Commentary: High school bands as entertaining as the football

As most of you may know, I've been stomping around the sidelines of football games for quite a few years.

It started with me taking photos at numerous high school games, both varsity and JV, and even a few college games back in the day at HCC. Yes, folks, Harford used to have a football program and a pretty good one at that.

Over the course of time, I was able to put away the camera and turn to my trusty pen and paper. Let me say, rain makes a mess for a sportswriter.

Much has changed over the 25-plus years I'm referring to, most for the good, I'd say. Most notably, we've seen the shift of grass fields to turf and that's made covering the games much more comfortable. The 12-yard line is the 12-yard line, if you know what I'm saying.

Rain made mud out of any and all sidelines. Now on turf, I just have to deal with a few "turf turds," as the kids call them, from time-to-time.

One thing that hasn't changed though is the school bands that provide sound at almost every game. Whether it's the rather small, but talented band in Perryville or the large and impressive band at C. Milton Wright that I witnessed the other night, bands bring fun and entertainment to football games.

Friday night the CMW band was fantastic and that's a fact.

I've seen the Mustangs' band in the annual Havre de Grace July 4th parade, but it's summer, members are missing and they're playing some typical patriotic song. Nothing wrong with that, but what I saw and heard Friday night at Bel Air High School was awesome.

I was thinking it, when Havre de Grace assistant coach Jerry Lee mentioned the words "college atmosphere" toward me. Lee was absolutely right.

The Mustangs band was large, loud and impressive. The array of music and general sounds throughout the game was a great addition to a decent football game.

It helps that CMW has a football team that sports a 4-0 record entering this week. First year coach Marc Alegi has the Mustangs playing inspired football. There still isn't the number of players that could or should be on that sideline, but it's a start.

There was a time when football was king at CMW, but there's also been a lull that has lasted far too long for a school of its size.

If what I saw Friday night is any indication of the program's direction, it's positively moving forward and that's a good thing.

There's hope that CMW will be able to play on its newly-turfed field this year. If they do, I'd encourage you to be there and take in what CMW has to offer. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Wherever you go, get out and support our fine athletes and musicians. They're worth the price of admission.

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