LAMAR, MO.--- It's rare for a high school band to travel for away football games, but one local marching band is not letting the distance stop them. The Lamar High School Marching Band wants to show their support for their football team, in any stadium, even if that means traveling across the State of Missouri.
"We usually take at least two buses, and we try to get the ones that have storage underneath. A lot of times, we'll have to take a truck and a trailer as well," said Rebecca Payne, Lamar Band Director.
Lamar High School Band Director Becky Payne says the band has made it to almost every away game since 2007.
"Once the football team started winning, I felt like we were as much apart of the game as the cheerleaders and some of them. So, I thought that it was really important that the band went along to help support our team," said Payne.
Band members say the encouragement goes both ways.
"I didn't realize how much we were appreciated by the crowd until I had person after person coming up to me telling me how much they missed us and how much they really do enjoy us being there. It was really nice to know how much people do really care about us," said Brandy Wrestler, Senior Band Member.
For one student, the Lamar band was her first taste of team spirit.
"I didn't know that we would travel so much when I joined the band, but when we started traveling it was pretty interesting," said Ida Aslanishvili, Senior Band Member.
Ida Aslanishvili is a foreign exchange student from the country of Georgia. She joined the band when she came to America just four months ago.
"There's so many things to tell. Well, one of them would obviously be the band experience because it's really something new and it's a big experience for me," said Aslanishvili.
That's the goal for Payne. She believes every student deserves the opportunity to feel a part of something bigger.
"We're very lucky in that the football team, the cheerleaders and the band, that we work together and understand that to make something great takes a team, and it takes a community and so we work together," said Payne.
Students say Lamar is a town that stands for Tiger pride, regardless of whether you're a quarterback, in the drum line or building spirit for the team.
"I think that everybody feels that it's not the football teams championship, it's the town, it's the peoples, it's the bands, it's the cheerleaders. It's all of ours, it's part of who we are," said Wrestler.
More than 90 students travel to away football games. That adds up to almost 12 games every year.
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