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LET THE BAND PLAY: Big Spring, Sweetwater bands step in for Andrews playoff game

Members of the Sweetwater and Big Spring bands perform at the Andrews High School playoff game...
Members of the Sweetwater and Big Spring bands perform at the Andrews High School playoff game on Monday.(Joshua Skinner / KOSA)
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 9:04 PM CST
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SWEETWATER, Texas (KOSA) - In American sports, we like to use many heavy words like battle, rivalry, and hate.

After the Andrews band was involved in a bus accident Friday that killed its band director and bus driver, those words were replaced with nouns like love, care, and support.

“We all live in West Texas. We all look after each other,” said Jay McWilliams, the Big Spring Superintendent. “When something like this happens that’s such a terrible tragedy, we all pitch in to help out each other.”

The Sweetwater and Big Spring bands took a day off from their Thanksgiving break to show support for Andrews, performing for them when their band could not.

In just a matter of hours, the two bands quickly learned a couple of Andrews songs and chants.

Even some alumni, like Texas Rangers organist Dustin Tatro, showed up with instruments to show support.

“If our two biggest rivals are going to step in and be the band for the playoff game, let’s let some of the alumni come if they want to,” Tatro said. “So, I’m going to grab my horn and get out there if nothing else, that’s where I need to be.”

At the half, the Sweetwater and Big Spring bands performed “Nearer My God to Thee” to honor Andrews High school band director Darin Johns and bus driver Marc Boswell.

There was also a football game to be played. Rumor has it the other team won. But it’s hard to imagine Monday as anything but a win for Andrews and West Texas, looking not at the scoreboard but into the stands at what matters.

“Even though we have this loss, and even though Darin Johns isn’t with us anymore, he’s still bringing us together,” said Matthew Gudino, the band director for Sweetwater High School.

“Satan thought he could mess with us and bring a community down,” Tatro added. “What he’s going to find out is he screwed up and never should’ve messed with Andrews.”

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