School starts Monday here in Texas, though for kids in football and marching band, it started much sooner. You see, while football may be big here in Texas, marching band season ranks just about as high.
Starting August 1st, these kids began practicing for the 2014 marching season. A season that reaches far beyond football games to marching competitions that will take them all across the state.
For anyone who thinks that marching band is for wimps, think again. While most kids are reveling in the last dregs of summer, these kids are on the practice field at 7 AM in an effort to avoid as much of the heat as possible.
On this particular occasion, an evening parent's performance, the thermometer was reading 100 degrees. And, with the first football game slated for Friday, they may not fare much better in their first few half-time performances.
(See the redhead wearing the red sunglasses at the back? That one's mine.)
Of course, things aren't easy for the band directors either. They get to sweat right along with the kids as they watch over them.
The main director and the marching coordinator stand atop their perch, while others move along the field (a parking lot that has the yard lines painted on it) with the kids, making sure everyone is in their proper position.
As you can imagine, in this heat, staying hydrated is key, so they take water breaks every 10 to 15 minutes.
Every kid is required to bring a large water jug, along with a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. And they do not wear black shirts during regular practice.
There's that redhead again, along with his trumpet.
So by the time the instructors finished going over what they do in practice and then giving us a peak at their performance, we were all sweating. And hungry.
What better way to get into the spirit of the season than barbecue.
Who's ready for some football?