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Tonight, 98 percent of the Class 6A and 5A high school football players across Texas will use the 25 minutes or so of halftime for rest, hydration and talking over game plan adjustments with their coaches.

A unique few will continue to shine at the half by marching in the school band.

Uniformed players marching at halftime of a small school football game is not a rare sight across Texas. But in recent years, it has been rare at 5A and 6A games.

Amarillo metro teams seem to be bucking that trend this season, with the likes of Castillo, Amarillo High starting sophomore kicker Sam Burks (baritone),
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Caprock starting sophomore kicker Kevin Diaz (baritone) and Canyon starting junior left offensive tackle Quentin Weigle (drums).

While each student owns a unique story, the foundation of combining band and football is the same.

For starters, each had the guts to ask his head football coaches if his passion for music could possibly extend to marching with band “teammates” at halftime.

Then, without the cooperation between band directors and football coaches, having a young man in football pants and cleats march among stylishly uniformed band members would never happen.

Amarillo High’s Burks approached Sandies head football coach Mel Maxfield and AHS band director Bruce Collins with the idea last spring. Burks even worked up a contract detailing his schedule of dividing his time between football and the band.

“Coach Max looked at it over a weekend and came back, said it sounds good,
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” Burks said.

Maxfield said Burks, who ranks in the top 10 of District 2 6A in scoring, loves AHS activities he is the sophomore class president, has a 100 grade point average and plays soccer. Maxfield praised Burks for the “try in him.”

“Sam is a kid that works very, very hard and is very conscientious and very coachable,” he said.

While the “fun” part of being a football player or band member comes on Friday nights,
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the weekday schedule is demanding. for drumline practice, where he’s one of three on the tenor drums. practice.

He also can be found flipping burgers or working the drive up window at McDonald’s some evenings in Canyon.

“That’s the question I get asked most,” Weigle said. “How do I do both (football and band) and work?”

Despite the busy schedules, despite having to hurry like crazy during halftime, despite the stereotypes of football and band not mixing, each player said life is a blast these days.
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