniels, Profiles Assistant Editor

As another Friday night rolls around, the excitement hangs in the air as the band kids get ready for the football game. As they walk out to the stands they feel the drum beats reverberating in their chests. You can feel the school spirit radiating in the air as the football players walk out on to the field.

In the trombone section, a band member silently puts Smarties in Daquori D’Ornellas’ (’18) afro while he is caught up in the feel of it all. As he sits, completely oblivious, someone tells him he has candy in his hair and he shakes it out, sending the Smarties flying. Another section member grabs a Smartie from the stand and offers it to their unobservant section leader, who then eats it. This is just another day in the life of a band member.

D’Ornellas fell in love with band in sixth grade and continued to pursue it in high school. Although it was exceedingly different from his experience in middle school, he still felt a deep connection with being in the band.

“Well middle school you’re not really as into it as you are compared to here. When you come to high school band, you’re practicing more because you actually want to practice,” D’Ornellas said. “In high school, there’s more than just concerts at the school.”

Choreography is key in marching band. If they’re not on point then people could fall, trip or run into by one of the starlets. Band works long hours after school Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and before competitions on Saturdays, practicing to perfect their choreography, but for D’Ornellas it pays off in the end.

“It’s pretty fun, it’s really excited because you do all the practice and then you finally go to your competitions, it feels so good to go out there and leave it on the field,” D’Ornellas said.

During marching season, every time D’Ornellas puts on his uniform it’s a struggle to get his marching cap on his head. Not because he has a big head, but because his hair resembles a large birds nest. Since middle school, his hair has been synonymous with who he is as a person.

“I usually just shove it all in there, just try to squeeze it as much as I can, but when it comes to competitions, usually that morning I’ll wash it and when my hair gets wet it goes down so I end up looking like a poodle and when it goes down I have to knot it into a big bun on the middle of my head and I can put my hat over that,” D’Ornellas said.

Despite dilemmas like this, D’Ornellas hasn’t cut his hair since 6th grade and doesn’t plan to in the long future.

“It’s my signature, if I cut my hair, I cut myself. It’s my reality, I’d be cutting myself out of reality.”

The Knights compete Saturday, Nov. 17 at Riverview High School at 4:30 p.m. at Marching MPA and on Saturday, Nov. 21 at Tropicana Field for the State Semi-Finals.