ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Like the football teams in Abilene and the Big Country, high bands play a major role on Friday nights. Although they’re not making plays on the field, they’re giving excitement to the players and fans.

Band members often hear the phrase, ‘If you’re early, you’re on time; if you’re on time, you’re late.’ If you listen closely in the mornings, you may hear the sounds of Friday nights to come – one count after another. For Abilene High and Cooper bands, fall revolves around Friday night lights.

“I would say you get that adrenaline kick. You know, when they score a touchdown and when they win the game,” Cooper High Drum Major Rylan Murray explained.

“Friday nights are my favorite. They are so much fun,” Abilene High Drum Major Sydney Spell shared.

The halftime show that fans enjoy every Friday night is actually planned and prepared long before the school year begins. Those clarinets, baritones, and trumpets can be heard even during the August heat.

“We have long days during summer bands, and it gets really hot out here. So that can make just getting through the day pretty hard just because of how hot it is,” Spell explained.

“We have to memorize four pieces of music, eight minutes of the show, marching physicals, you know, movements, visuals, all that kind of stuff,” Murray added.

What fans see on the field that results in big plays is something similar for the bands to put on a ‘memorable’ show.

“The memorization can be kind of hard. I mean, for us to drum majors, we have to memorize the score, which takes a lot of time,” Cooper Drum Major Aaron Reece.

“We also have to memorize our dots or what we call them, our spots, on the fields for our marching show and then memorize the music that goes along with that. And so, it’s just a lot of work that we spent inside and outside all of the time,” Abilene High Drum Major Lianna Pfrimmer added.

While bands don’t typically go head-to-head with each other like football teams, the rivalries most definitely exist.

“Definitely have an unspoken competition with Cooper and even sometimes Wylie,” Pfrimmer shared.

“Usually, it’s during competition. We want to place better and get better scores, but there’s always just a little feud,” Murray added.

Some may call them band kids, but they are also the unsung heroes of the Friday night lights.