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September 18, 2007

Tension eases between band, football parents

A dispute over marching bands playing on the Cullman High School football field seems to be dying down.

An annual band exhibition traditionally held at Cullman High School was moved to Hanceville High School on Saturday after much deliberation from Cullman High School Principal Lane Hill, Head Football Coach Mark Britton and Cullman Band Booster President Tim Loveless early Saturday morning. The late move frustrated some band backers — with some going so far as to call for boycotting football games — but the tension appears to be cooling off after a Tuesday-night meeting.

A member of the Cullman Band Boosters, Brian Bradley, was upset when interviewed on Saturday at the band exhibition. But Bradley said he left Tuesday night’s booster meeting feeling satisfied.

“I have no ill will to the coach, principal or to the football team,” Bradley said. “The band needs to support the football team and the football team needs to support the band. Someone needs to step up so the field can be played on and marched on after it rains.”

Cullman Quarterback Club President Ron Sanford said Saturday’s canceling of the expo was unfortunate, but considerations for conditions of the field in the future had to be taken into account.

“I am very proud of our band and their accomplishments,” Sanford said. “It’s unfortunate and I hate it, but with our investment we have to do what’s best in order to have a proper field.”

The field will be used next Sept. 28 when Cullman plays Hartselle in football.

Hill previously stated large areas of the field where the band would be marching was like mush. And according to Britton, the future safety of both the band and football team had to be considered.

“They (band) work extremely hard,” Britton said. “It was a call we had to make. I think we should all support Mr. Hill and we should just let it go.”

Loveless said the band was disappointed by not being able to march on their field but was happy to have Hanceville accommodate.

"We were disappointed not to do the exhibition here, but we were happy the students could perform and display their shows," Loveless said. "We as booster organizations need to do everything possible so students receive the best quality experience we can give them. And by working together we can achieve that goal."

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