Blake Carmichael football, band balancing act


Student athletes have a lot on their plate, so adding another activity can make for a busy school year. That's the case for one student at Taylorville High School. Blake Carmichael is one of the best trumpet players in the state. Last year he made the Illinois Music Education Association All-State jazz band team. He's also an offensive lineman on the varsity football team. For this senior, it's always been a balancing act.

Friday nights at Taylorville High School home football games Carmichael is making a quick switch from football to band.

"There's always a little bit of panic," Carmichael said with a smile.

The offensive lineman plays trumpet during the marching band's field show.

"He knows his stuff," said Director of Music Chris Gunn. "He's just out there and looks a lot different in his football stuff."

And while he's out on the field during halftime, he's missing some of the football team's pep talk.

"I usually get about the last three minutes," Carmichael.

"He has to make sure that he's in constant contact with one of the coaches when we come back out here so we don't miss a beat," explained Head Football Coach Jeb Odam.

But four years later, it's become routine: Band class is during the day, football at night.

"For the most part I've been lucky and they haven't really conflicted too much," Carmichael said.

Which is a good thing because ask him to choose between the two, "football over music and band, I can't pick one over the other," he said. "It's a tie."

But it's a win for Carmichael off the field.

"I've definitely learned responsibilities and that you can do as many things as you want you just gotta be responsible and get the job done," Carmichael explained.

He will continue to make the quick switch.

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