A member of the Johns Creek marching band performs at the school during the halftime show on Sept. 14. 

High school football games are an onslaught to the senses. The smell of grilled hamburgers permeates the air so greatly you can almost taste them. Sights of freshly painted helmets, the fans decked out in school colors and the impeccably green turf fills the eyes. There’s the touch of the fantastically hot metal bleachers that have roasted in the Georgia sun in summer, and the chill that runs up your backside from the seats later in the season. 

There are of course the sounds and yelps of the excited crowd, the booming voice of the house announcer after each play on the field, but perhaps the most underrated sound under the Friday night lights is the marching band. 

Friday high school football games just wouldn’t be the same without the marching band. Yes, there would still be the excitement on the field, but the added atmosphere the band provides cannot be understated. 

While the band will likely never be the subject of a football game coverage article I write, believe me, this sports reporter doesn’t discount their performance. 

I always arrive at Friday night games early, and one of the most exciting times is hearing the cadence of the drumline as the band enters the stadium. The rhythmic pulses of the drums stirs the emotion and exhilaration as the two opposing teams prepare to battle. 

And once the game is underway, the band provides a better soundtrack than could ever be pumped through the stadium’s speakers. 

They ramp up the excitement of a touchdown, their melodies stir motivation when their team is trailing, and the band makes very strange things happen to me. 

I say that because I am not one to ever gyrate my hips, but whenever the tubas belt out the opening lines of Bruce Channel’s “Hey Baby,” I just can’t help but do so. 

Of course there is always the halftime show, where I am still blown away by the precision of the music, marching and dancing after years of performances. 

Admittedly, this is also a frustrating time to be a sports reporter, because I want to watch the show. 

Unfortunately my head is usually glued to my phone, accumulating stats and tweeting the scores of other games, but I’m enthralled whenever I get the opportunity to watch the performance. 

I recently saw a post to Facebook that stated football teams should line the bleachers and cheer on their marching bands when they perform at band competitions. 

I couldn’t agree more. 

While this may not be commonplace, I have the strong feeling that the players out on the field fully appreciate the band, as well as those in the stands dancing along. 

The band puts in monumental effort, is a crucial aspect to what makes high school football so special, and the end product is a joy to behold and experience. 

So to all the marching bands, color guards and anyone else adding to the excitement of North Fulton and Forsyth County high school football games, keep up the amazing work. 

Just don’t play “Hey Baby” too much or else I will have to embarrass myself.

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