CKHS principal apologizes to band for Homecoming fiasco

The principal of Central Kitsap High School apologized to the marching band Thursday for a homecoming game debacle in which the band’s performance was unceremoniously cut short.

Standing before band members on Linder Field, Stephen Coons said, “I wanted to come and express my sincere and deepest apology. It was a regrettable experience and never should have happened.”

According to Coons, the homecoming half-time show ran long. The show begins with a processional of the homecoming court, followed by the band’s carefully choreographed display. The Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association allows for an extended halftime during special events like homecoming, but the performance had run well beyond the allowed extension, Coons said.

School officials held their own football players back, Coons said, but they had no authority over the Foss High School players, who began to stream onto the field to warm up. Parent Heather McClellan said that was a safety issue, since band members were marching backward and could have tripped over the football players. He daughter Mira plays flutes in the band, made up of CKHS and Klahowya Secondary students.

The musicians were further demoralized when some of the CK coaches gestured for the band to leave the field so the game could resume, McClellan said.

As for the parents, “We were pissed,” she said.

Tyler Hunt, activities coordinator, shouldered part of the blame, saying, “It was unfortunate. Due to my part, it didn’t go as smoothly as it should. … You guys deserve as much respect as the football team.”

Coons acknowledged the band members’ hours of practice to prepare for the performance and pledged school officials were taking steps to ensure no such disrespect would ever be shown again. The band will be acknowledged at tomorrow’s game at Silverdale Stadium. Parents and friends of students will receive complimentary passes.

“I’m very glad he did that,” said McClellan, who observed the apology with several other parents. “I think it soothed the kids’ feelings. I think it was a great gesture.”

Coons said nothing like this has ever happened at CKHS in the 11 years he’s been there. But unfortunately incidents like this have happened elsewhere, he said.

“This is a great, hard-working bunch of kids. They really add to the quality of all our sporting events,’ Coons said. “It pains me to let them down.”

As band members filed out to the 50-yard line to begin their drills, one boy shook the principal’s hand and said, “It’s all good.”

23 thoughts on “CKHS principal apologizes to band for Homecoming fiasco

  1. I was a member of the CKHS marching band, from 1952 until 1959, as the junior high was part of the high school. I made the senior high marching band, drum section when I was in the 7th grade. We were not that great but we marched in alot of parades over the years I was a member and was very proud to be a band member. I hope that next year, the home coming court, band and foot ball players can work something out. The principal was nice in apologizing to the band so hopefully ever one will drop this and move on.

  2. Why did the program run so long over the time allotted for it? What will the school do to ensure everyone gets the time scheduled for them to perform next time? Who was running the show?

  3. I think the band should get a football game off. Can’t control the other school’s players?

    That’s what officials are for. WHY wasn’t the coach suspended?

  4. Let me ask the obvious questions here. Which school officials were present at the school sports function? Was the principal in attendance?

    Who were the opposing coaches? Who was the supervising school official for the visiting team?
    Are they going to be disciplined?

  5. Regarding why the program may have run long:

    According to the article, “The show begins with a processional of the homecoming court”.

    It’s possible technical difficulties happened during the processional and the band was not at fault.

    If that is the case, it really is a shame that the band had to pay the price and that Foss players had the gall to take the field during the performance of the home team’s band.

  6. The band’s program always takes the same amount of time. The show itself is just under 10 minutes, not including the 2 minutes to enter the field. Homecoming halftime was 20 minutes in length. By the time the homecoming court was finished and the band was allowed to begin their show, only about 5 minutes remained.

  7. Sharon – The principal said in the future they will pay closer attention to how long the show will take and make sure it fits in the allotted time.

    Chris Henry, reporter

  8. I was at the game, I remember sitting in the stands thinking to myself that the band was running close to its allotted time. I saw the official walk up to the Band Director and tell him that he had to cut the performance short, the Band Director blew him off and kept playing. I looked up the rule in the National High School Football Federation Rulebook, it clearly states that a halftime can be extended for special occasions and it must be agreed upon mutually. It also states that when the clock hits :00 that 3 additional minutes will be put up on the board for team warm-ups. The Band director had the clock right in front of him and he knew the rules, he should have followed the rules and cut short his performance once the clock hit :00

    I preface this by saying that I was in the band at CK from 1982-1984 and we always knew that we had to be off the field by :00 on the clock. This was unfortunate, but it should not have ever happened because the band director should know how much time he has. He also should have noticed that they started late and should of maybe took out a song or too.

  9. Oh my goodness! People you are way overthinking this. They apologized. Why do the pitchforks and torches always have to come out? Someone is always calling for someones head to roll! Geesh!

    “Now, the halftime air was sweet perfume while the Sergeants played a marching tune
    We all got up to dance, oh, but we never got the chance
    ‘Cause the players tried to take the field – the marching band refused to yield
    Do you recall what was revealed the day the music died? “

  10. What we found out during this process is that during a game it is actually the officials (the referees) who control the field. There is a set amount of time allotted for half-time activities. Once that time runs out the game must resume, otherwise the opposing time can challenge the extended time and say it gave an unfair advantage to the home team.

    Also, the homecoming activities took an exorbitant amount of time as each court member not only were introduced but also had a short biography read about all their school accomplishments and plans for after graduation.

    Also, the principal was present but as stated earlier, there was nothing he could do. Everything happened so quickly that no one really knew what was going on. My husband and I were standing by the sidelines and didn’t see the coach talking to the drum major. All we saw was the drum major gesturing for the band members to leave the field. It wasn’t until we watched the video that we saw the assistant coach gesturing and shouting at the drum major to leave the field.

    All in all it was a very unfortunate event but it’s over, apologies have been made and it’s time to move on.

  11. Above all else, it is the kids of Spirit of Silverdale who deserve recognition. I have attended nearly every practice, game and competition and am absolutely amazed by their dedication to their marching band. They have been working on their show since August and are so very proud of what they have accomplished. Their performances are incredible, not to mention award-winning. I applaud their perseverance!

  12. “Everything happened so quickly that no one really knew what was going on. My husband and I were standing by the sidelines and didn’t see the coach talking to the drum major. All we saw was the drum major gesturing for the band members to leave the field. It wasn’t until we watched the video that we saw the assistant coach gesturing and shouting at the drum major to leave the field.”

    The key statement being, “everything happened so quickly”. Hogwash!

    Particularly, when you stated, “the homecoming activities took an exorbitant amount of time as each court member not only were introduced but also had a short biography read about all their school accomplishments and plans for after graduation.”

    So which is it? It was a blur, or the procession was too long?

    The Athletics Director and the Principal are to blame for improper supervision.

    You have kids with big metal instruments out there on the field.

    Principal Coons pay:
    Salary: $112,890
    Insurance: $10,695
    Mandatory Benefits: $17,397

    Your tax dollars at work.

  13. Ducttapeo1, Geesh, why are you making a big deal about what I said? The precession ran long. Yes, that is what happened. Please re-read it. I said the band getting booted off the field happened so quickly. So, what’s your point?

  14. I blame the ego and arrogance of the Band Director. I’ve heard he has a mean temper towards the kids. Too bad the kids have to suffer. And what is this nonsense with CK and Klahowya having a combined band. As an alum, I resent the fact that the individual school is not represented by that individual band. I do not support this one bit!

  15. The once-proud bastion of academic pride along with a long standing of superior extracurricular performances appears to be coming to an end. The current building administration comes across as totally clueless and inept, and the flagship of high school achievements here in West Sound is sinking. Several friends of mine have children attending the school and have expressed serious concerns about teacher issues lately. What is being done about it? Who is being held responsible for such neglect? And who is this Mr. Hunt? Please do a follow-up story on the recent troublesome trends at this school.

  16. ducttape: you keep blaming people for a lack of supervision. Where was this lack of supervision? The CK football team was kept off the field until the band left. Read the articles again. It was the Foss team that started to run onto the field. They are the responsibility of the Foss coaching staff. Do you really want our staff placing hands on kids from another school?

  17. Easy deal. Next time, include the processional in the show. Keep the show under 20 minutes. Band kids work very hard to get these shows right, so do the band directors. I can see why the CK director said buzz off, but I can also see why the other team took the field. Their coach doesn’t want to have his players cool down too much. No class? Maybe, but he was following the rules.

  18. It seems to me the ‘classless’ folks was the group who treated their guests shabbily. Few guests would return a visit to rude hosts.

    The reason for being there was a game. The band would be an interesting half time performanceresting listening but why drag out the boring part? Place the boring chit chat at the end of the game and let it go overtime. No one would be there to care.

  19. CK and Klahowya have a combined band to help offset the costs to the schools and parents. Creating one band with kids from two schools allows resources from each school to be used more efficiently. It also allows for a larger band and more parent involvement. The band benefits from the talents of both band directors – Mr. Woods from CK and Mr. Sutton from Klahowya. The kids work amazingly well together.

  20. Seems to me the entire halftime should be the band playing interesting stuff. They surely could time their performance to the football game and make everyone happy.
    I know folks who would go just for the halftime band performance – me included!
    Good luck….!

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