Multi-Talented Students
By: Holly Brantley
PERRYVILLE, MO --When the Friday night lights come on, band members grab their instruments while cheerleaders fire up the crowd and charge up the team.
But at Perryville High School, some students find more ways than one to show their school spirit.
The kids are pulling double duty because they are caught between a love of sports and music.
And, the school makes sure they are able to show off both talents. As you can imagine, life gets pretty busy. But, the students say it’s all worth it.
“I help the cheerleaders decorate for the game, I go home, I come in, I conduct pregame, I get ready and do my game. About five minutes before the game I go change into my uniform, I go back and I finish the game out,” Aarica Stephenson explains how she manages her time while she doubles as Drum Major and Cheerleader.
For Aarica, and other students, it’s just a typical Friday night and, a chance to showcase their artistic and athletic abilities.
With schedules full of practice and performance, they don’t even get a break at halftime!
“Last week I was home maybe once during the whole week. It was only for an hour,” said Cheerleader and Flutist, Nichole Bohnert.
“I just get home so late and then I just don’t even want to do my homework. So, I go to bed and then I kind of wake up early and do it,” said Varsity Cheerleading Captain and Clarinet Player, Renee Blechle.
The hectic schedules can get a little crazy for moms and dads too.
“She gets pretty frustrated,” said Chris Kaempfe. “Mom’s gotta drive me around cause I can’t drive yet.”
Kaempfe doubles as a kicker and a trumpet player. His cousin Gabe Layton shares the same duties. Their mothers make the best of the situation and call the pair ‘kicking cousins’.
“My mom’s happy that I’m happy. She likes the fact that I’m in band,” said Gabe.
Other students say their parents agree.
Richard Wolk plays football as well as the Trombone.
“Actually it was my parents that kind of got me doing this. They kind of talked me into it and I liked it. So, I’ve stuck with it,” Richard said.    
Perryville actually has a number of students who participate in band along with football or cheerleading. Not every school allows this. But, Perryville administrators say it’s a system that works for them.