Setting the Tempo: Drumline 2016

Lucy Dozier

The student section stands in the bleachers, irrelevant chit chat filling the air as the football players make their entrance onto the field below. They casually take selfies for their snapchat stories and adjust their neon orange John Deer hats with little concern for what is happening on the green turf below them. 

All at once, a loud noise breaks through the indistinct chatter. The noise thunders on and the students turn around to face the field. They begin to jump up and down, throwing fists in the air and dancing along. The drumline has arrived and with it, the student section’s school spirit.  

Pep club executives and yell leaders worked more closely with the drum line than they have in past years in order to bring some new chants to the student section. Cheers like “Eastlandic” and “Get out of your mind” were students’ favorites, and wouldn’t be possible without the drumline keeping the rhythm steady.  

“The way that we’ve really contributed to the games and the school spirit is by showing up and giving it all we’ve got every time” said bass drum player, Sid Choudhury. “I feel the music every time I play and we all get really into it.”

Towards the end of their junior year, senior Ian Longan, drumline student director, and senior Brayten Bowers, head yell leader, began discussing the idea of working together to create a different type of atmosphere at games. East’s cheers and chants were lacking one thing: rhythm. 

And just like that, the Eastlandic cheer was born.

….

Longan nods at Bowers and nudges Choudhury. Bowers turns to face the camouflage forest, and stretches his hands toward the sky. He shushes the bleachers filled with green camo and black facepaint. Silence follows as the anticipation grows. Every student’s hands are raised to the sky. Choudhury heaves his drum stick into the the large bass drum. BOOM BOOM. Clap, the section responds. The silence returns.  BOOM BOOM. Clap

The booms begin to speed up and the mobs’ emotion heightens until the claps shatter into applause and the bleachers shake with Lancer spirit. The students break into the ‘Seven Nation Army’ chant while jumping up and down, full of school pride, as the bass drum continues to keep the beat. 

“You could especially see it in the Lancer Day game and the Rockhurst game,” Longan said. “Everyone was really excited and you could just feel the school spirit.”

These new chants and increased involvement of drumline changed the dynamic of the student section and helped connect everyone. No longer were students standing in the bleachers without a clue. No longer were the chants halfway enthusiastic.

“The product was really awesome,” said Longan, “It’s like all of East is coming together as one loud voice.”