(COVINGTON, La.) — You’ve come to Hunter Stadium on a cold winter night, sweatshirt and blanket in hand, ready to watch the nationally top ranked Soccer Wolves ravage whoever it may be that is playing against them.
Suddenly, while the team is driving down the field, you hear the sudden rhythmic thud of drumsticks and drum heads by a group of musicians behind you. This bunch is the Marching Wolves Soccer Drumline, and they play at many home soccer games throughout the year at Hunter Stadium for a taste of St. Paul’s unique flavor of school spirit.
“It’s a good way to keep the crowd motivated during the game,” said Junior Drum Major and former snare player Dustin Simoneaux. “And it’s also a great way to get kids in the drumline motivated for soccer season and other sports.”
One of the highlights of the game for members and fans is when the drumline gets to go onto the track for halftime. There, during the cadence dubbed “Drum Solo,” tenor player Bradley Anzalone picks up the cymbals as he does for most soccer games and puts on a show.
“I like being able to do things that I can’t do in regular band at (football) games, like dances while playing cymbals, chilling out with my friends, and not having to deal with being at attention all game,” Anzalone said.
When asked about his halftime routine that has gotten him onto countless Snapchat stories, Anzalone said, “I don’t think it’s a big deal, I’m just having fun and doing things I think would look good. Plus, I like to jump around and stuff.”
Although the Soccer Drumline is composed of some current Marching Wolf Drumline members, many Marching Wolves members that play brass instruments decide to come out and test their skills on the skins and cymbals to support the Soccer Wolves, like senior mellophone player Grant Holmes.
“Soccer is my favorite high school sport to watch,” Holmes said. “And drums are probably the most fun instrument I’ve ever played. I may not be the best at it, but I like a challenge, musically. You can even get some anger out occasionally.”
The group is also fronted by the two current drum majors, who do not currently play any instruments in the Marching Wolves. Simoneaux enjoys returning to play on the snare drum, his instrument before becoming the drum major last year.
“It’s my way to keep connected with the drumline,” Simoneaux said. “Of course, I’m excited to do it.”
According to goalkeeper Colin Hanley, the atmosphere in Hunter Stadium, reinforced by the drumline, gets him pumped up.
“We’re getting so many people coming out to these games, and the drums are really exciting,” Hanley said. “I like that we’re getting recognized. Football is definitely big down here, and for soccer to be one of the biggest sports in school is awesome.”
(Photos and video by or courtesy of Nick Ashton.)