Bucket Brigade

Bringing the beat


Aelise Gagliano

Members of the Mill’s Bucket Brigade set the beat for a girls’ varsity soccer game against Whitewater. This student-created and student-led organization brings an assortment of drums and buckets to the stands, cheering on players and pepping up fans during the spring sport season.

Kyle Soto, Staff Writer

Sporting events are composed of various elements: cheering parents, tempting concessions, exciting chants and adoring fans. Sadly, to the common eye, some of these elements go unnoticed and do not receive the credit deserved. One example is Starr’s Mill’s own Bucket Brigade, a student-led organization Panther Pride marching band drumline members created last year.

“I started the Bucket Brigade last year,” founder and senior Brian Buck said. “We created it because we wanted to drum and support spring sports.”

I feel like every time they start playing they improve the atmosphere.

— junior student-athlete Hardy Simpson

Football games attract a large amount of support with a large student section, a parent section, cheerleaders, and the school band.  The Bucket Brigade steps in to help complete the atmosphere for spring sports that lack these support groups.

“I’d say the soccer games are definitely our favorite type of game to go to,” member and senior Carter Rogers said. “It’s really laid back and all the fans and players are very supportive.”

The Bucket Brigade attended and drummed at this year’s “Battle for the Troops,” an annual varsity soccer game face-off between Starr’s Mill and its bitter rival McIntosh. This particular game was at McIntosh, where the brigade was told to stop playing.

“Except for soccer games, almost every game someone will complain and tell us to stop playing,” Buck said. “The only soccer game we’ve had trouble was at the McIntosh game.”

Unfortunately, lacrosse games do not run as smoothly for the Bucket Brigade. Nearly every game, with the exception of soccer, the game officials or spectators will order the Bucket Brigade to stop playing.

“People challenge us, but there isn’t a rule against it,” Rogers said.

While some fans, coaches, and officials might oppose the Bucket Brigade, Starr’s Mill athletes appreciate what they bring to games.

“I feel like every time they start playing they improve the atmosphere,” varsity lacrosse player junior Hardy Simpson said. “Everyone in the stands starts making noise and gets excited.”

The atmosphere is a crucial part of any sporting event and impacts those on the field. A dull mood among the players can impact the spectators and vise versa. However, the Bucket Brigade strives to improve the players mentality.

“During the playoff game on [May 2] we were tied and they started drumming and banging on the railings,” Simpson said. “I think that got us back into the game to win it.”

Brian Buck, Carter Rogers, Kyle Meihofer, Jawel Zimbabwe, and Emily Warner comprised the inaugural Brigade. All of these members are seniors with the exception of Emily Warner, who will not be attending Starr’s Mill next year, leaving a question of what will happen to the Bucket Brigade next year.

“We’re going to talk to some of the guys on the drumline to see if they want to keep it going,” Buck said. “We have a lot of friends that play spring sports, so we have that connection. I don’t know if they’d want to go the games, but hopefully we can keep it going.”