COLEMAN, Texas (KTAB) – The spirit of the Big Country was in full effect over the weekend.

The Coleman High School band director, Matthew Sowell and wis wife, Jackie, the assistant director were injured in a car crash the day before UIL marching contest in Mineral Wells. 

“My wife and I were coming [to morning band practice] and it was raining,” Matthew Sowell says. “An 18-wheeler lost control right in front of us.”

“I was trapped inside and had to be cut out of the truck,” Jackie explains. 

After hearing the news, the band directors from Bangs and the Coleman High School assistant director all stepped up to make their competition one to remember. 

“They performed their hearts out and they did a fantastic job,” John Thompson, Coleman Assistant Band Director says.

Tommy Perkins and Emily Smith, the band directors from Bangs ISD, didn’t hesitate to step up and help the Coleman band prepare for competition in the Sowell’s absence. 

“Just to know that people in our community of band directors look out for each other and care for each other, it makes you feel connected with everybody,” Thompson explains.

This allowed the Sowell’s to recover knowing their students were in good hands.

“They’re just such great people, they’re great ambassadors,” Jackie says. “We could rest knowing we had some excellent people leading our guys.”

For the directors in Bangs, it was an opportunity to teach their students an important lesson.

“We showed our band kids, it’s not competition in band we are all family here,” Perkins says. “That’s what we consider Matt & Jackie & we consider those Coleman kids.”

Coleman and Bangs both received first division ‘Superior’ ratings at their marching contest. 

The teams play each other in football Friday night. The bands will get together and celebrate during third quarter that the Sowell’s are safe.