On their own, participating in marching band, drill team or cheerleading takes a lot of time and dedication.
Imagine juggling being in more than one of these activities. This is the case for several girls at Weatherford High School.
Senior Maddy Freeberg, along with sophomores Ellie Lewis and Sarah Talmage are both in the Blue Belles and marching band at WHS. Also, sophomore Jessica Campbell is the Belles manager, along with being in the band.
"It takes a special student to juggle band and Belles. Responsibility, organization, communication, and time management are crucial to the student's success in both activities," said Belles sponsor Laura Buckner, who said it is most uncommon to have students in these simultaneous activities.
In fact, she said she has had less than a handful in her eight years of coaching.
"A lot of time and dedication goes into both activities year-round. The work most definitely pays off though, the journey and the end results are amazing," said Lewis, who plays the trombone.
"The ability to schedule everything is a constant struggle, but we communicate well with our directors, and they're always willing to help and come to a compromise," said Talmage, who plays clarinet. "We march and dance at every football game and go to all competitions."
As a manager of the Belles, the majority of Campbell's responsibilities are performed during the scheduled class time for Belles. However, when added to her band commitment playing bass 1, it becomes imperative that she schedule properly.
"Between marching in football games, band competitions and drumline gigs, I tend to stay pretty busy," she said. "However, I also get to participate in Belle activities and Belle events outside of band commitments."
To which Talmage added, "Both activities have two seasons. Band has marching and concert. While marching is much more time-consuming and has a lot more of a physical aspect, concert season can be more stressful and consume a lot of practice time on music.
"Belles have football season with visual field routines and pep rally dances, and contest season has us learning very challenging dances to compete with, and the end-of-year Spring Show."
Along with their commitments through the school are volunteer commitments. These include rodeos, golf tournaments and the Parker County Peach Festival.
Also, marching band starts practicing in late May from around 8 a.m. to around 4 p.m., with Belles practicing at the same time.
And, of course there is the responsibility of keeping up grades in school. For example, Talmage wants said she wants to be neurosurgeon someday, and pre-Advanced Placement classes highlight their resumes.
"I have to work hard in school. Learning to balance high school can be challenging when you are involved in multiple activities," said Campbell, who would like study something in the medical field in college.
How much of a balancing act goes into the multiple activities. Lewis said she has become accustomed to quick costume changes.
"I perform at all marching competitions and march with the band at all games, after I perform with the Blue Belles during halftime," Lewis said. "I have a drill team uniform and a band uniform, that way I can participate in both activities as much as possible during football season."
Buckner said the devotion it takes to participate in the simultaneous programs sets a strong example for younger members.
"It sets a great example of how to juggle multiple activities, which prepares them for life as an adult in the global community," she said.
Talmage said though it is time-consuming and often tiring, she wouldn't consider giving up either activity.
"I've made the most wonderful friends and extended family through them, and can't imagine my high school experience without them," she said. "Our directors have always pushed us to be our best, and they do their job extremely well.
"I couldn't be more grateful to be one of the few students who get to do all the things they love and are given equal opportunity in all activities."