Differences under the Friday night lights


Jack Thompson

Pleasant Valley seniors celebrate a win against Muscatine with “Rally in the Valley.”

Sam McGrath, Business Manager

The student section and the band have very different regulations at the Pleasant Valley football games. This has led to some students questioning the fairness of the difference in safety measures, while others question the safety of the students in general.

The first football game was the only one the band could play at, and the band directors took safety precautions like wearing masks and socially distancing very seriously. Drew Anderson, a director of the PV marching band, explained why these precautions were so important to him and the administration: “We wanted to make sure that parents were comfortable sending their son or daughter to the band.” Anderson went on to explain that the directors were only concerned about the band and no one else.

Throughout the night, members of the band were constantly being policed and forced to social distance. Ben Curran, a senior, described the rules enforced by the band directors as: “understandable due to the ongoing situation, but far more strict than what was enforced for the rest of the crowd.”

Consistent to what Curran said, members of the student section were packed together ignoring all social distancing guidelines. To add insult to injury, a “Rally in the Valley,” a traditional way to celebrate a win, was called for – which led to 100-150 people gathered at the center of the football field.

Many parents, teachers and students were extremely surprised when the rally was called. D’Anne Kroemer, athletic director, was in charge and initiated the call. Kroemer defended her decision by stating, “None of us wanted to jeopardize the safety of our students and players… we wanted to make it easy for classmates to support other classmates.”

North Scott High School, which recently got shut down due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, was the opponent during that first football game. However, according to Kroemer, that was no concern when calling for the rally because both administrations trust each other to be transparent with any concerns they may have.

The band is different from the student section in the fact that these students come to band for their grade. Therefore, the directors are required to hold them to the same rules that would be enforced while in school. However, what is the point of staying extremely strict with the band, but then letting the student section put themselves in a position where they are extremely vulnerable? Either way, both groups are a part of the same school, and if the student section gets the virus and spreads it, then everyone’s education and safety is at risk.

The strong precautions taken by the band are far more consistent with guidelines of the CDC, local health officials and our administration. Comparatively, the student section overtly defies the recommendations of many health organizations and puts themselves and the school in jeopardy. 

Overall, the frustration comes with a lack of consistency between the two groups. The administration is working to balance safety with providing an enjoyable experience for the student section and players. So that begs the question, is the commitment to band sacrificing the fun and enjoyable moments with friends at football games?